10.00 - 20.00 The Accordion Fair accordions, music books, etc.
Venue: Former "Sale" building by Festival Park | Free Admission
Reviewed Below
Dr. Mika Väyrynen Studia Generalia Lecture Dr. Mika Väyrynen lectures on different accordion playing techniques.
Venue: Accordion Museum-Ikaalinen College of Crafts/Design | Admission Free
13.00 - 18.00 Accordion Groups and Folk Dance Groups performing in the Festival Park including groups from f.e. Tampere, Härmälä and Ikaalinen area
Venue: Festival Park| Admission: Free
13.00 - 24.00 Accordion Pub - Meeting place for accordionists and the public featuring groups from Tampere, Sotkamo, Ikaalinen area and the rhythm orchestra Rimini.
Venue: The Yellow School next to the Festival Park | Admission: Free
16.00 Accordion Orchestra from St. Petersburg - Arts Lyceum the internationally acclaimed orchestra under the direction of Michael Arzumanov.
Venue: The Rehabilitation centre in Kankaanpää | Admission: 4 € / 2 €
Reviewed Below
The Great Accordion Concert - The Peoples' Favourites all the best-known and most loveable Finnish accordion pieces in the same concert. The music will be played by Maria Kalaniemi and Timo Alakotila, Sami Hopponen, Elisa Inkinen, Jonna Pirttijoki, Seppo Lankinen, and MusIkaalinen Orchestra with Lauri Lehtonen as the conductor. Vote for your favourite piece at or send a postcard to: Sata-Häme Soi, PL 33, 39501 Ikaalinen, and win a ticket to a cruise.
Venue: Ikaalinen Hall | Admission: A: 20 € / 10 € and B: 15 €/ 7,50 €
20.00 - 24.00 Dancing in the Accordion Pub featuring the Rimini Rhythm Orchestra
Venue: The Yellow School next to the Festival Park | Admission: Free
Reviewed Below
Orchestra Mustarastas the music of Mustarastas sounds very Finnish but it is also possible to recognize tones of Irish folk music. The lyrics are storylike and characteristic to folk music.
Venue: Ikaalinen church | Admission: 8 € / 4 €
21.00 Evening Entertainment in an Old-fashioned Style featuring Matti Lepänhaara & Seppo Soittila and the evening orchestra Nikkelimarkka.
Venue: Oma Tupa | Admission: 10 € / 5 €
21.00 - 02.00
Reviewed Below
Tulipelit featuring the performing groups "One Nite Stand" (accordion: Janne Mäkinen, the winner of the Golden Accordion competition 2003), "Maija Vilkkumaa" and "the Crawfish Kings".
Venue: Festival Park | Admission: 12 € / 6 €
Lecture by Dr. Mika Väyrynen at the Accordion Museum

Dr. Mika Väyrynen, a teacher of accordion at the Sibelius Academy of Music in Helsinki, presented a lecture to a large audience at the Ikaalinen Accordion Museum. The hour and half lecture covered various topics including bellows control, touch, correct position of the instrument and items on other different accordion playing techniques. To conclude the presentation, Mika took questions from the attendees which included a accordionists covering a broad range of ages and levels.

The 'Accordion Favorites' Concert
Hosts Silja Sillanpää and Kimmo Mattila welcomed a enthusiastic audience to the Great Accordion Concert featuring many of the best-known and most loveable Finnish accordion pieces on the same concert.

Letting the 'people' decide which pieces would be performed, the SHS festival organizers let the general public vote on-line or via postcard prior to the festival as to which pieces they would like to be heard performed.

The results of the selections that have been voted on were published some weeks before the concert. This system ensure that the concert would truly made up of the audience's favorites pieces.

Among the artists were Sami Hopponen, Elisa Inkinen, Jonna Pirttijoki, Seppo Lankinen (pictured left) Petri Ikkelä and more.

The artists were accompanied by MusIkaalinen Orchestra directed by Lauri Lehtonen.

Pictured above are the musicians as they all gathered on stage for the traditional presentation of a red rose at the conclusion of the concert.
Mustarastas Orchestra from Finland
The Orchestra Mustarastas performed a concert in the Ikaalinen Church. Mustarastas sounds very Finnish, but it is also possible to recognize tones of Irish folk music. The lyrics are storylike and characteristic to folk music.

Mustarastas, including accordionist Kerttu Ahola, was formed some 10 years ago in Tapiola, Finland. The music is characterized by typical folk-music instruments including the accordion, violin, nyckel-harp and tin-whistles to name a few. Also, polyphonic singing is an important feature in Mustarastas' expression. The tone is heavily based on traditional Finnish and Scandinavian folkmusic, but echoes from Irish folkmusic are also present.

The lyrics combine the dark qualities of the Finnish folk and Christian tradition while the narration follows the national tradition of story-telling. Kari Haapala is mostly responsible for the compositions and lyrics. Words from Kaija Pispa and Laura Airola are also included. The arrangements are by Laura Airola and Aki Hauru.

You can easily identify a northern spirit in the powerful melodies and enigmatic sounds they make use of. Furthermore, they've combined tones from Celtic folkmusic and olk Finnish Hymns in an original way.

Mustarastas prides itself on breaking musical boundaries by reaching both the younger and older audience.

Tulipeilt featuring 'One Nite Stand' in Festival Park
'One Nite Stand' featuring accordionist Janne Mäkinen opened the show at Festival Park.
Tulipelit - an open air Pop concert at Festival Park featured the popular acts: "One Nite Stand", "Maija Vilkkumaa" and "the Crawfish Kings".

The Rock Concert in the Festival Park began with the new band "One Nite Stand" featuring Finnish accordionist Janne Mäkinen who happens to be last years Golden Accordion Champion.

22 year old Janne Mäkinen from Rauma, who recently returned from his mandatory Army service, won the prized 2003 Golden Accordion Award as part of a live TV show filmed and broadcast as part of the 31st Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival in Ikaalinen.

Now a student at the Stadia Polytechnic in Helsinki, Janne is taking on a new direction. Janne says arranging accordion for Rock Music is not an easy task. He wants to make sure that the accordion does not destroy the sound, but instead wants it to add spice to the blend.

Inspired by Kimmo Pohjonen (accordionist) and Ismo Alangon (guitar/vocals) he has formed his band 'One Nite Stand'. A progressive rock band with shades of Folk and Jazz the band includes fellow musicians Riku Kantola (lead vocals, guitar), Ville Ristimäki (Bass) and Mikael Koivisto (percussionist.)

Janne began the accordion at six years old. His parents wanted him to have a hobby so tried ice hockey, soccer and other sports, but didn't really take to anything in particular. Instead, he took hold of the small accordion that was in the house and began taking lessons.

Last year, Janne wone the Golden Accordion Award. He sent in his audition tape with a traditional program, however once he got to the final, he took a chance and played something more unique. He knew it was taking a chance, but wanted to test the waters with this newer style, and it paid off. Now he hopes to keep the popularity of the accordion alive by venturing into the Rock scene with his accordion, and if his performance with the One Nite Stand is any indication, he should certainly find his success.

Maija Vilkkumaa, one the most successful female artists in Finland ever, was a major drawcard for the outdoor concert. This relaxed concert setting gave younger children a great opportunity for an 'up close and personal' look at one of their pop Idols.

After the concert Maija (left) is seen here spending some time signing autographs with her many fans.

Popular band "The Crawfish Kings" have been busy performing all over Ikaalinen during the festival and are always a highlight of the Sata-Häme Soi - Accordion Festival.

Cajun accordionist Jarkko Helin who plays on his personally hand made Cajun accordion, leads the Crawfish Kings.
In and Around Ikaalinen
Finland's Nature Symbols: Six national 'nature symbols' have been chosen for Finland by popular vote and all the symbols carry powerful connotations of popular tradition, stretching back to ancient times.

They were only officially chosen in the 1980s and '90s, however, so one cannot claim they are based on any formal tradition. The aim in choosing the symbols is to draw attention to Finnish nature and wildlife and to promote appreciation of them.

Symbol Number 4: The Swan - the white color, large size and serene appearance of the whooper swan, Cygnus cygnus, make it quite an impressive sight and give it a natural symbolic value - the swan on the river of death, the swan song, a sacred bird or a more modern significance in advertising and trademarks..
The reflection seen here at 1.00 AM on Lake Kyrösjärvi, as the Lempi makes its way from Ikaalinen back to the Spa Hotel provides a dramtatic and beautiful backdrop for the 1/2 hour cruise.