Tuska Open Air Metal Festival attracts tens of thousands of patrons during the course of three days. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Acampaign sets out to determine which Finnish city deserves to be known internationally as the Capital of Metal. It also spotlights Finland’s position at the center of the global heavy metal community: Finland has more metal bands per capita than any other country.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Tuska Open Air Metal Festival, Sony Music Finland and ten Finnish cities are teaming up to figure out which city should receive the honorary title.

The winner will be the city with the most metal bands per capita. The deadline for the entries is June 20, and the winner will be announced on the following day. The winning city will also be showcased at Helsinki’s Tuska festival, organized June 29 to July 1.

Fans of Finnish heavy metal around the world can participate by “liking” their favourite bands on the Capital of Metal website. In addition to other prices, two lucky fans will win trips for two to Tuska, including travel, lodging and VIP access.


Tomi Joutsen of the Finnish metal band Amorphis moshing away at Tuska 2017. Picture: Morgan Walker for Finland Today

The idea for Capital of Metal got started when Eeka Mäkynen, the director of Tuska festival, met with Tomi Saarinen and Tuomo Saikkonen of Sony Music Finland to discuss the progress of Finnish metal music.

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Finland rose to international acclaim as a metal stronghold in the late 1990s with the popularity of HIM, Nightwish and Children of Bodom. The country’s reputation continues to stand out as we approach 2020. “Finnish bands are constantly touring the world, their recordings regularly reach gold status, and metal festivals are filled with music-loving fans,” said Saikkonen in a bulletin. He is also known as the guitarist of the band Mokoma.

“In addition to Finland having more than 50 metal bands for every 100,000 people, metal music enjoys a unique position as part of popular culture in Finland. It’s worth mentioning the prevalent community spirit that exists among metal fans here. For example, last summer at Tuska festival, the police didn’t have to deal with a single disturbance.”

“In addition to Finland having more than 50 metal bands for every 100,000 people, metal music enjoys a unique position as part of popular culture in Finland.”

Ville Valo of HIM. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

According to Petra Theman from the Finnish foreign ministry, metal bands are very significant ambassadors for Finland. “We know of numerous examples of people who have become fascinated with Finland or come to Finland to study because of an interest that began with metal music.”

“First impressions of a country usually come from culture or sports, and for a long time Finland’s most significant conduit has been heavy metal music.”