November 9, 2020

Tuska metal festival turns woes into video

Heavy metal band on stage
A global pandemic can't hold down the Tuska metal pilgrimage.
Anastasia Pajanen

A pay-per-view video gig series titled Tuska Utopia is set to offset the lack of live metal music and resultant financial challenges for the industry.

The series takes viewers to the cradle of the global metal scene and displays a number of Finnish metal bands playing at venues such as the Suvilahti cultural district’s gasometer and an ancient castle in an undisclosed location. Apocalyptica, Battle Beast and Turmion Kätilöt will each perform sets on different days. The series will also include other content such as interviews with the bands and historical accounts of the venues with historian Teemu Keskisarja.

Woman interviews heavy metal band

The series will include a variety of metal content.

Anastasia Pajanen

“We’re making a travel show, to put in provocative terms,” Eeka Mäkynen, CEO of Finnish Metal Events, told Finland’s Markkinointi & Mainonta. “Our intention is to create new business because the events industry is more or less shut down. Fans are eager to see their favourite bands and the artists, whose tours have been cancelled, want to help.”

As the biggest metal festival in the Nordics, Tuska’s plans to attract international viewers for the series especially from the German-speaking countries, North America, Japan and China.

“This isn’t merely a stand-in thing but rather something that will eventually have a life of its own,” Mäkynen added.

The 2.35 billion-euro Finnish event industry has taken a serious hit during the pandemic, estimated by the University of Turku to be around 1.5 billion euros. Tuska was coming off a record-breaking year in 2019 with a 5.6 million-euro revenue, a 772 000-euro profit and an attendance of 43 000.

The Ministry for Culture and Education has supported the festival with 260 000 euros, which has enabled the festival to counter some of its losses. The festival also applied for and was granted a 100 000-euro R&D grant from Business Finland for the making of Utopia.

“We’re alive, but right now we’re setting our sights on making 2021 way better,” stated Mäkynen. “Even though we’re a financially sound company, our blood ran cold in the spring when it dawned on us what this situation will entail. We’ll be paying this year’s dues for several years.”

Good News from Finland is published by Finnfacts, which is part of Business Finland.

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