Founded in 1974, Ilosaarirock is the second oldest rock festival in Finland and is still going strong. The two-day festival has been sold out in advance since 1998 and the main reason for that is the unique reputation of Ilosaarirock having one of the friendliest atmospheres in Finnish festival circuits. When asked about it, many visitors say they come to Ilosaarirock every year regardless of the bands that play there.
Last year Ilosaarirock celebrated its 40th birthday and the main act was the reunion of Joensuu's own Finnish punk legend Sielun Veljet which hadn't performed publicly in 20 years.
In recent years Ilosaarirock has been very active making the festival green and as environmentally clean as possible. In 2011 almost 30% of all trash were recycled and compared to 2010 the net weight of trash was reduced by over 12 tons. Ilosaarirock was the only Finnish festival recognized with a greener festival award in 2011.
Ilosaarirock is known for its wide range of music and is famous for having something for everyone. In recent years there has been acts from reggae to pop and metal to trance.
Kat Nash, Madness, Aphex Twin, Bad Religion, Faith No More, Killing Joke, Röyksopp, Mike Patton, Fanfare Ciocârlia, Porcupine Tree, Opeth, Raised Fist, The Darkness, Paprika Korps, Mudhoney, Agnostic Front, Dark Tranquility, The Skatalites, Cradle of Filth, Danko Jones, Sonic Youht, Guano Apes, Machine Head, Suede, Muse, In Flames, Napalm Death, The Hives, Paradise Lost, The Rollins Band.
From Helsinki: Take a train from Helsinki central station to the city of Joensuu (approximately 470 kilometers). Jump off at Joensuu's railway station and take the rockbus from Joensuu railway station to the festival area.
By car follow these instructions.
From Stockholm: Check Finnair for available flights to Joensuu. If you want a cheaper alternative for a group of people, take the ferry to the city of Turku and then either drive or take the train to Joensuu.
From Oslo: Get to Helsinki or Stockholm and follow the instructions above.
From Copenhagen: Get to Helsinki or Stockholm and follow the instructions above.
There are three festival camping areas located right next to the festival area. Two camping areas are provided by the organizer and cost €30 / person. In Linnunlahti camping there's also a possibility to rent cabins although they have often been reserved very early.
There are also a few hotels in Joensuu which are very occupied during the festival weekend as well.
2 days: €85 (in advance), €95 (at the gates)
1 day: €55 (in advance), €65 (at the gates)
Club Sulo on Friday: €25 (in advance), €30 (at the gates)
Club Töminä on Friday: €10