Accordionist Lauri Kotamäki's new Kotamäki Company ensemble has been described as a rugged but affectionate rock band. Photo: JP Niemelä

Many New Names Announced for the Festival Week 11–17th July: Ida Elina, Kotamäki Company, Maija Kauhanen, Pepe Willberg…

The programme map of the Kaustinen Folk Music Festival is nearly ready, and tens of thousands of guests are expected for the festival week 11-17th July. Värttinä and Mari Boine from Norway are among the most anticipated stars of the festival week. In addition to them, many new artists have confirmed their participation, for instance Ida Elina, Kotamäki Company, Maija Kauhanen, Antti Ketonen, Vilma Jää, Tötterssön, Ellinoora and Pepe Willberg.

The festival area in the center of Kaustinen traditionally includes almost 30 separate stages where music is played throughout the week. There will be a total of about 4,500 performers and nearly 1,000 hours of programming. The theme of the festival is TOGETHER!, to emphasize the importance community, tolerance and multiculturalism.

- We hope that the theme will touch every performer, visitor and volunteer. Both new and old volunteer workers are welcome to join, registration is in progress. The whole spirit of the festival is built through working together, says Programme Director Anne-Mari Hakamäki.
- We're more than excited, and looking forward to the festival week now more than ever!

Unesco Nomination Creates New Beginnings

Internationality is shown in a new way during the festival week. The global situation limits travel, but on the other hand, Unesco's decision to place the Kaustinen Fiddle Playing tradition on the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage also opens new connections between Kaustinen and the outside world. The Unesco celebration will take place on Thursday in the Keskipohjanmaa Arena, and congratulations are extended, for example, by representatives of the Sega tradition from Mauritius.
Artists are arriving from all over Europe: Spöket i Köket (Sweden), Dawda Jobarteh (Denmark), Bára Grímsdóttir & Chris Foster (Iceland) and Tove de Fries (Denmark) as guest of Tallari, and Catriona McDonald from Shetland joins forces with Timo Alakotila.
The Scottish groups Blazin´ Fiddles and Talisk are both among Europe’s best-known folk bands, and are sure to be among the highlights of the festival week. The most distant guests include folk artist Jeff Karoub from the United States and Group Abaim from Mauritius, representing the Sega tradition. The Helsinki-Cotonou Ensemble represents a Finnish-Beninian party groove.
An international delegation will also arrive in Kaustinen to watch new emerging performers such as the 2022 showcase bands Lapua New Guinea, Bergå Folk Project and Zäpämmät.
An international seminar on Saturday will address the links between living heritage and music education. The seminar takes place in the Kaustinen Hall and features speakers from representatives of Kaustinen Näppäri pedagogues to experts from Denmark and Mauritius.

Instrument Builders Take the Floor

A novelty in the Folk Musician’s House programme is a series of three concerts in which the instrument builder and the musician talk about their collaboration. The valuable work of the instrument builders will be presented during the week together with the Taito Crafts Organization.
The Ostrobothnia Chamber Orchestra celebrates its 50th anniversary by performing Wiljami Niittykoski's music in the Arena. The Morsiustaivas Opera, directed by Panu Valo, is seen as the Kaustinen Cavalcade Concert in the Kaustinen Hall together with Hääkuoro choir.
The new Master Folk Musicians will be announced in the traditional way on opening day Monday. A multitude of concerts also pay homage to the old Master Folk Musicians from the past 50 years.
Aapintuvan pelimannit, led by master folk musician Mauno Järvelä, are this year’s band of the year and have been one of the driving forces behind the festival for decades. During the festival week, the band will play on the Keskipohjanmaa Arena and several other stages too.
The festival starts already on Sunday 10th July with the much-anticipated Night Hike event organized by the Perhonjoki Valley Hikers. The hike takes a brand new route this year.

The Regional Theme of Karelia is Also for Children

The provincial theme of the year Karelia will bring to the festival, among other things, Loimolan Voima and Timoi Munne's regrettably current monologue Unis da mierol - The Growth Story of a Karelian Boy. Children’s Kaustinen also features the musical play Karelian Dogs.
The Finnish-Swedish programme includes Marianne Maans, I Fäälan and Lilla Spelmanstämman.
Lastenteltan lavan valloittaa muun muassa Tanssiteatteri Rimpparemmin Ammattieläin, Lastenduo Vejie, Serkkusirkus ja Yhden Joukon Yhtye. Lasten Kaustisen ohjelmaa on myös Keskipohjanmaa-areenalla, kun Naattiorkesteri esiintyy tiistaina ja Arja Koriseva sekä Aki Hietala vierailee Lastenmusiikkiorkesteri Loiskiksen Malmstén-konsertin solistina lauantaina. Saman päivän ohjelmaan osallistuu myös tubettaja Jaakko Parkkali.

Dance Every Night from Wednesday

Folk dance is strongly on display this year. The stages include Kirjavat and Polenta (Hallway), Riina Hosio and Pelmakat from Motora (Blood Stopping Words), Motora Dance Groups & Rälläkkä, Romanian Romansul, Polokkarit and Polskatroikka and Ottoset groups from the Kaustinen Youth Association.
In the Keskipohjanmaa Arena, there’s a lot of dancing every night from Wednesday to Saturday. This year new dance events will be established alongside the audience's enduring favorites: Thursday's Night Quadrille and Friday's Iltavilli.
Wednesday is dedicated to minuets from morning to night. There are dance workshops, a musical lecture, and the day culminates at the Arena with the Night of the Minuets. On Saturday, the festival week finishes with a dance lead by the Orivesi All Stars at the Keskipohjanmaa Arena.

Mobile Application for the Audience

The festival area enters a new era, as the renovation of Kaustinen College of Music’s main building in the heart of the festival area has been completed. The new PH Nordgren Hall pays homage to composer Pehr Henrik Nordgren. Club Kallio will take a new shape with the addition of a pub-type venue next to the Club Kallio stage area. You can now spend the whole evening at various concerts up on the rocky hilltop.
In the coming summer, festival guests will also have access to the Kaustinen application, which you can download to your smartphone. The app provides up-to-date information on concerts, gigs and other programme.
The 55th Kaustinen Folk Music Festival will take place in 2022 from Monday to Sunday, 11-17th July.

Additional information and interviews:
Kaustinen Folk Music Festival
Anne-Mari Hakamäki, Programme Director, +358 40 358 2446
Valtteri Valo, Executive Director, +358 40 358 2413