As a person who was born in Järvenpää, I have always been taught that music and culture are a huge part of life; even Järvenpää’s slogan, “lively cultural city” (elinvoimainen kulttuurikaupunki), lives with my belief. Even though my parents have never played an instrument and aren’t that musical, my father occasionally listened to blues and many variations of it. This has molded my musical fondness towards everything that sounds and tells a story like blues does. When I first realized that not everyone likes the same music I do, at the age of six, I was astounded. How could anyone not like blues?
I don’t even remember when I’ve been first introduced to Puistoblues; I was a toddler back then. To me Puistoblues was a huge picnic with tons of people listening to good music and socializing with each other. We always brought a blanket, drinks and a small lunch with us. And there was a huge bouncy castle.
Puistoblues (puisto = park) is an annual blues festival in Järvenpää, which has been arranged completely with community effort by Järvenpään Blues-Jazz diggarit ry. Puistoblues gathers annually thousands of blues’ friends in Järvenpää, last year’s main concert’s population coming to 10 000 people. Puistoblues also includes the Blueskatu (katu = street), turning Järvenpää’s main precinct into a market full of blues and carnival items. First Puistoblues was held in 1978, thus the event will be held for the 35th time this year.
The main artists this year will be John Fogerty, Eli “Paperboy” Reed, Los Lonely Boys and Honey B & T-Bones. In previous years such artists as ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Santana, Gary Moore and many more have appeared on the stage. For those interested, the whole list of bands can be found here: http://www.puistoblues.fi/index.php?k=19127
Since I was child, I’ve asked the question (How could anyone not like blues?) several times without concluding to a clear answer. Nowadays, the music industry is full of ridiculous lyrics concerning an intercourse with multiple harlots, with the sounds of old 54 kilobit modems combined to oversaturated bass and random, incoherent vulgar shouts, it’s harder and harder to discover new songs with so much effort and soul put into them as blues has by default.
Puistoblues’ meaning hasn’t changed to me, even though during the last few years I’ve been forced to be absent due to badly planned working hours. I’m glad I could make it this year, but I fear that the bouncy castle isn’t as big as it used to be.