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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Our crusty caravan hit the festival gates at around 1700 hours. It had rained during the drive, but for the time being, the weather was acceptable; cloudy, gray and anything but warm. A quick stop at the info booth and I became a better person with a photo pass and a festival staff bracelet. An easy going and lax feel from the initial staff worked as a prelude to what seemed to be the overall experience while interacting with the staff members. For the most part, the festival is run on voluntary work with the staff consisting of local people trying to help out. Nummirock is an important weekend that brings a ton of people from the outside and with them, money to the otherwise quiet and still location full of farms and summer cottages. The festival’s yearly success plays a decent part in the local economy in ways like having a local convenience store open for the summer season and helping youth sports club to raise money for their team. The combination of country way of going about with things mixed with people working towards a mutual goal increased the friendly vibes.

Visiting Nummirock is very much a different thing to visit than say Tuska for example. For one, Nummirock is not one of those show up to dress up places where goth girls go to parade their most obscure corsets and high-heels. The outdoor setting requires practical mind instead of flashy dresses. Adequate, weather proof clothing (be it sunny, rainy or black wind, fire and steel) is a good starting point if you truly want to enjoy your time at the festival. Plus, with limited control over your surroundings, you don’t want to have just one set of clothes as you won’t get out of the weekend Cillit Bang spotless.


After necessities and formalities, the next task was to find the best available spot to set up camp. Where and how you sleep, if you plan to sleep that is, is a good puzzle to solve before you hit ground zero. By default, all festival lodging is done in the two camping sites that are just a rock throw away from the stage areas. The festival bracelet gives you access to the important areas and the right to walk a free man is covered in the ticket price. The festival provides basic water toilets, cold water outlets, and other essentials for use, but pretty much everything else is up to the visitor’s survival skills. The locations where you can build your base of operations include a central lot full of sand, several different grass patches and the surrounding forest. How you develop your accommodation is up to you and your imagination. Most rely on small tents, cars, busses and trailers.

Then there are those few who are devout in what they do.

One that stuck to my mind this year was a camp made out of two large army tents. Rather than stop there, the tents were surrounded by a self-dug trenches and an eight feet tall guard tower made out of two-by-fours and plywood. I guess the camp was full of either army enthusiasts or actual service men, as their clothing was standard army issue. As I passed the camp a couple of times during my stay, it became apparent that the tower wasn’t just for show as it was manned at all times by three men, guarding the site laughing and screaming… hopelessly wasted. Seeing this, I felt confident in the Finnish Defence Forces. Trust me, Russia, you don’t want any part of this shit!


For food and drinks, you can bring your own and anything goes, but body checks are done each time you enter the stage surroundings. You can buy snacks, junk food and other stuff at several stands, but due to summer, most opt to bring their own food and grills. Even if you don’t have your own cuisine with you, the festival provides at least a couple of public fireplaces where one can sit down to warm up, meet new people and torch your sausages for quick nutrition. The festival seems to attract neighbor friendly people and most of the time, you can simply ask for a favor from a random somebody with a grill. Majority of boozing is done at the camp area and stand bought beers are there just to maintain your condition or tune it up in case of an emergency.

One thing is for sure, though. You won’t be drinking alone. People tend to wander around from camp to camp throughout the festival and new friends are always to be made. Which is probably one of the biggest reasons why people are lured into the festival. Thanks to the relaxed, friendly atmosphere around the camping site, it’s not uncommon to miss bands just because you’re chilling and contemplating life with strangers. Music, drinking and parties run throughout the festival, day and night, and the mutual fondness over the music makes Nummirock a safe experience. Altercations, accidents and violence are rare, if they even happen at all. It’s actually more dangerous to take part in a jazz festival or some other more mainstream event.


I’d been to Nummirock 6 years prior, so I had my expectations calibrated: catch some good bands live, enjoy the camping life, nature, grilling and sitting around shooting shit with like-minded people, maybe take a swim, a sauna and drink myself silly. Despite the spontaneous life during the festival, it helped that I traveled with a seasoned crew of Nummirock veterans and since the last time, a lot of things had been upgraded. Tent housing had turned into a caravan trailer. Matchsticks and flashlights had turned into fuel-powered aggregate and gasoline and even the pocket warm beer became cold this time around. Plus, having a bit of TOTD-duties to do kept me from getting too drunk.

Before we get to the bands, it’s always a good idea to bag a few extra TP rolls with you and perhaps some self-hygiene products. They make people appreciate you more, come the third day.

Anyway, about those bands…

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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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