The summer is still on hold here in Helsinki but the festival season kicks of as ususal.

Our first festival visit this year was at the Kivenlahtirock which is just a stone´s throw away from Helsinki´s centre. It only takes you about 15 minutes by car to get to the festival area that is located in Lepäävara´s Urheilupuisto in Espoo, one of Helsinkis suburbs. We arrived around 17.00 on Friday and after parking our car at the close but with 5 Euro quite expensive parking lots, we picked up our passes from Kivenlahtirocks Media Station. Luckily the weather was good and you didn´t even need a jacket until late in the evening.

Of course some bands had already played at the sold out festival but there was still a lot to see. Viikate was just in the middle of their set when we arrived at the festival area. Kivenlahtirock has two stages: the Iso Omena Lava, which is the main stage as well as the Fosters Lava. Both stages are very near each other so it is super easy to change places after the bands have played their set. Besides that there is also the so called Experience Tent where smaller bands performed. After Viikate it was time for Ewert and The Two Dragons, a band from Estonia that I personally haven`t heard of before but they had a pretty nice sound. Later that day we still could enjoy the gigs of Chisu, who has a very energetic life performance, and Jukka Poikka and The Sound Explosion Band. The latter created a nice atmosphere within the crowd and it felt like summer had just arrived at least when it comes to the festival feeling. At around 22.45 it was already time for the last, the main act of this first festival day: Apocalyptica. There is not much left to say about this band I guess. With their always mystical stage performance and their unique sound they´ve been a great highlight for this evening´.

The next day didn`t start that lucky weather wise. It started to rain when we left to the festival and it rained and rained and rained. That means we couldn´t really enjoy the programme that day though it was pretty good. As we arrived we saw Waltari´s gig which was totally different from what we´ve remembered at their anniversary show a couple of month ago. After Waltari it was Stam1nas turn. As I said due to the bad weather it wasn`t possible to watch the entire gig and so we decided to get us something to eat and sit down a bit at the VIP area that was located in the middle of the two stages so you could see all the gigs from there as well. One thing I have to point out is the food. We were positive surprised as you could also find some vegetables and fruits along the normally festival food that consists of sausages, French fries and some indefinable china rise. After a very delicious vegetable soup and a warming coffee the rain suddenly stopped and the sun made its way through the clouds. Perfect for the next acts: Eläkeläiset transformed the crowd infront the Fosters Lava into a real Humppa Family and Michael and the guys rocked the Iso Omena stage without any doubt right after that. The last act for the Kivenlahtirock 2012 was Apulanta. Sadly the rain came back when they entered the stage. However this didn´t affect the crowd at all. The whole bar area was empty and everybody just wanted to see the main act of the festival. Apulanta did a great show and this has really been the perfect ending of the whole event.

After their gig we left back to Helsinki where we could enjoy a glas of white wine at the dry and warm Green Room where the “Jatkoklubi”, the after party of the festival took place. There are still lots of festivals to come with hopefully better, warmer weather ;) Stay tuned and watch the photos we shot for you during the Kivenlahtirock.

Apocalyptica Photos

Chisu at Kivenlahtirock 2012

Michael Monroe Photos