The World Music Expo, WOMEX, opened its 2019 edition at the Tampere Hall in Finland on October 23, 2019. The opening show, titled Arctic Fire – Pohjoiset tulet , was produced by Music Finland and directed by internationally-renowned choreographer and dancer Kaari Martin, along with composer, musician and producer Roni Martin. The concert featured four laudable performances from Pauanne, Pekko Käppi, Suistamon Sähkö, and Vildá, all representing this year’s host country, Finland.
On hosting WOMEX in Tampere this year, Minister of Science and Culture of Finland, Hanna Kosonen, stated: “Finland can be considered as an example of the power of music; to help to construct and articulate national identities in the language of music, but also offer the most peaceful and natural way to fuse cultures together and express multi-culturalism…World music brings audible values such as equality, multi-culturalism, cultural diversity and easy access to culture. These values go extremely well hand in hand with the main goals and values of our Ministry.”
Deputy Mayor of the City of Tampere, Johanna Loukaskorpi, expressed: “The value of music can be a personal emotion or on the other hand, its value can be the huge economic impact the music industry has. Cities and nations all over the world need you, the music professionals, to keep them going. Equality and diversity are things which have to be essential values in every decision and action we make…this is something to be celebrated.”
The evening reception was hosted by Music Finland where a special toast was raised to the all WOMEX delegates who have attended every edition of WOMEX’s 25 years of life.