As first impressions go, the 8th annual Flow Festival effortlessly ticked off the standards you’d expect from an event which attracted over nearly 47,000 revellers this year, and has earned its keep as the best for 20 to 30-something hipsters looking for a delightful weekend out. The overall vibe was relaxed and laidback, the well-priced food rocked, there was plenty to get up to – from creating art to enjoying cinema shorts – and such was the set-up of the fest, that the massive grounds remained refreshingly tidy from Friday to Sunday (NB: Finland is renowned for its cleanliness plus you’d get 2 Euros for each can and bottle you recycled – kerching!).
(Check out our Flow Festival highlights photo gallery HERE)
As for the entertainment, the eclectic line-up meant there was something for everyone or you’d get the opportunity to discover someone new. UK’s Girl Unit and Finnish DJ outfit Top Billin brought their rowdy, dubstep and garage vibes to the Nokia Lounge, older heads got to reminisce with The Human League, while the Black Tent hosted exciting raves from trendy funksters Horse Meat Disco and Hercules & Love Affair. Still, the best gigs came out of the Nokia Tent, newly installed this year, and offered the best sound quality over the weekend, ensuring sets from the likes of Janelle Monae, Mayer Hawthorne and The Country and Mogwai went down brilliantly.
(Check out our Tumblr blog coverage HERE)
The main stage unfortunately suffered with sound difficulties throughout, and what should have been colossal performances from MF Doom and Empire of the Sun fell flat instead. The slight exception was Mister Kanye West, who took to a hydraulic stage and runway to close off the fest with his biggest hits along with a troupe of ballet dancers. During the sensational 2-hour show, they seemed to constantly dance around the rapper in fluttery exhaltation, while he assumed his messianic posturing – on a pedestal, of course. It was an awesome performance at points, emotionally tiresome in others (the final “Act 3” could have easily been lopped off), and even though he shed a questionable tear at the end – he was no less impressive.
(Check out our video vox pops HERE)
It’ll be interesting to see how Flow tops itself in 2012 having grown immensely since previous years, but with some brilliant highlights, minimal cock-ups and the great Finnish sunshine to top it all off, this year’s fest has at least shown its mission to get better and better. (Words: Matilda Egere-Cooper)