Hard Rock Café Helsinki
Facebook of Hard Rock Café Helsinki

Helsinki 2013

(c) Hard Rock

"Hard Rock Rising"

Suiciderock: You are the Promoter for all the events held at the Hard Rock Café here in Helsinki. What is your job like? What does it include? What are your tasks?
Roope: First for all I’m not some kind of a promoter as people would imagine this job. I have many different things to do if it comes to my job here. 

Suiciderock: The Hard Rock Rising is a global battle of the bands. The event is organised by Hard Rock Café and Bands all around the glob take part to this. It is the biggest band competition world wide. Do you know how many bands took / take part in this years competition?
Roope: Yes, the Hard Rock Rising is a global event. It is a huge event if you consider that 95 Cafes all around the globe take part in that competition.

Suiciderock: How important is the marketing aspect for an event like that even if Hard Rock Café is well known all over the world?
Roope: We get a lot of marketing material from our cooperates. We want to keep everything unique. But at the same time we try to keep everything simple as well. We had to figure out what kind of media we use for example. We had to choose do we want to promote this only via print media or do we cooperate with some TV station. Of course the marketing aspect plays a big role for this event as well, like it does for every event but in the end it’s all about the bands and the Music at this event. 
As I said, the Hard Rock Rising is a battle of the bands. So we really wanted to put the bands first. We are only giving this bands some kind of platform. It is the bands responsibility when it comes to advertising themselves and their gigs. You could say that they are their own promoter. The preparations for the event started in January. We published the news on facebook and the bands had the chance to sign up to the competition through Reverbnation.

Suiciderock: The bands could be chosen by their fans. But before they could start to promote themselves to get the votes of their fans they had to register. What criteria did they need to bring along?
Roope: Well, they had to be a local band. That wasn’t such a big problem here in Finland but if you take a country that has several Hard Rock Café than this criteria is a very important one. But as I said that doesn’t effect us here in Finland. The band had to be from Finland and the best, from the Helsinki area. Another important thing was that the band has the rights to their own music. Sometimes if a band is already signed to a record label they give up about that rights.
We had about 45 bands signed up when we started the competition. After they had signed up people could come to our facebook page and listen to their songs, they could even download the music there. That could be done for two weeks. No we are down to nine bands for the Hard Rock Rising. They had to do a lot of advertising or spreading the word about themselves to become one of the last nine bands.

Suiciderock: Do you know how many bands took part in the entire competition all over the world?
Roope: I can´t tell you an exact figure now but I guess over 100.000. There are some cities with massive populations. If we take Toronto as an example, I heard that they got about 300 or 400 bands signed up. Of course, this takes you a lot longer to organise everything and the whole competition itself is a longer process than we have here in Finland for instance.

Suiciderock: It is the third time that the Hard Rock Rising takes place but it is the first time for Helsinki. The Hard Rock Café is still quite new. What can we expect from tonight’s show(s)?
Roope: We actually have no expectations when it comes to this evening. The expectations will rise for next year. As you said Helsinki’s Hard Rock Café is still pretty new. Everything that we do at the moment is all about learning. Of course, we have our sister Cafes in Sweden and they have done all those things already so we can look a bit how they handled certain things and get some advice from them but we are still in the process of letting people know that we are actually here now.

Suiciderock: The Global Winner will go on a world tour, record an album through Hard Rock café’s own label “Hard Rock Records", shoot a video and win new gear. That’s a great price.
Roope: The winner band of the whole competition gets to play at the Hard Rock Calling, our big music festival in London as well. Everybody who visits one of the Hard Rock Cafes around the globe has heard and seen about this festival as the videos of the event are always played on the big screens in our cafes. The Hard Rock calling took place in Hyde Park last year and this year it’s gonna be at the Olympic Park so you see it is a big event and a great price for the winning band.

Suiciderock: I know it is probably not fair to ask you this but do you have any favourite of the bands?
Roope: Haha, that’s an unfair questions. I’m very neutral when it comes to that. I can´t tell who my favourites are.

(c) Suiciderock.com