Superwood Festival’s concept and search of organic and genuine art, real connection to nature, ourselves and each other has a direct link to Festival´s founders artistic practice and has lead Superwood Festival, held this autumn for the fifth and last time, leave the social media earlier this year. Entirely. This didn’t happen in silence – ideas behind leaving and approach to it didn’t please everyone around digital platforms and offended some of the social media influencers
After 5 years of its existence, Superwood has grown to a highlight multidisciplinary art and music event of the dark autumn of Helsinki, and has solid fame and respect around and based to its unique, special atmosphere, magical northern oddity, darkness and coldness of wilderness and forest combined to warm lights, warm people and coziness of Hotel Rantapuisto. The hotel, originally constructed as a banking conference center in the 1960s, provides a perfect setting for this warm and organic Fall fête. Produced by fashion company Ivana Helsinki, the festival offers two days of contemporary music, spoken word, visual arts, and vegetarian cuisine this year too, for fifth and last time, on October 7-9, 2022.
Superwood is a unique urban festival experience for adults, set in the peace and quiet of the gorgeous hotel and its grounds. Visitors who decide to sleep over will be treated to two full days of art and wonder. It is a completely original cultural festival, an effortless weekend getaway for adults who appreciate sensual experiences, great music and artistic content, friends, and quality fare. Annual 2½-hour-long forest trek, called the Wood Tour and curated by Paola Suhonen, is a magical journey where revelers are surrounded by surprise performers, powerful music, and impressive visuals. The same musicians also perform special indoor shows at strange times of the day.
”We head towards real encounters, authentic stories and a new social media-free world. For our part, we want to create a responsible future that preserves the importance of presence, the beauty of personal experiences and individual’s lifelong adventures. This is the reason Superwood will be leaving Instagram and Facebook. Our website will remain as our main information channel.”, announced Superwood Festival in March, 2022. Suhonen e.g. feels that part of the burden borne by the corona is cause of social media. The slow disappearance of physical contacts, meetings and authentic experiences from peoples everyday lives had already started before the pandemic hit.
In the famous YLE interview that caused fuzz in Instagram she saw influencing in social media as a profession of personal brand building and selfpromotion and found that weird and unnatural. But that was only one aspect in the big picture, values and philosophies behind Ivana Helsinki and Superwood Festival. That is aiming towards good, towards healing and real experiences, slower organic pace, true community and care. For them, you kind of have to be there. In blood and flesh.
”Yes, I dare to say that it is social media that has slowly taken authentic experiences away from us. We can choose whether we stay on the couch at home or whether we go to the opening of an art exhibition. More than before, it feels like the home sofa wins, because you can, in a way, ”be present” in quotation marks. But it is not a genuine presence”, Suhonen stresses. A media researcher found the business´s decision to leave social media ”surprising” and predicted the visibility of Ivana Helsinki and Superwood Festival to vanish in the future. Suhonen instead, hoped to give people something to think about, and also wanted to show by concrete actions, that it is possible to do this.
Leaving social media is not a phenomena solely Finnish or invented just like that. It was only earlier this year widely in news and medias that a former Facebook employee told US politicians that the company’s sites and apps harm children’s mental health and stoke division in society. Also, there is enormous amount of studies around social media and issues with stress, mood, depression, addiction, self-esteem, relationships and sleep.
When studying 2022, last Superwood Festival´s program, vanishing visibility and social media silence hasn’t seem to harm the spring of creativity and new ideas. The program is astonishingly diverse, again surprising with the combinations and its transdisciplinary thinking: it is exciting, forward-thinking, showing path to others and beautiful; full of attitude that has made the world wide success we all are familiar with. This is how it’s done, check it for yourself, for there’s not going to be lots of social media and internet around it.
Still, the best thing to do is just to show up. Now when you still can. Superwood Festival 2022 Program is here.
Taidejulkaisu Totuus. Truth. The Official Independent Art & Music Magazine of Finland.