In Finland, where Metal is mainstream, you can indeed get surprised.
For example during a visit to the National Museum in Helsinki, Metal bands and their music are included in the “100 years of Finland” show … (and you can spot Princess Leia – she wears Finnish design jewelry here: Lapponia “Planetoid Valleys”)
And I had never thought that I would write an article with the terms “Heavy Metal” and “museum” in one and the same sentence – let alone that there actually is such an exhibition. The FAME – Finnish Music Hall of Fame – Music Museum in Helsinki has dedicated the special show “Metal Export” to Metal since mid-July, and it is anything but “dusty” and “boring”. For the collection FAME has created a lovely backstage atmosphere, complete with couch and fridge. And so authentic that you feel at home as soon as you enter the room (well, it’s a lot bigger, cleaner and better ventilated in FAME than most of the real ones I’ve encountered, though 😉 ) No wonder, some of the exhibits are from the legendary Nosturi Club, which was recently closed and demolished. Here you can enjoy a lot of live videos (e.g. Insomnium, Moonsorrow, Amorphis) and interview clips – e.g. Apocalyptica at rehearsals. It’s funny if you discover photographer colleagues in one of the clips … or a very early gig of a now famous band, which rather seems like a rehearsal room session… Among the presented “artifacts” are an Apocalyptica cello, Children Of Bodom equipment cases and a micro stand that Tomi Joutsen had used. I recommend to take your time, there is so much to see – I spent 3x more time there than planned… and still haven’t seen “everything”. So “unfortunately” I have to go there again 🙂
But even outside this special exhibition – which should be permanent, broad hint! – there is plenty of Metal to be found: Nightwish have their own booth, and browsing the digital Finnish music history you find everything from Kalevala, Eurovision, Smack and Hanoi Rocks to HIM and The 69 Eyes. And in the karaoke booth you can enjoy screaming and growling to various Metal hits. I especially liked the virtual reality features, where you can play conductor of an orchestra, get on the band bus with Kotiteollisuus or stand on a huge festival stage with Hallo Helsinki. Hehe, if they had chosen a Tuska event, I might have seen myself in the photo pit … Summing up, Metal fans shouldn’t miss this exhibition!
PS: FAME also has a café/restaurant with regular concerts, check the website!