Today, we have great news for you.
Early morning here in Finland is beautiful. A bit rainy and windy, but the day feels auspicious in many ways. Why? Because today IS THE DAY.
We are meeting up with the brothers soon in Viikki and in the afternoon, we will head to Vantaa where we’ll sit down with the officials and lawyers of the city of Vantaa to seal the deal on the Blue Forest. Of course, we are not the ones to actually purchase the land, it will be a job for Anneli Jussila, the Conservation Director of the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation. YEI!
During the campaign, we visited the forest many times and in celebration of reaching the goal, here’s a video of us playing three songs from the new album in the forest. Please share the link with your friends.
The Blue Forest project has taken us nine months to complete. It all started as a brainstorming session of how we could use the momentum and media coverage created by our 8th album’s release for the benefit of the world. The themes recurring in the lyrics of the album referred to our concern about the loss of forests and the loss of species in those forests. On the other hand, we also felt that the album was like an art exhibition of eleven independent paintings. Thus, the idea of setting up something to underline these two aspects came about.
Kie had previously gotten a document stating that a piece of forest had been protected in his name by the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation as a birthday present (from his godfather and our uncle). We felt like this was something that could be done. Should we announce that a certain percentage of the album sales would go into protecting nature? Or could there be a bigger and more “hands-on” way to do address the issue and do good?
Milla Palovaara, who had been hired to do our album promotion here in Finland, played an important role in envisioning how the whole thing could be set up. She saw an opportunity to bind these two things together as a nice comprehensive campaign. We contacted the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation to ask if they were interested in a joint venture. They were. We contacted renowned artists we knew and asked if they were interested in creating and/or donating a piece of art for an auction to raise money and awareness for the project. They were. Things started moving smoothly and very fast. Soon we had an auction up and donations started coming in. Eventually, the city of Vantaa heard (or read) about the project and asked if the Foundation was interested in a 50-hectare (123 acre) forest the city owned in the Loppi area. Pepe and Anneli from the Foundation went to see the place. They were thrilled about its diversity and old age and told us about it. We got all excited, but… The Forest was huge! And it was expensive.
Towards the end of the summer, the foundation finally got a green light from the city council of Vantaa to buy to forest. The path was all clear, but there was still some fund-raising to do. So, we contacted artists we know and asked if they wanted to donate a personal belonging of some kind for the project. Many of them wanted to jump on board. Finally, with the two auctions and with other donations to the foundation during the campaign, we were able to raise the needed amount, 340 000 €.
Now, when the deal is being sealed and the Blue Forest is soon protected by law, we would once again like to thank you all for participating in and sharing updates of the campaign. This was a team effort and at least to us, a really enjoyable ride, and a good reminder that if you are passionate about something GOOD, it’s only a matter of will and effort that makes the grace blow wind in the project’s sails. For us, the greatest thing is not that the forest will now be protected forever under the name of Blue Forest… The greatest thing about the campaign is that we were able to address the issue in a positive, constructive way.
We did it! All of us! Not just the brothers or the band. A big thanks and a standing ovation to all of our friends and fans who have contributed to the cause!
Instrumental in steering the ship to the harbour were: Milla Palovaara, Pepe Forsberg, Heini Koivuniemi, Juho Hakkarainen, Anneli Jussila, Jussi Ruusila, Julia Hannan, Pii ja Gisella Ketvel, Mikko Merimaa / Tavastia-klubi, Emmi Lattu / Ravintola Rytmi, Ville Tietäväinen, Samuli Heimonen, Heikki Willamo, Manuela Bosco, Jarmo Kukkonen, Milla Paloniemi, Sampsa Sarparanta, Rosa Liksom, Katariina Souri, Minna Pyykkö, Jaakko Mattila, Markku Hakuri, Anssi Kela, Paula Vesala, Samuli Edelmann, Tuure Kilpeläinen, Samuli Putro, Jenni Vartiainen, Marzi Nyman, Lauri Ylönen, Kai Hahto, Olavi Uusivirta, Aki Roukala, Kaisa and Anna Karjalainen, Aleksi Lehikoinen, Sanna Laaka-Lindberg and Heli Vainio.