Uncertainty about former Hartwall Arena leads to cancellation of Björk’s Finland show; Manowar will play in Espoo

Author Stefanie Nysand - 26.3.2022

We recently reported that the former Hartwall Arena – which is now called Helsinki Halli – is facing an uncertain future. Since 2013, the largest concert venue in Finland’s capital Helsinki is owned by Russian oligarchs – Gennady Timchenko and the brothers Arkady and Boris Romanovich Rotenberg – who are now on the EU sanctions list, in conjunction with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In order to avoid association with the Russian main owners, the Helsinki-based beverage company Hartwall, largest sponsor and holder of the naming rights to the arena, ended its sponsorship and had all Hartwall signs removed from the venue’s walls on 2 March 2022. At the same time, event organisers who had bookings for the arena started to look for alternative venues. These bookings include amongst others concerts by Manowar, Björk, KISS and The Cure. Now, there are some updates.

The Finland date of Björk‘s “Orchestral Tour 2022” has been cancelled altogether. According to an official statement, “a suitable venue replacement for Björk could not be found, and the concert has now been cancelled.” Further information on ticket refunds can be found here.

The Finland date of Manowar‘s “Crushing The Enemies Of Metal Anniversary Tour 2022 / 2023” has been postponed and relocated from Helsinki to Espoo:

“A new date and venue have been confirmed for our show originally scheduled for April 2022 at Hartwall Arena, Helsinki: February 1, 2023 at Metro Areena, Espoo”

– Manowar

Tickets and further information can be found here.

As far as the concerts by KISS and The Cure are concerned, the organisers seem to be still looking for alternative venues.

While the former Hartwall Arena could face a forced sale if its debts are unpaid, Juhana Vartiainen, Mayor of Helsinki, expressed concern that Helsinki may lose events:

“This can have a negative impact on what kind of event host city Helsinki can be. Unfortunately, some events may move out of town”

– Juhana Vartiainen