Poest of The Fall gave a great gig in front af a huge audience
Viikate gave the audience some nice Finnish melancholy
Antti and the Finns knew how to PARTY!
The Linnunlahti beach perfectly located at the festival area
Ilosaarirock ('06) - Karelia Rocks!
Being a very popular festival in Finland running for the 35th year and with an interesting line-up, Moving Hands had to visit 'Ilosaari' to give you our version of the Karelian rock festival. 'Ilosaari' is always sold out and each year over 20.000 visitors go to Joensuu, in the deep northern Karelian woods not far from the Russian border.
'Ilosaari' '06 had a nice line-up including interesting bands such as Katatonia, Entombed, Poets of The Fall, Viikate, The Damned, Silverbullit and Negative. Other artists included The Darkness, Kid Koala and 22 Pistepirkko plus several others. Many bands at 'Ilosaari' are rock, indie or metal and it's a tasty mix of international as well as Finnish ones. The festival has five stages as well as indoor club scenes.
One thing that characterise 'Ilosaari' is the professionalism; cleanliness, great sound, good stages with big screens for those not close to the actual stage, no long lines, no fuzz and last but not least; nice and competent personnel. 35 years of experience may be one reason for this organisational success. Great work compared to most of the Swedish and German festivals. Another great thing with 'Ilosaari' is of course the audience. Most visitors were social and happy - contrary to the general view on Finns. Maybe the warm and sunny weather along with the beer had a little something to do with the good vibes.
The good conditions mentioned above helped the bands perform well. Swedish Katatonia made an impressive gig, even better than the one at Wave Gotik Treffen earlier this year. Especially “My Twin” and of course the closing classic “Evidence” were really really good! The audience showed its appreciation more than they did in Leipzig. To put it simply, the Ilosaari crowd is a good one and it felt like the bands also liked the audiences...
A band that really attracted a big crowd were Poets of The Fall, from Helsinki, with their somewhat HIM-inspired emotional and melancholic music. The highlight of their gig, and maybe the entire festival, was the title track from their latest album, ”Carnival of Rust”, which really came out well on stage!
The fact that 'Ilosaari' is organized completely by volunteers and music enthusiasts makes the event unique in Finland. The festival is owned and run by Joensuun Popmuusikot (The Pop Musicians of Joensuu). This is an association dedicated to the promotion of live music in the north of Karelia, where Joensuu is located. 'Ilosaari' was created for the public and not for making profit.
On the whole, the festival was simply great, although I don't understand the connection between rock plus metal bands and the reggae artists that performed. Besides that, it's absolutely recommended – maybe even the best festival. Now, we can only look forward to the 36th edition of 'Ilosaari' - just make sure to buy your tickets early!
Information on how to get to Joensuu
Information about Joensuu
Pictures by Katja Roselli.