[Festivals Stories] Kokkola Winter Accordion Festival

10 Jan 2022

Kokkola Winter Accordion Festival
6 > 14 February 2021
Kokkola, Finland

Accordion in many ways in art and in a life

Kokkola Winter Accordion festival story badge invention logo

During Autumn 2020 it was clear that COVID-19 was not really over. The plan we had for 2021 had to be changed again. Actually we did it all the time but now really seriously.

The headline of the festival was that we had to do it. One way or another - no way to quit. Life has to go on, same with the festival.

We made a hybrid festival. Regarding the new things we created, we made a live historical tour with a theme What kind of bad diseases we have had in our Kokkola town during the history. It was a success and the audience was allowed to come. The press wrote a lot about it.

And what about myself, Raimo Vertainen, as an artistic director? Yes, I was dressed like Death with black clothes, with the Sword of the Death and a fiery torch in my hand. People were scared when I was walking in our old town in the dark - no talking: silence.

We asked people to make a video and send it to us with a theme combining winter and accordion music and then we uploaded the results to our Youtube channel. It had good results. People were very creative.

The pupils from the music school made music videoclips to play in care homes and say hello to them. The old people were very pleased. We used our Youtube channel or the Youtube channel of the main newspaper of our town all the time. It was a co-operation between the media and the festival.

We have tried to perform as much as possible the programme. People were looking at and listening to our concerts and programmes on Youtube and of course live. One idea was to show an accordion skiing in a forest. People were skiiing and there was a record player making accordion music for them. Nearby were outside fireplaces and juice.

In the future, the festival will continue to use streaming, more digital techniques, and interactive ways. I think the digijump has really come to the festival world - one way or another.

More information: www.talviharmonikka.com

(General editor: Simon Mundy)