Now in its thirteenth year, Helsinki’s Flow Festival still manages to sit at a curious intersection of arts, culture, and commerce. There were the legacy acts, like Morrisey, New Order, and Iggy Pop, who started out his set with “Wanna Be Your Dog” and still managed to make the word “Fuck” sound dangerous despite uttering it hundreds of times over the course of his hour long set. There were the relative newbies—Stormzy, Liima, and Anderson Paak, who poured enough energy into his rapping and drumming to power a small village. There was even the home team, lead by Moonface collaborators Siinai, Alma, and Jaakko Eino Kalevi, an artist that single-handedly proves that spirit of weird is still alive and well in Finland.
“Finland is an excellent place to be a woman,” one festival attendee declared enthusiastically. “I never feel uncomfortable or threatened here the way I have in other countries.”
It was a statement that held true both off the stage and on. From Dia Lupa’s surprise discovery that she could pack a tent even before releasing a solo album, to Sia’s emotive pack of dancers, to some seriously on-point festival fashion, one thing became abundantly clear—it’s ladies that were running not only the show, but the whole Flow world.