Provinssirock, the "Party of the People", is a yearly rock festival held in Seinäjoki, Finland - more specifically the Törnävä park. It is usually held on the second weekend of June and is considered to kickstart the festival summer by the audience. Lately, however, the metal party Sauna Open Air has been considered to have taken it's place as the starter. Provinssirock has been around since 1979, making this year's Provinssirock on 13.-15. June 2008 the 30th. It has evolved from a one-day, one-stage, one-foreign name festival into one of the largest festivals of Finland.

There are five 'official' stages in total. Mainland Stage, the biggest stage. The ground is probably the best of them all, since it is in the end of a sports field with the ground that will damage you the least if you fall down. It is obviously reserved for the biggest names. X-Stage (formerly Biig Tent) is the biggest tent with ground that will inflict damage if you fall down: it has the semi-big names or bands whose light show will not work outside. Island Stage has bricks for ground, so scrapes are the damage there. It also features semi-big names, or bands that are fairly known in their own country, but not Finland. You will not mosh in the Rhythm Tent... Or actually, sometimes you do. Mostly it's dancey dancey and very fun. Like the name says, it features dance bands, but it's not uncommon that a smaller name performs there without actually being rhythm/dance music. The Zanzibar stage is the smallest one, featuring mostly Finnish indie (or otherwise small) bands.

Along with the bands, Provinssirock is known for its side performers: if you see something weird happening, it could simply be hobbyist theatre. The 'unofficial' (in the sense that it does not have a clear schedule anywhere like the other stages) stage, Moulin Rouge, features the smallest names of the festival and a broad selection of performers of different arts.

Provinssirock is organized by the volunteer Selmu RY and also non-members volunteer during the festival: two hours work, two hours free each day, and the pay is a crew shirt, food, accommodation, free entry to the ending party held at the Rytmikorjaamo club and at the end of the summer, a party for the workers. So, the whole festival is basically kept up by the Finnish tradition of talkoot, a special kind of community work resembling barn raising applied to anything.

The Party of the People manifests its soul during the festival: I've yet to see any trouble being caused at the festival, but a guy did just randomly came to talk to me about how awesome the festival is. And he's been right for the times I've been there.

More information on their own site.

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