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Flow Festival 2012 – The Debrief

Still recovering a little bit from the amazing time I had in Helsinki. I’m not fully home again, my head is still floating around the awesome festival area at the former power plant Suvilahti – back and forth between Black Tent and the tasty delicacies of the food stalls. We have all been treated so wonderful by the chaps at Flow. Massive thanks to you guys – and to Steffi and Nina at Nordic By Nature for taking such good care of us German ‘press delegates’. Gros bisous!

The whole event was kicked off by Bon Iver who played a wonderful opening concert on Wednesday night. Never saw him live before – it was really good, much more lively than his records. Flow continued with its scheduled program on Friday through Sunday, and despite some headliners sadly canceling their gigs (Frank Ocean, Bobby Womack, Hudson Mohawke) the atmosphere was just beautiful. Flow Festival was by far the cleanest festival I have ever attended. You would actually get yelled at if you used the wrong bin. Amazing.

The obvious names on the line-up Miike Snow, Lykke Li, Feist, Björk, et al all delivered great performances under Helsinki’s cold but sunny sky. My favorite gig was Kindness though. I never really listened to them (him?) before but I felt that it’d be the place to be. And wow – he totally rocked the Black Tent with his 80s sort of r’n’b sort of leftfield disco pop hipster music. Backed up by two amazing female vocalists and banging drums his set was much more forward than his recorded material. Super good.

[soundcloud width=640 url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/43554836″ iframe=”true” /]

Also great was the much anticipated set of Tiiu Helinä at Wastelands. That stage was designed by architecture students from all over the globe who met in Finland. It featured a massive balloon floating over the actual stage which was setup to be in the middle of the audience – like an amphitheatre. Tiiu’s set was all Finnish and I have no idea if she sang about love and Finnish summer nights or her refrigerator to be honest but the whole atmosphere on a (hungover) sunny Sunday afternoon was just beautiful.

Bottom line, pretty much the greatest fun you can have in Helsinki. Rumors have it that the Festival might change venue next year because it’s just getting too popular. I can only hope they come up with an equally rad location, because dancing around in between old silos, warehouses and chimneys is quite epic. Flow moved there a couple years ago because of the exact same reason: their old venue was getting too small. So, I’m quite confident the planners will come up with something as spectacular next year – no matter where. See you in 2013 Helsinki!

All Poule d’Or picks leading up to Flow Festival here.

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