Tips and Info for seeing Ed Sheeran in Helsinki

July 19, 2019

International superstar, Ed Sheeran will be performing two sell-out concerts in Helsinki on Tuesday the 23rd and Wednesday 24th July 2019. Part of his sell-out ÷ Tour, the four-time Grammy Award-winning artist made music history in Finland by selling a staggering 60,000 tickets in just 20 minutes. The only artists who came close to this were the Rolling Stones when they sold 52,000 tickets in just over 24 hours back in 1995.

Needless to say, Helsinki will get pretty chaotic when Ed comes to town. So here is some information to simplify things for those heading to the biggest concert Helsinki has ever seen.

The Concert Schedule

Concert organisers ask that you arrive at the venue no later than 18:00.

16:00: Gates open.

18:45: Brit award-winning singer-songwriter and guitarist, James Bay will open the show.

19:45: Swedish singer-songwriter, Zara Larsson will than follow with an hour-long set.

21:00: Ed Sheeran will come on stage to drive the crowd wild.

22:45: End of concert.

Getting to the concert

By Car

There is parking available by the airport, but the event planners warn that the car park will be congested and that the concert will cause some road closures and gridlock, so getting on public transport will save you from a lot of stress. But if you do want to drive, you need to pay the 15€ parking fee in advance.

The car park opens at 2pm on both days. If you leave your car parked overnight, it'll be towed away.

By Train

The best way to get to the concert is by hopping on Malmi VR's commuter train.

If you're coming from the south of the centre of Helsinki, hop on the I, N, K or T lines, which will take you to Malmi station.

If you're heading in from the North, use lines I, P or N and get off at Tapanila's station.

Both stations are a 15-minute walk from the concert, and there will be signs pointing you in the right direction. To avoid long lines at ticket machines, buy online or put some money on your HSL card.

By Taxi

Only official Helsinki taxies will be able to drive to the vicinity of the concert area, and there will be a lot of traffic so leave plenty of time.

By Bus

Only get the bus if you can't get the train, as HSL warns that they will be crowded and you may not get a space.

Remember to take your I.D with you, as every ticket is personalised. You also need to be accompanied by the person who bought the tickets.

Inside the venue

This will cost 5€ for the evening, and an additional 2€ for visits. There's a large selection of pop up shops selling various foods along with alcoholic and soft drinks, and you can bring your own food to the concert. Large coolers are not allowed, but you can take small sandwich boxes for snacks such as sandwiches, fruit etc. You can't take empty alcohol bottles into the concert, and any liquids must be in a transparent bottle. But you are allowed to take a little carton of fruit juice, though.

Photos and filming

You can take pictures and videos on your phone, but you can't use high-tech video camera's, GoPros or selfie sticks.

Social media hashtag

Enjoy the show!

5 ways to be a badass in Finland

June 14, 2019

 Casual nakedness, Moomins on every street corner, friendly folk who hate small talk: Finland is a land you have to visit to truly understand.

With so many unique unwritten rules in Finland, it's hard for non-natives to abide by all of them straight away. But what are those rules? And which ones do you need to break for the Finnish to consider you the biggest, toughest badass in the land?

The Finns are famous for being reserved and sometimes shy. But in the sauna, they are anything but. 
Where some cultures view nakedness as sexual and very funny, the Finns don’t think twice about letting it all hang out in the sauna when spending time with friends, family, and even work-mates. It’s tempting for an outsider to hang on to their speedos upon their first sauna visit, but not flaunting your birthday suit in a Finnish public steam-room will just make you look awkward.

Vappu is Finland’s “Labour day,” and takes place on May 1st, just as the weather is turning picnic-friendly.  Routed in ancient pagan tradition, the atmosphere of Vappu is of fun and celebration, with many Finns indulging in debauchery and consuming copious amounts of the traditional Finnish mead, Sima.  On Vappu, the streets of Helsinki are so full of laughter, vomiting and stumbling that Las Vegas looks like a small, wholesome desert town in comparison.
Staying in on Vappu is not an option. OK, some Finns choose to spend Vappu at the summer cottage, where they can get away from the excitement of the city. But you can bet that even those guys will be fall-on-their-ass drunk by 9pm.

In Finland, Moomins are kind of a big deal. Created in 1945 by Swedish-speaking Finn, Tove Jansson, the Moomin brand is now a global behemoth worth over 500 million euros.
The chubby pale hippo-like creatures are unbelievably cute and resonate with millions of people, especially the Finnish.  If you ever visit Finland, be prepared to see more Moomins than you have ever seen in your life. Moomin cafes, Moomin sodas, and even Moomin medical supplies are a common site in the city of Helsinki.  If you want to vex  the people of Finland, refer to their much-loved creatures as “spooky hippos” “chubby weird ghost things” or say “ meh, I don’t know what people love about them!”

In most countries, putting your litter in a city bin makes you an upstanding citizen. Not in Finland. Officially recognised as the world’s cleanest country, the government encourages citizens to recycle by paying 40 cents for every empty 2-liter bottle disposed of in one of the many PALPA machines available.  If a Finn cannot find a PALPA recycling machine, they normally leave empty containers on the street to be collected by the homeless, who can use them to earn a decent amount of money. 

A country that’s 78% forest has a way of teaching its 5 million inhabitants to value privacy, personal space, and silence.  As a result, Finnish public transport is designed to give people space and gives me the luxury of finding a seat on the Helsinki metro at rush hour.  Although Finns are friendly, they don’t tend to enjoy making small talk on public transport, so saying stuff like “nice weather today, isn’t it?” will be met with confusion and annoyance.

So, there you have it.  Keep your clothes on, put your litter in the bin and say "hello" to someone on public transport. Then just wait for your tough persona to get you some attention.


What’s the meaning of life? This Finnish slogan may be the answer.

May 29, 2019

“I can’t run, but I can walk much faster than this.” 

Paul Simon 1990.

What is the meaning of life?

We’ve all wondered what the hell this life means, right? Often big questions like these enter our minds to distract us from boredom. And other times they churn around the brain after life-changing events like a rusty cog.

But now you can lube that cog with a smile, because science may have found the answer to the burning question, “what is the meaning of life?”

A recent NY Times article cited a study on physical activity in humans that focused on an ancient gene responsible for influencing our desire to move.

yes, like a 1970’s Bruce Springsteen, humans were literally born to run, or at least some of us were. Your desire to get sweaty depends largely upon a gene that originated at least 500,000 years ago. Some are programmed to love exercise, others don’t find it so thrilling. So you can blame mum and dad for your hatred of treadmills.

But laziness is no reason to avoid getting your sweat on as every human being alive today has a basic need to move. As the scientist behind study of early human movement, Timothy Lightfoot said, “If you were lazy then, you did not survive,”

We may not be as active as our sporty ancestors who ran on the African planes, but we have the same need for activity that cannot be ignored. We know that exercise reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, and even some cancers.  Today, health authorities such as the NHS advise that adults should get at least 150 minutes of exercise a week.

A country with the world's cleanest air, an abundance of nature and good old fashioned Sisu, nobody loves to get active more than the Finnish, even at age 65 and beyond. Scientists at The University of Jyväskylä found that lifting weights three times a week in late middle age reversed age-related muscle decline, and improved self-confidence. Maybe this is the reason Finland has some of the highest life expectancies in Europe. 

You gotta have confidence in this life, baby!

In Finland, fitness starts in childhood. Reima, a Finnish company that designs durable outdoor children’s clothes is enjoying its 75th year in business. And the company’s current slogan, “For the Joy of Movement” may hold the secret to a happy life.

To move means to change place, position, or state. And our basic need to move doesn’t stop at the treadmill. We can move our minds and thoughts every day simply by reading the news, books and listening to new ideas.

Children who read novels are better able to grasp abstract concepts, exposing them to new worlds and possibilities. Adults who read about characters making brave moves such as asking for a pay rise are more likely to do the same. Reading can move you to a new land or even inspire you to ask your biggest crush on a date. If she says no…… simply move on!

The next time you feel stuck, bored or frustrated, remember your instinctive need for movement. That feeling of ecstasy when you land in a new city, drive at 80mph down a wide and empty road, complete a marathon or simply learn a new fact, is the feeling of one of your most basic needs being met.

So, take the advice of some pretty smart scientists and get moving. Move physically, move mentally and learn something new every day.

The “Joy of Movement” is well worth looking for.