Helsinki rocks both Pride and heavy metal fest on same weekend

Two annual traditions happen at the same time in the Finnish capital at the end of June: Helsinki Pride, with its rainbow-coloured parade, and Tuska Open Air Metal Festival, where the dominant colour is black. See our slideshow.

Both Pride and Tuska include crowds of partying participants, loud music, dancing, makeup and fancy fashion statements.

Helsinki has room for everyone to hang out and enjoy their music, even with the weather teetering between warm and cool this year. In the evening after the Pride Parade was over, you could see some rainbow gear mixed in with the black T-shirts at Tuska.

And we aren’t making this next part up: As a bank of clouds lurked offshore behind the Tuska venue, with dark, misty edges that threatened rain, a lone cyclist crested a nearby hill, looked back, and saw a rainbow descending from those clouds.

The eastern Finnish town of Lemi has the most metal bands per capita in Finland, and Finland has the most metal bands per capita in the world. Lemi mayor Jussi Stoor rode into Helsinki and later went to Tuska 2018 to accept the honour of Mayor of Metal. Photo: Peter Marten

The crowd at Tuska was up for German band Kreator. Photo: Jesse Kämäräinen/Tuska

Rainbow flags fly over Railway Square. Photo: Peter Marten

Cuisine options at Tuska Open Air Metal Festival included healthy s**t. Photo: Peter Marten

“Go vegan or die trying” was another Tuska food stand. Don’t do anything halfway, the message seems to be. Photo: Peter Marten

Finnish band Mokoma pleased the fans at Tuska. Photo: Jesse Kämäräinen/Tuska

A rainbow parade made its way down Alexander Street during Helsinki Pride. Photo: Peter Marten

There was a cloud, but the parade remained in the sun. Photo: Peter Marten

Santa Claus (sort of) was handing out gingerbread at the Pride Parade. Photo: Peter Marten

The Tuska crowd keeps on smiling. Photo: Jesse Kämäräinen/Tuska

“Tuska” means “agony” in Finnish. But there’s room for love. Photo: Jesse Kämäräinen/Tuska

By Peter Marten, July 2018