Ankkarock Goes Under And Tuska Moves

One ILMC panel is set to discuss if the expanding festival market is having an adverse effect on the touring business, but in Finland it looks as if it could be the other way around.

Helsinki’s 14,000-capacity Tuska Open Air Metal Festival switched dates to avoid a clash with Sonisphere because the huge touring festival targets the same market.

Ankkarock Festival has dropped out of the calendar, having seen its crowd size fall nearly 50 percent in the last two years.

After the 2010 event pulled 17,000 across two days, roughly half the 32,500 it had pulled in 2008, Ankkarock – or Duck Rock – production manager Mikko Niemala told Pollstar the main problem was the number of large shows happening in Finland during the summer.

He was echoing the words of Provinssirock Festival promoter Juha Koivisto, who a year earlier warned that Finland’s festivals could be put in financial jeopardy by the number of major acts visiting the country and the number of “young amateurs wanting to make a quick buck” by starting new festivals.

In 2009 Juhani Merimaa, who also runs Ruisrock Festival, cut the entertainment budget for Ankkarock and made other savings to ensure it didn’t need an average of more than 12,000 per day to break even, but last year it fell short of that with only 8,500 per day.

Niemala said that apart from having Pink, Muse, U2, Green Day, and the two-day Sonisphere Festival happening at around the same time, the Finnish tabloids’ sensationalist reporting of the storm that shook Sonisphere had hardly encouraged fans to go to outdoor events.

This year’s Tuska Open Air Metal Festival is July 22-24 and has a lineup that includes Amon Amarth, Cavus, Lighthouse Project, Cause For Effect, Gaf, Feastem, and Estonian rockers Goresoerd.