MTV has once again been on the road and made its mark on another city – and this time it was the turn of the uber cool Helsinki, Finland. As MTV touched down last week to commence its first ever MTV PUSH pop culture festival – the brand’s global campaign to discover and showcase new creative talent – local fans of music, fashion and style were in for a 48-hour treat!
Through a partnership forged between MTV and the City of Helsinki, the festival included a series of intimate workshops, live music events and cultural activity highlighting Helsinki as a hub for new creative talent. Bespoke workshops included an MTV News session for TV production and scriptwriting enthusiasts, hosted by MTV’s very own international VJ Becca Dudley at the aptly named Happi Centre for Youth Activity; a Music & Events Workshop at the University entitled “Making Music Look Good” featuring MTV execs Albert Schilcher, Gideon Berger and Stephen Gallagher from Block 9 (set designers for Glastonbury!) and a fashion workshop – as part of Helsinki Design Week – at the uber-trendy Abbatoir building featuring world renowned designer to the stars, Alex Noble, who lead a 4 hour master-class with 20 local fashion students…. and that’s not all…
The City of Helsinki – with the support from local partners including Music Finland and The City of Helsinki’s Youth Department – also hosted a series of free events including a Wednesday night “Block party”in the historic Torri Quarter district, with street entertainers and DJs performing in the city centre’s hidden courtyards; as well as installing an MTV PUSH “Talent Village” on the Thursday afternoon in Lasipalati Square, with free food stands, buskers and live bands.
With the City abuzz with excitement and activity, there was little else to do… other than perhaps host a live music concert with international MTV PUSH headliners, fly in a load of international press and broadcast the show around the world as a 30minute special only on MTV…. Ok then, there is that…. so we did!
On the Thursday night at Circus nightclub, MTV hosted “MTV PUSH Helsinki” – a live music, ticketed event, featuring performances from UK singer/songwriter and VMA nominated artist CHARLI XCX, rising star and powerhouse vocalist BECKY HILL, the man behind dance-floor smash “Gecko” (featuring Becky Hill) DJ OLIVER HELDENS and chart topping, Finnish rapper REDRAMA.
Becky kicked things off in strong style, giving some seriously powerful vocals on her hits “Afterglow” and “Gecko (Overdrive)”, before Redrama played to his home crowd with a live band, swooning the crowd with his smooth vocals and rap lyrics.
Exuding ultimate sass, Charli XCX took to the stage (rocking her trade-mark look of big hair, bold colours and a pair of sunglasses) and worked her way through a hit-heavy set, including “SuperLove”, “Fancy” – minus Iggy Azalea – and “I Love It”, her massive Icona Pop anthem. As she performed her global chart smash “Boom Clap” to the audience of 1000+ music fans, the atmosphere at Circus was beyond electric! It was now down to Oliver Heldens to bring the night to a close, and as the familiar baseline beats of smash hit “Gecko” filled the room, as well as dance floor favourites from Coldplay’s “Sky Full Of Stars” to The Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams” – the crowd were wildly up on their feet!
With a heavy head and foggy memories of the night before, the Festival drew to a close on the Friday afternoon. As we waved goodbye to our friends from the City of Helsinki and boarded our flights back to HQ – there was no disputing that MTV had PUSHED the envelope and delivered another incredible night of live music.