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  • Many new or renovated venues are now opening in Helsinki

    14.03.2024 Mervi Vuorela
    Helsinki’s reputation as Finland’s most attractive gig city has been on the decline in recent years. Is it time for a revival?

    Helsinki’s live music scene took a step backwards in the mid-2020s, when Nosturi, Virgin Oil and The Circus closed down. Now the situation seems to have improved, as new or renovated venues have opened or are opening all at once.

    Last week, the Living Music Association ELMU ry, which ran Nosturi, made a rental offer for the old Verkatehdas in Vanhankaupunginkoski. The premises will be used for concert activities, networking for cultural entrepreneurs and freelancers, and community cultural activities open to all. Negotiations have been launched and ELMU says the city has responded positively to the plans.

    In Pasila, a venue called Böle Arena & Club opened last week. This is not exactly a new concert arena, but a rebranded, little-used Amfi Hall in Messukeskus. The arena, which has a raised grandstand, can accommodate up to 4000 people at best. So far, the events calendar only includes a handful of gigs from the likes of Käärijä and guitar virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen.

    Alppila is also on the move, with Kulttuuritalo opening its renovated premises last month. Closed for more than 10 years, Alppi Hall was brought back into use and is now home to the Kult nightclub, where DJs and live shows are planned. Aalto Hall, which once hosted the likes of Jimi Hendrix and the Ramones, has seen an increase in seating capacity and a revamp of its lighting and sound systems. Half of the concerts will now be held on the floor, with the benches temporarily removed.

    Ääniwalli in the Vallila industrial area has also completed its renovation. The opening was celebrated on 8 March with the queer techno-trance club Korgy. The interior and floor plan of Ääniwall, which has been open since 2013, has been renovated, the stage has been enlarged and the sound and lighting systems have been updated. During the spring, Ääniwall will host Eevil Stöö, Luke Slater (UK), François X (FR), Aivovuoto, Klamydia, Discharge (UK) and Eyehategod (US).

    Later in the spring, live music will also be experienced outside when Lasipalatsi Square launches its events in Kamppi. The square will host open events and have a capacity of around 1500-2000 people. To round off the events calendar, Popeda will play its only show of the summer in the capital region on 30 August.

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