A glance back at Flow Festival 2015

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By Pirjo & Martino

Flow Festival was arranged for the 12th time in Helsinki. From a small soul/jazz event in 2004, this year Flow attracted over 70,000 people to its urban scene Suvilahti, which is an old industrial area – now a home to many cultural organizations.

Flow is not just about indie rock. It’s about city culture in large: there is great food, nice decors, lights and different art performances in the exhibition space Art Laboratory. People come to taste food from tens of food vendors that compete of culinarists’ attention on who is most popular and innovative. Flow is also an environment-friendly festival. They state to be carbon neutral, and just outside the festival area there is a huge bike parking. Even a service for fixing bikes!

We have visited Flow Festival for three times now. Every year it seems to us bigger and more beautiful, but this year we felt it was unfortunately a little bit too crowded. Sometimes we didn’t get into the gigs which were held in tents. Luckily the organizers had put some benches just outside the tent, and we listened to Tove Lo’s gig mostly from outside, which worked surprisingly well. As the mobile connections were down most of the time, you had to rely on good luck if leaving your company. Despite these difficulties, we enjoyed our Flow a lot, like always.



Then into the Flow music, which we came to enjoy for two days: Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday we arrived just in time for seeing Belle & Sebastian. It was an enjoyable show with the highlight of 'The Stars of Track and Field' with the video of Helsinki Olympics 1952 broadcast on the stage. Belle & Sebastian knew how to treat the public: they created a very special atmosphere by inviting lots of people from the audience to dance with them on the stage. Success was guaranteed.



After a small break, Roísín Murphy rocked the main stage. The ex-Moloko singer definitely gave one of the most unique shows we had ever seen. After a bit more than one hour’s show of transforming costumes to almost every song and listening to her strong, jazzy voice, she created an intense connection between public and her own world. As the last song, before encore, they played Moloko’s ’Pure Pleasure Seeker’ and the public was on fire.



The last show of Saturday for us was Pet Shop Boys (unfortunately we missed the Future Islands). It was a good idea to have their show when it was dark, so the videos and laser lights of the show were experienced as they deserved. The gig was the last show of their three-years Electric tour. The last song was the legendary ’Go West’, with all the public singing together.



We started our Sunday Flow with dancing into the rhythms of a bright Norwegian indie-fusion group Kakkmaddafakka, followed by K-X-P, a Finnish band (synth, bass and two drums) making interesting electro hard rock.

At 19:00, Beck started his great gig on the main stage, which lasted almost two hours, where he played the best of his discography. It was a pity he had to perform so early. It was still too bright for the lights and video show.



Then, it was time for the long awaited Florence + the Machine. She was jumping on the stage, taking over it, very emotional and stunning in her strong presence and voice. The atmosphere was intimate and liberated; the music really touched the audience. The set ended with "What Kind of Man", "Drumming Song", "Spectrum" and "Dog Days Are Over". Flow Festival 2015 ended in the best possible way. We were left speechless.



The photos belong to Martino Fantato and Mix Grill. You can enjoy more to our photo albums: 15/08 and 16/08.
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