Every year Flow Festival rolls on through and we pack ourselves with 74 999 others into the industrial area of Suvilahti in Helsinki – and we live. We live like there is no nine months of darkness descending upon us, like we don’t top the suicide charts of the world and like depression never was our main hereditary disease in the first place.
The festival is a three-day shindig reaching over 1.5 hectares of land on the outskirts of Helsinki. Surrounded by remnants of the industrial times, the area also acts as a host to circus schools and the infamous Suvilahti DIY skatepark. Each year brings a buffet of artists from indie rock to hip hop and anything in between.
The 2017 spread was a mixture of big names like Frank Ocean, Lana Del Rey and the xx, thrown in with local acts Gasellit, Lil’ Tony and world music from acts such as Fatoumata Diawara and Hindi Zahra.
Each year the festival is jam packed with visual elements from art and lights to containers covered in graffiti. This years contributing artists included Robert Lönnqvist, a local creative mind and self-titled ‘Leonardo Dicaprio look-a-like with a gorgeous body’ and Timo Wright – whose piece ‘Displace’ was shown in the area.
Suvilahti itself is best reached by metro, tram, foot or city bikes. Bikes are rented at a mere 5€ a day and 10€ will get you a full week of Alepa fun. But if you can’t be bothered with the hassle of registering, just keep in mind that Helsinki – in comparison to its counterparts in the Nordics – is miniscule. Five kilometers on foot will get you pretty much anywhere.
Welcome to HEL. Here’s a recap of what went down in 2017.
Na’am Kitchen next to the main stage, the area normally ravaged by hungry festival goers. TIP! Pack a few muesli bars and enjoy the late night beetroot-falafel-vegan mayo-party in your mouth without a 45-minute queue while everyone else is boozily looking for the loo.
Frank Ocean. No questions asked. Somehow the guy stood there and held the odd crowd of thousands of Finns in the palm of his hand with an orchestra, Joe Thornalley a.ka Vegyn in the visuals and hits such as Pyramids and Nikes. But hey, this is just our humble opinion. Maybe Verneri Pohjola is your cup of tea?
Red Garden. Looking back at snaps from the weekend made us cry. Artist Liisa Vääriskoski and photographer Andre Pozusis hosted the old champagne bar like a dominatrix its cave, whipping us into frenzy of red, red, heat.
Drunk people sliding up and down the freshly painted walls of the DIY park taking selfies. Priceless. We hope no one got hurt. Much.
BEST MAKE OUT CORNER
Altar of Attraction by Designer of the Year Laura Väinölä. All pink, plush and you know – made for it.
In your hip flask. Alternatively, beer bought with can returns at 1€ a pop. Seriously though, they give 10€ for a wine bottle. You could make a fortune.
Kyläsaari after hours techno. Or Mattolaituri in Merihaka. No, Kutonen/Kaiku complex on Sunday. NO! That random party where you knew no one since Kiira got you all wet.
Hurricane Kiira. Bitch swept through at prime time on Saturday night, leaving behind a sea of people drenched down to their underwear.
But ‘Fuck the myrsky’, as Alma said.
In 2018, you should come. We’ll be waiting!
All photos by Justus Hirvi with Black Eye Lens Tele 3X
Text Elena Sulin