Festival Report: Tuska Open Air 2017

So it’s winter. 2018. New year, yet mankind is consuming the planet, waiting to be devoured by global warming and other cataclysmic events. So what’s a good way to get rid of all that negativity? Look back at the summer of 2017 and Tuska festival’s 20th Anniversary.

by Mikko K.& Matti M.

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[MK] While there were some special programs and special recollections laid out the festival area (such as posters from the past years), the 20th anniversary didn’t seem like it was in any way underlined at the end of the day. Business as usual, the 20th Tuska felt like ‘just another’ Tuska festival. In good and bad, where bad are mainly differences in taste. Maybe that’s the way to do it, really, even if in all honesty, I might have been expecting something a bit more special. Then again, maybe they didn’t want to blow their budget on unnecessary bullcrap that people would forget the next day anyway. Be thyself. And in Tuska’s case, it’s being a smooth, reliable operation that gives metal a proper platform. Yearly, there are some improvements here and there that, at the end of the day, make the overall experience roll better.  Especially for those 30+ year olds that have begun to find that there are limits to their once able bodies and look for comfort and options in food, drinks and whatnot. Thus, instead of just getting a ‘beer’, they get to say what kind of a beer they want. On the flipside, there’s plenty of those that continue to remind how things were a lot better back in the day. Me, personally, I miss Kaisaniemi park as a setting but it’s understandable that things had to be moved to a bigger venue. I also have to mention that I love the festival’s diverse crowd. It’s nice seeing people come together.

Friday’s weather wasn’t too good

There were some changes to the press stuff as well, as photo passes were basically given only one per media to try to minimize the stuffing in the photo pits. Surprisingly, access to the photo pit was given to some Youtubers, but to their credit they seemed to stand a bit to the side and not take that much space. Did I say surprising? They probably get a lot more viewers than us underground living night trolls or your old webzines anyway, so their inclusion seems to be in line with today’s world. The times, they are a-changin’, man! Yet these new rules and restrictions didn’t really show up in practice, as the photo pits were still absolutely stuffed during the biggest acts. Impossible to move around so if you had shitty luck and got a shitty spot, you had a hard time getting a decent shot without a fight. Wouldn’t have minded dividing the camera blob into two, like some festivals have done when there are too many people to please.

As it’s been with some of the previous Tuska festivals, 2018 proved once again that the third stage is where the magic happens a lot of the time. A lot of good shit hidden away from the big crowds (Barathrum should have been on a bigger stage). Second stage offered some nice alternatives as well. While I can appreciate the tent in some cases, like when it makes it easier to control the lighting and when it provides cover during the shitty weather, audience wise it can still fill up far too quickly, locking people out of a good show. To me, the best layout gig-wise was when the two main stages were arranged almost side by side, but this was back in 2012. Granted, that set up required good weather, so if the global warming keeps going on, like it will since nobody gives a flying fuck, I suppose all the stages will be inside tents soon anyway. Maybe then Tuska will book D.R.I to play “Acid Rain”?

Tuska Festival has been here for a while and after serving a its record breaking 37,000 metalheads, will most likely be here for a long while. Happy anniversary and may there be another 20.

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As of January 2018, Tuska has signed up acts such as KreatorArch EnemyEmperor + Ihsahn, At the Gates, Clutch and Europe, among many others, to perform at this year’s festival.

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