Ruisrock is a legendary music festival in the Ruissalo National Park by the Turku archipelago. It is actually one of the oldest music festivals in Europe and it still sells out. This year they made a new turnout record: 95 000 people!
For us it’s a place for a proper weekend out with the girls and this year having artists like Pharrel Williams and Ellie Goulding performing I had to book my summer vacation so that I can make it to the festival. Instead of buying tickets for the whole three days we thought two might be just fine. And oh lord it was.
On Friday we were all scattered around the city and I joined the girls who were the earliest off work. As one might already know, alcohol is a must in Finland whatever you do. So they’ve banned people from bringing their own drinks into the festival area, of course. But that’s ok, we always cope when it comes to King Alcohol! As long as the bottles and juice cartons in your bag look like they haven’t been opened, you can bring it all in. Instead of heating plastic corks off ED-bottles we opted for one-liter juice cartons and filled them with wine through a little slid with a syringe and glued the seams back.
Even though the execution was perfect it’s still always a little stressful going through the inspection. Apparently there was one officious person opening people’s bottles and sniffing them before letting them through, but thankfully we had a very nice young girl instead... who didn’t really give a fuck what we were bringing in.
I didn’t see many bands on Friday but that doesn’t mean that the day would’ve been bad at all! We had a lot of fun meeting random people, I decided to go for a swim (or a customary wee actually...), after which I couldn’t find my way back to my friends who also had all my clothes and my bag. Embarrassing, yes, hilarious, oh yes. When we finally got food some random dude(tte) decided to flip the plate out of my hand while passing, for which my instant reaction was hitting him hard on the nose. He decided to stay in our group half-crying, annoying me more every second but thankfully other people told him to gather the pieces and piss off before I properly attack.
The last gig I did see, which was great because it was Ellie Goulding! She did sing on playback, but I didn’t really care because company was great; I bumped into my little brother and his girlfriend.
On day two I woke up, not hungover, but extreeemely tired and with my feet in pain (I had walked home, which makes about 12km). I got up thinking that’s it, I don’t care how much it cost, I can’t do another day, I’m just gonna pack my things and drive to our summer house! Two cups of coffee and some breakfast later I was already texting my friends what the schedule was, how were we going to Ruissalo, etc. And thank goodness I did! On Saturday they had all the bands I really wanted to see! We took the Ruisrock-bus (which were very well organized this year!) from the market place in Turku and walked the famous Via Dolorosa through the woods into the festival area.
The first performer was a Finnish pop princess Jenni Vartiainen. I had great expectation but she exceeded them big time! Brilliant party starter, even though she had couple really slow and moody songs. All the performers we wanted to see were performing on the same stage so we didn’t have to run around the area between gigs but instead could spend our time in the ”alcohol-area” with some sparkling wine.
Next up was THE Pharrel Williams! He had a group of awesome hiphop dancers with him and he took a lot of people from the audience up onto the stage, even a group of under-10-year-old children and made us scream ”Future of Finland!” for them :D No pressure! He has soooo many good songs, loads of them made for other artists but still absolutely brilliant performed by him, we had a blaaast! I don’t know if I’ve ever jumped so much.
Some more drinks after that and another brilliant gig by a Finnish pop-rock band Haloo Helsinki. After that Sun started finally sinking and we found good positions in the area in front of the stage for the last performer; Axwell/Ingrosso (from Swedish House Mafia). The right way to finish the festival weekend (at least for us); a proper party with fireworks afterwards and the most hellish walk home ever!
We often say in Finland that if you haven’t lost your memory, any of your possessions or if nobody’s injured, the weekend has been incomplete. So no worries, I lost my wallet in front of our house and a friend broke her ankle, so it was surely a perfect weekend! It really was, even with all the nightmarish walks home and the amount of sand in my hair and clothes, the weekend was more perfect than I even expected! :)