Festival Report: Nummirock 2014

For this summer’s festivities, Teeth of the Divine sent a festival reporter to the Finnish farming headlands to visit the Nummirock 2014 Festival. The festival is held around 330 kilometers north of Helsinki, away from any major city or municipal, annually on and around the midsummer day, during which time the country is often on a nation wide hiatus and a booze binge. So come on in, educate yourself and see how bands like Behemoth or W.A.S.P handled their business.

by Matti Manner

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The Midsummer’s Day, or juhannus as it’s called, was originally a pagan holiday that marked summer solstice and many ritualistic and magical connotations for the people in the old times. Then Christians came, gave it a new name to honor John the Baptist, and it has since been a day to get wasted (and quite often drown) without any social stigmas!

So why go rural? Why Nummirock? Why not some fancy pancy city festival with butlers and champagne? To check up on history and see how it’s doing. Nummirock can be argued to be the longest running hard rock/metal festival in Finland, even if at points the festival practiced witchcraft with acts like Pandora, Inner Circle and Bogart Co. (look them up) in the line-up next to Paradise Lost, Uriah Heep and whatnot. The first Nummirock was held at the dusk of the 1980s, when it mainly featured Finnish rock bands of varying degrees, with one or two foreign acts headlining. Growing year by year, in the ‘90s the festival began its high pressure lean towards heavy metal. Iron Maiden, Sepultura, Pantera, Danzig, Slayer… all have graced the festival.


Nummirock’s niche for heavier acts also drew a line between it and other rivaling, usually more pop-rock oriented, midsummer festivals out there (see for example, Ruisrock in Turku, Provinssirock in Seinäjoki and Ilosaarirock in Ilosaari). As of 2002, Nummirock has pigeonholed itself solely as a heavy metal festival, and all in all it can be regarded as one of the earliest and most consistent festivals that systematically provided the hottest names in the metal world to its Finnish audience. There were some other heavy metal oriented events before it, such as the Giants of Rock festival (1987-92), but most have failed to make ends meet and disappeared from the yellow pages. Despite its isolated location, Nummirock has proven that the heavy metal concept worked and by surviving the financially rocky ‘90s, the festival paved way for other metal gatherings, such as Helsinki’s own Tuska Festival. So, even now when there are much bigger fish around that offer distorted guitars (in full or as an added spice next to other music) and have more star pull, among many “old school” metalheads, Nummi (as it’s called in short), has an unwavering reputation for being the one with the most prestige.

But let’s get the party started. But before we do, here’s a quick summary of what’s gonna come up:

2. More about the festival

3. Thursday’s bands

4. Friday’s bands

5. Saturday’s bands & Conclusion


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  1. Commented by: Apollyon
  2. Commented by: Juan Manuel Pinto

    Dear Matti Manner:
    I loved the following quote off your review:

    “In the end there is no true substitute for hard work, claim otherwise and you are most certainly a hack full of shit”

    How true.

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