Rockfest 2018

6.-9.6.2018 Hyvinkää, Finland

Although this year’s Rockfest is not as easy to reach for people depending on public traffic, that line-up simply cannot be missed. Even though this year as “normal” customer and not in official press mission. Hence not a full coverage or better photos…

Thanks to the nice driving pool company and the awesome pilot! Well, unfortunately the hottest May in years (4 weeks plus 25 Celsius and more, and no drop of rain) was immediately followed by typical Finnish summer scenario. Meaning, unpack your winter clothes. Day 1 welcomed us with a refreshing rain shower, and when we left it had about 3 – yes THREE!! – degrees plus…

Some criticism of last year had been listened to, still day 1 brought some confusion. For example, nobody had mentioned that you cannot bring any food – so lotsa stuff had to be thrown away at the entrance or gobbled up quickly. The cashless payment system via ribbon worked nicely, however, although not everybody understood the set-up right away. Well, naturally prices were pretty high in the area, unfortunately also at local groceries’ stands. Yet if you look around a bit further you find cheaper options for food and drink… And there is a fair ground as well where some mythical creatures had a lot of fun despite the chilly weather:

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Timo Rautiainen & Trio Niskalaukaus remained a soundtrack to our area exploration, and also Kilpi because of the rain. We discovered only later that you could reach the concert tent easily directly from the beer tent.  Stone Sour delivered a solid show. Bullet for My Valentine were the first festival highlight for many – the tent was so packed that only Wookies and people in the very front actually got to SEE the band…

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Ozzy Osbourne had raised high expectations – 30 trucks just for the stage, and a 29 page rider with a long wish list – the most obscure perhaps was the porcelain tea set. The show including all Oz-Hits was indeed amazing (although I had expected more gimmicks because of all those trucks). The lengthy guitar solo by  Zakk Wylde – OK, it was great – and the drum solo stretched War Pigs to about 20min, so that Ozzy can enjoy some more tea out of a porcelain cup. The  Ozzman  was in top shape and good mood, singing a bit off occasionally, but that’s part of the show, so I heard. Naturally you cannot end the show without “Paranoid” – the only band where Finns shouting  “soittakaa Paranoid” (play Paranoid) actually makes sense.

Leaving the area was not that easy, it took an hour (!) just to get off the parking lot. Because you enter and exit via very narrow paths through the woods… Therefore we recommend not to be an “early bird” as it seems those who come later also get to leave a bit sooner …

More photos / gallery link below, or click on images and visit Flickr!

Day 2 

… is all about bands that are fun to watch and have a lot of fun on stage, and no rain!

Rockfest 2018 Day 2 Shiraz Lane

Rockfest day 2, and upon arrival to the festival area some 80s Classic Rock style tunes catch my ear instantly. It is Shiraz Lane playing, a young band from Finland. Solid music and an energetic singer get the crowd rocking along despite the early time of day. ”Harder To Breathe” is probably the more known songs of them. (MK)

Rockfest 2018 Day 2 Beast in Black

Next up is Beast In Black, another quite new but great Finnish band with fast power metal beats combined with the high, sometimes female sounding voice of Yannis Papadopoulos. They got the crowd wrapped around their little fingers right from the start, and deserve very well to be on the main Radio Rock stage. Even between songs the crowd is cheering, and with their first single ”Blind and Frozen” every single one is singing along. (MK)

My day began with Von Hertzen Brothers – who radiate sunshine, but there was also some outside the tent. Beautiful music that simply makes you happy!

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Not much to say about Children of Bodom – once again a blast, and the show included all my faves (e.g. Hate Me). This time less chaos and nonsense on stage, well, in comparison (just remember that bar thing…) – a great gig, as always.

Sonata Arctica is a band I never get tired to hear or see. Their gigs are always energetic, and Tony Kakko has a talent to take the crowd along right from minute 1. Today is no different, and the one hour playing time ends way to soon with the obligatory ”We Need Some Vodka”. We get to hear a great number of hits like Full Moon or Closer To an Animal, but I miss my favourite Tallulah. (MK)

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Judas Priest – many have been looking forward to see this band. It took me a while to realize that Rob Halford’s ever changing costumes were another visual key (besides the backdrop) to reflected the (musical) time travel. And fantastic visuals indeed! When finally Painkiller was on – well, all hell broke loose. And then Rob drove on stage on a motor bike, all leather and studs … what a great show! The only surprise – not Breaking the Law but Living After Midnight was the final song, quite fitting to the actual time. Sorry Lost Society, but as we see you on Sunday anyway, we decided to take off earlier…

Melanie’s photos HERE and below an interactive gallery, or just click on images and enjoy via Flickr!

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Day 3

… finally turned out to be an ideal festival day. Not too hot or too cold or windy… and I should mention that thanks to the “adults only” policy you could move freely with an alcoholic beverage. Usually you are trapped inside a bar area… and in case you still did not feel dizzy enough despite consumption of liquids, you could use one of those…

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While the colleagues went to see Arion and later Reckless Love (check out Melanie’s photos), I began my day with Amorphis – the only surprise was the absence of Tomi Joutsen’s  Toaster microphone. Otherwise business as usual – meaning a breathtaking awesome show – they even played Against Widows, jeeeee – ending with House of Sleep. And right afterwards you could enjoy the Eläkeläiset Humppa version of the very same song (giggle). Then I went to check out Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons and his Blues-Hardrock, and then it was time…

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Megadeth is not a band to miss. Unfortunately the camera refused to work, hence just a few cell phone snapshots. And I did not stay right amidst the front rows for long as I did not want to be – involuntary – part of a mosh pit… In my opinion the crowd was bigger than later during the headliner, and also in the crowd there was much more going on. No wonder, the Deth dudes gave it all and Mr. Mustaine was in very good mood. Then you just warmed up headbanging to e.g. Symphony of Destruction, Peace Sells and Holy Wars – and the guys  bow to the audience and walk off – WHAT? It’s over??? Well, a great gig always feels way too short…

Rockfest Day 3 Marilyn Manson

Turmion Kätilöt would have been on my watch-list but there were way too many people in the tent … and it was time to check out  Marilyn Manson at the main stage anyway. And yes, finally a full-length show performed by the main man in a very good mood. We have seen otherwise…. As for the show, I simply recommend to check out Melanie’s snapshots (just click on the Manson-Pic or the link above).

Apropos moshpit – later we saw another one, yet the Bonsai version involving 5 people when the final Party act S-Tool performed their Rock’n’Death, before we got on our way back home …

Day 4

Admittedly the three days before had taken their toll, yet a band like Brother Firetribe puts a smile on your face right away. The last festival day should be the most perfect weather-wise. No winter clothes needed after sunset…

Rockfest Day 4 Amaranthe

Amaranthe had a bit of bad luck and could not perform their last song. First a few minutes of technical difficulties, and then the guitar player proposed to his girlfriend on stage – perhaps because he feared she’d say no otherwise?   😉

Kotiteollisuus drew a huge crowd, as expected, and there’s not much to say about the Opeth show – a solid and entertaining piece of Prog.

Rockfest Day 4 Avatar

I knew that Avatar are good, thanks to several videos and Finnish TV – but THAT good? I was blown away by their only second festival gig in Finland. HELLLOOOO – this band belongs on a headliner stage! First this mad-as-a-hatter Joker/Crow/Phantom-of-the-Opera front man with an impeccable voice, then this catchy Metal-Rock-Goth-Death-Thrash-mixture, then this awesome show – festival bookers, grab a telephone right now! I bet everybody not being a fan yet and witnessing this performance is a fan of this band now!

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The final act on the main stage of this evening and the festival, Avenged Sevenfold, did a good job and let off a huge pyro- and flames show. Yeah they rocked – still for me the top act of this day was Avatar…

And after that right back home. Summing up, yes it was worth the trip just considering the line-up! The organization worked quite well, only the quite aggressive dust of this airfield area was a challenge even for healthy sinuses after a 4-day assault. Anyway, CU next year!

Text & photos: Melanie Kircher, Klaudia Weber

Klaudia Weber

Klaudia Weber

reckless and merciless dictator, so KNEEL! In other words, editor-in-chief, translator, website and ad admin, "Jane of all trades" - - - addicted to books (everything between Lord Of The Rings & quantum physics) and music, mainly Metal made in Finland. Furthermore, there's painting, drawing, movies, theater... so you can expect some variety on this website too.