A cheerful crowd filled the beautiful natural environment of Kansanpuisto Park on Ruissalo Island to celebrate the 50th Ruisrock festival. Over the weekend, people hugged, kissed, fell in love, cried, were tipsy, partied, danced, ran into the sea, did handstands, smiled, and laughed. The festival began in whimsical weather, but was eventually celebrated with mostly dry shoes, and the dozens of live performances featured great parties, wild bouncing, masterly vocal and instrumental talent, awesome feats, and spectacular visuals.
International and Finnish hip hop artists and the power women of pop took over Friday. The ground-breaking hip hop collective Brockhampton took Niittylava by storm in its futuristic outfits, and the audience in front of Sateenkaari moshed with JPEGMAFIA. The American musician-DJ-producer Diplogot the party started on Rantalava, which also featured pop star Rita Ora who enchanted her listeners and drew in a large, happy crowd. The night was crowned by pop star Ellie Goulding who gave a warm performance despite the cool weather.
Saturday featured a real tour de force by Finnish artists in particular. Known for its numerous hits, Gasellit drew a large sing-along crowd to Niitty. JVGbrought thousands of festival goers to Niittylava and delivered one of the most popular shows of the festival, with multiple feats from Teemu Brunila to Vesala, who also gave an amazing performance of her own. Ville Valo & Agents drew friends of Finnish schlager to Rantalava, while Empire of The Sun created a totally unique musical and visual universe in Ruissalo. Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike took the Niittylava stage late at night, making the festive crowd dance so hard that the ground shook.
Sunday was kicked off with the Emma Award-winning Pyhimys & Saimaa with its massive musical arrangements. Sanni’sconcert on Niittylava oozed fresh energy, and later, Apulanta played on the same stage to masses of fans of heavier sounds. Latin rhythms set the beat to the party in the evening. Rapper-producer Bad Bunny brought the party to life on Rantalava, and the whole Niitty area began to swing when the hugely popular Columbian reggaeton star J Balvin dished out dance music with a Latin twist. New pop phenomenon Troye Sivanset the mood on Telttalava and brought the festival program to an end after the charming Marina.
Pink Box was produced in cooperation with the Pehmee collective and featured a diverse range of program throughout the weekend, while the art program offered a variety of things to see from installations to a plant jam session. Some of the most popular events were the performative Vogue Ballon Friday night with its fabulous costumes and attitudes and, of course, the Rave Container, a Ruisrock classic.
But it was the fantastic audience at Ruisrock who were the stars of the weekend and, despite the unfortunate news on Sunday evening, made the 50th Ruisrock a celebration of positivity, friendship, joy, and happiness.
Looking forward to the next Ruisrock and the next 50 years, but first:
have a great summer!