|Holding a major airshow in a capital city is not a common occurrence, yet this is what the organisers of the Kaivopuisto airshow pulled off. The Kaivopuisto park is one of the major parks of the Finnish capital Helsinki and borders on the Gulf of Finland coast, with a few islands creating a natural amphitheatre. The chance to see some rare local acts in addition to international star items in an easily reachable gorgeous city was more than enough to attract Blue Foam north for its first airshow since the covid19-pandemic hit.
Helsinki was already the scene of an airshow In 2020, but with international travel restrictions, heeding there was a risky affair. Luckily, the Kaivopuiston Lentonäytös returned in 2021 and with the HX-fighter competition to replace the Finnish F-18 fleet wrapping up, it boasted a stellar line-up, with most of the contenders thundering over the bay at Helsinki.
The show was held at the southern tip of one of Helsinki’s biggest parks, which itself had been transformed into a prime event location, even including some static helicopters. The park lies within walking distance of downtown Helsinki, which was quite useful, as even with the excellent public transport links, getting the literally tens upon tens of thousands of people away from the showground on Friday evening was always going to be a challenge.
Entrance to the show was free for everyone and with a potential audience of 600000 nearby, the masses were considerable. Some covid19 restrictions applied, such as compulsory masks around the trade stands in the park. There were several sanitizing points and there was even a vaccination tent put up near the main stage. Along the main crowd area, a host of foodtrucks had pitched up offering an extraordinary variety of delicacies, all at very reasonable prices.
Perhaps one of the most striking features was the absence of a PA-system, apart from the large speakers near the mains stage. The audience was asked to listen to the commentary using the mobile network on their smartphones, perhaps not surprising given Finland’s leading role in mobile technology.
Watch the complete report above (51 minutes)
The show was held on Friday late afternoon starting at 16:00 and running nonstop until approximately 20:50. On Saturday, the activities were limited to pilot interviews on the main stage, performances by orchestras and bigbands, and theatre acts related to aviation. The trade area and static also remained open on Saturday and still drew a healthy crowd despite decidedly adverse weather conditions. Fortunately, the main programme on Friday enjoyed terrific weather throughout, even if it was a little breezy for the first two hours.
While the show did have its challenges, not least of which was noise abatement so close to the city centre, the organisers managed to pull a blinder with star acts from Finland, Sweden, the UK, Germany, France and Italy. If ever you have a chance to combine a visit to this show with touristing around the attractive Finnish capital, be sure to take it. You will not be disappointed!
|Report by Chris Janssens
Lay-out and content by Chris Janssens, 2005 - present