Juvonen Honoured With Cultural Award

While many promoters in the old Eastern Bloc are saying rumours that Risto Juvonen will lead Live Nation’s drive into the north are just rumours, the Finnish promoter has just been awarded one of Estonia’s top cultural awards.

Estonian president Toomas Hendrik Ilves has honoured Juvonen with The Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana.

It is the highest class of decoration for foreigners who have rendered special services to the Republic of Estonia.

The citation makes it sound as if Juvonen, a concert promoter for 25 years – the last 10 at Live Nation Finland – has already spent years pushing in to the Baltic market.

It recognises the 20 years of work he’s done for Estonian culture, which includes co-promoting – often with Peeter Rebane’s Tallinn-based Baltic Development Group – such acts as Madonna, Metallica, Elton John and Kylie Minogue.

Juvonen first moved into the Estonian market in 1980 and 10 years later worked on Rock Summer Festival, an event widely considered to be a symbol of Estonian independence.

He’s been on sabbatical since September and, when he returns, he’s rumoured to be charged with strengthening Live Nation’s European circuit to regularly include the Baltic States and Russia.

LN International chief exec Alan Ridgeway wouldn’t “confirm or deny” the stories.