Chapter 7 How to Flow
Published: January 2015
Component type: chapter
Published in: Focus On Festivals
Parent DOI: 10.23912/978-1-910158-15-9-2599
The Flow Festival, which began in 2004, is a rhythm music festival that takes place every August in Helsinki, the Finnish capital. It started out as a small event organised by a group of friends. Ten years later its audience figures have multiplied, the festival organisation has professionalised and the Flow Festival is now one of the biggest arts festivals in Finland. In this paper, I describe the development of the festival, how it uses/plays with urban space and why it is especially popular with well-educated young and early-middle-aged local audiences. Furthermore, I discuss key factors that have contributed to the success of the Flow Festival: the urban nature of the festival, its strong use of and presence in social media, the role of the festival as an after-holiday meeting point and, last but not least, its artistic quality (Klaić 2007a). Flow is certainly an artistic festival. However, commercial aspects have gained importance as the festival has grown. Without commercial knowhow, such a big event would not be viable, no matter how ambitious it is artistically. The paper is based on several data sources: the festival’s user studies conducted by Cantell in 2005 (Cantell 2007) and by the festival organisers in 2007 and 2010–2012; an internet survey on festival participation conducted among the residents of Helsinki Metropolitan area in 2006 (Linko and Silvanto 2011); articles about the festival published in Helsingin Sanomat (the main newspaper in Helsinki and Finland) since 2004; and interviews with the Managing Director of the festival.
- Satu Silvanto (Author)
For the source title:
- Chris Newbold, De Montfort University (Editor)
- Christopher Maughan, Freelance writer (Editor)
- Jennie Jordan, De Montfort University (Editor)
- Franco Bianchini, Leeds Beckett University (Editor)
Silvanto, S. (2015) "Chapter 7 How to Flow" In: Newbold, C., Maughan, C., Jordan, J. & Bianchini, F. (ed) . Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers http://dx.doi.org/10.23912/978-1-910158-15-9-2647
Cantell, T. (2007) Festivaalien tutkimisen tärkeydestä (The value of festival mapping), in Helsinki - a festival city: the development, actors and audiences of urban festival, S. Silvanto (ed.), City of Helsinki Urban Facts, Helsinki City of Helsinki Cultural Office pp.166- 173.
Helsingin Sanomat (2006) Interview with Suvi Virtanen.
Hernberg, H. (2012a) The battle against apathy, in Helsinki Beyond Dreams. Actions towards a creative and sustainable hometown, H. Hernberg (ed.), Helsinki:Urban Dream Management, pp.36-41.
Hernberg, H. (2012b) Independent shops make a comeback, in Helsinki Beyond Dreams. Actions towards a creative and sustainable hometown, H. Hernberg (ed.), Helsinki: Urban Dream Management, pp.106-113.
Klaić, D. (2007a) 'Festivaalien tutkimisen tärkeydestä (The value of festival mapping)' in Helsinki - a festival city: the development, actors and audiences of urban festival, S. Silvanto (ed.), City of Helsinki Urban Facts, Helsinki: City of Helsinki Cultural Office, pp.202-205.
Klaić, D. (2007b) Every weekend a festival! Urban impact of the festivalization of the daily life in Europe, Time-Space Dynamics in Urban Settings. Third Annual Conference of the Transatlantic Graduate Research Program, Berlin, Gent:European Festivals Association, May, www.efa-aef.
Linko, M. and Silvanto, S. (2011) Infected by arts festivals: Festival policy and audience experiences in the Helsinki metropolitan area, The Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society, 41(4), 224-239.
Maughan, C. (2007) The lifecycle of a festival: preliminary thoughts, International Festivals Association of Europe (IFEA) Conference 2007, Gent: European Festivals Association, 14-18 September, www.efa-aef.eu/en/activities/efrp/.
Oksanen, K. (2006) Makasiinit 1899-2006, Helsinki: Helsingin Sanoma.
Silvanto, S. (2007) Tervetuloa kaupunkifestivaaleille! Urbaanin festivaalikulttuurin nousu (Welcome to festivals! The rise of urban festival culture), in Helsinki - a festival city: the development, actors and audiences of urban festival culture, S, Silvanto. S., (eds.), Helsinki: City of Helsinki Urban Facts; City of Helsinki Cultural Office, pp.9-15.
Virtanen, S. (2007) Word-of-mouth: the role of interpersonal communication in arts marketing., Masters of Arts edn., City University, London.