Ruisrock in Turku kicks off

The sun did win from the rain, it was a sunny musically day after all. The Ruisrock festival in Turku is the oldest festival of Finland and is held on a very special place at the national park of Ruissaloan on an island West of Turku in the sea. It is actually the second oldest rock festival in Europe, after Pinkpop in The Netherlands. This year they celebrate their 50th anniversary so they must be knowing how to make a great party.

Oppose to the festival from last week, Provinsii Rock which was in the middle of Finland, this one takes place in Finlands second biggest city Turku, situated on the shore having via the Aland islands a “connection” with Sweden. It’s sold out, which means 105 000 people will go to Ruissalo. This is what they say about themselves: ‘Ruisrock takes its audience to another world filled with joy, friendship, and freedom.’

There is a change noticeable in the bands that play, there was before about 60% rock music now “only” 25% is rock music. Pop and hip hop are taking over from rock music, although metal music still is going strong in Finland. It’s needed to change the genres because otherwise Ruisrock does not last long, now they get a new and younger audience so they can go on for a while.

Ruisrock has joined the Keychange pledge, aiming to balance the uneven gender ratio in the music industry. The 50/50 target for festivals will be achieved at Ruisrock already this year.

The presenters of the Provinssi rock were now a stage as DJ’s to Kick-off Ruisrock, they were almost the only one on the whole area, but they have some other times to make up. The only artists that play 3 times at Ruisrock. 

Vilma Alina performed just in between the rain clouds. She made it shine again. Lovely easy to listen to her music. 

Elastinen started his set with the player to the sun, it helped the rain stopped. It was a great opener at one of the bigger stages everyone came directly in a good mood from his songs. It’s a real showman and he did show off, the crowd liked him for that.

Metal was also present at Ruisrock, Vaxinator let their guitars howl and their voices crumble. There was not a big crowd at the stage, which was a shame. 

Ida Paul and Kalle Lindroth started as a duo, later the band came along and made their music a bit more solid. Nice matching vocals made their music fragile but still strong. 

The only tent at Ruisrock started to get filled at the moment the Gettomasa started to play. They are second in the album charts at the moment in Finland. That explains their popularity, the rap duo got the crowd on their hands. 

At the other end of the main terrain, Sini Yasmin tried to get over the sound of the Gettomasa. Her enthusiasm was great. Alas the audience was not yet ready for it. She had better clothing than at Provinssi where she had to grab her bra several times while jumping around. She also brought a string section which sounded very well with her voice. It seemed it were a bit more modest than last time. 

Jpegmafia was an angry “mother fucker” who crowed-surfed on is own crowd. He didn’t like president Donald Trump from the USA and he clearly stated that. What energy came from that man, He did it all by himself, put on his own music, no DJ helping him. Respect for that. 

From a totally different level came the voice of Evelina, complete with a dancing crew who took the crowd to sing class. It was nice to see everyone sing along. 

On the Beach stage, the Famous Finnish singer/actor Reino Nordin gave his best singing to an enthusiastic crowd. Some of them were dancing in the water, due to the weather they were quite alone there.

Mega the Stallion was not really about singing but more about herself centered exposure, which fit the name perfectly. With some sexy dancers beside her, she put up a nasty show. 

Many hearts got beating a lot faster at the moment boy band Brockhampton got on stage. Many screaming young girls that wanted the attention from one of the guys. They were with many so no problems with that. They had a rocking hard show and even the earth moved on their beats. All had fun, band both audience, a good choice from the festival to book them! 

Hip hop/pop on the Telttalava stage. This time with Finnish singer IBE or Benjamin Peltonen. He became famous via Instagram, now also by his music. 

Rita Ora was the queen of the show with her own dancers who were at her service. Like always she gave her best and performed like her music was only for the audience of the day. Alas, a guy suddenly got on stage for his moment of fame. Security took the boy quickly and professional of the stage. As if nothing happened, Rita just went on with her song. Now that’s professional. 

Future brought some extra guests with them on stage. They jumpy around and around and returned the enthusiasm by giving the guests also their stage. 

Nice to hear from 17 musicians some “real” music from a big band; The Ricky-Tick Big Band and Julkinen Sana. It was great to see they all had fun on stage and did a good performance. They were founded in 2010, so they brought some experience with them. The three singers – Paleface, Redrama, and Tommy Lindgren – came from hip hop music, but now the band is jazzier. But the hip hop sips though anyway, a bit like Guru’s Jazzmatazz. 

Also accompanied by a strong band was Elias Gould performing. It was fun to see the band and the crowd interact. People went dancing and sing along with Elias.

The main act of the night was Ellie Goulding. She was also at Ruisrock in 2015 and came back, saw and conquered the Finnish audience once again. She started with ‘Love like you do’ to win the hearts of the Finns, which worked. The field was incredibly full. After the show of Diplo everyone wanted to see and hear Ellie Goulding live. She sang her hits in uptempo dance versions and danced to it herself. 

So the first day of Ruisrock was over, the weather was actually quite good, considering the forecast that predicted only rain, that made it a lot more appealing. You could hear the new way that the festival was going more into the youngsters music and away from rock and metal. 

Photo’s (c) Hans Kreutzer 

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