The 32nd Annual International Sata-Häme Soi - Accordion Festival is being held from June 28 - July 3, 2005 amidst the beautiful parks and wooden houses of Ikaalinen, Finland which is nestled on the banks of Lake Kyrösjärvi, the 49th largest lake in Finland covering 96.2 square km. 'Sata-Häme' is the region of Finland in which Ikaalinen is found and is home to the largest Spa and Indoor Swimming and Water complex in Scandinavia.
The Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival is a member of Finland Festivals Association, and is one of the most prominent music events in Finland. It takes place annually during the five days in the beginning of July. The Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival experience is a highlight of Finnish summer culture. Its programme consists of genuine Finnish accordion music as well as high-quality international classical and light entertainment music.
Ikaalinen became an independent commune in 1641. The associated market town was founded in 1858. The market town and the commune were united in 1972 and Ikaalinen became a borough in 1977, a town with a rural atmosphere. Ikaalinen has a population of approximately 8,000 people.
Ikaalinen is an old tourist attraction in Finland. Its spa tradition dates back to the last century and folk music, especially accordion music is one of its traditions. Its beautiful landscape has always fascinated visitors. During the last decades Ikaalinen developed into a versatile service centre with good business, educational and recreational facilities. Today about 55% of the population earns its living from the service sector and 15% from agriculture, which has always provided an important source of income. The biggest industrial plants are Finlayson, Upofloor, Georgia Pacific Paper, Amerplast, Honkarakenne, Keskus-Sähkö, H&H Siporex and Katsa.
During the Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival a highly diverse program has been arranged around the accordion and its related instruments with the diverse variety of events guranteeing something for everyone.
Artists representing a variety of styles will be performing at the festival including:
Richard Galliano (with his septet) from France
Bryac-Band from Ukraine
Aleksander Selivanov from Russia and Rade Mijatovic from Serbia (the winners of Coupe Mondiale 2004)
Pavel Fenjuk from Ukraine
Veli-Matti Järvenpää from Finland
The recently renovated "Oma Tupa" Hall (left) will host a variety of music including Folk Music and Dancing, Swing, Jazz and more. The White Rose and televised Golden Accordion Competition will be held in the Ikaalinen Hall, and others such as that by Pavel Fenjuk from Ukraine for the first time in Finland will be held at the Ikaalinen Church which is pictured left. In addition, concerts will be held at the Spa Open Air Theater, Festival Park, the Yellow School, the Red School (right), the Accordion Pub and other venues all located within short walking distances from each other. The outdoor venues of Festival Park and the Accordion Pub will ensure that music is heard in every corner of Ikaalinen!
The Church of Ikaalinen (left) was designed by Thure G. Wennberg and was completed in 1801. It is a wooden cruci-form church with a seating capacity of 1,100.
During the festival, Ikaalinen will provide a rare opportunity to hear Classical music, the Tango, the Finnish two row and five row accordions, Jazz, Rock, Zydeco, Folk, Polka and other types of music from soloists, ensembles and orchestras.
The festival tradition of musical competitions will also be continued. There will be several competitions for Folk Music on different types of instruments, as well as the Finals of the competition held onboard the Silja Europa cruise from Finland to Sweden and back held in March. These 'Golden Accordion' finals will be televised live during a concert where the contestants will perform with a backing ensemble.
In addition to music there will be displays of instruments, music and recordings, accordion items and other Finnish crafts during the week long festival. Even stores in Ikaalinen such as this Jewelry Store have an accordion theme, featuring two antique instruments.
Ikaalinen also is the home of the Finnish Accordion Association, the Finnish Accordion Institute, The Accordion Gallery and the Accordion Museum of Musical Instruments.
Sata-Hame Soi - Festival Office
Ikaalinen City Hall
Valtakatu 7, PL 33
Telephone: +358 (0) 3 4400 224
Fax: +358 (0) 3 4501 365