Tanssiteatteri Minimi: Cow! (2021), Photo: Aada Sigurlina

Cow! (2021)

Tanssiteatteri Minimi

Photo: Aada Sigurlina

Kompagnie Xuan Le: Entre Deux (2022), Photo: Mai Duong

Entre Deux (2022)

Kompagnie Xuan Le

Photo: Mai Duong

Internationale IT-Show (2021), Photo: Mikko Mäntyniemi

Internationale IT-Show (2021)

Johanna Keinänen, Tuovi Rantanen, Liisa Ruuskanen, Hanna Terävä

Photo: Mikko Mäntyniemi

Ballet Pathetique (2021) © Photo: Minna Hatinen

Ballet Pathetique (2021)

Atte Kilmoinen (kor. Jorma Uotinen)

Photo: Minna Hatinen

Say It Quieter If You Can (2022)

Ethno Contemporary Ballet

Photo: Corotych Ihor

Katri Soini & Jukka Perkola (kor. Reetta-Kaisa Iles): Études on Excellence (2021), Photo: Uupi Tirronen

Études on Excellence (2021)

Katri Soini & Jukka Perkola (kor. Reetta-Kaisa Iles)

Photo: Uupi Tirronen

Katja Lundén Company: Flemancosauna (2021), Photo: Saara Autere

Flemancosauna (2021)

Katja Lundén Company

Photo: Saara Autere

Sari Palmgren & Co., Dance Group Off/Balance, Agit-Cirk: Kuplat-Juhlat (2023), Photo: Matti Jäyrynen

Kuplat-Juhlat (2023)

Sari Palmgren & Co., Dance Group Off/Balance, Agit-Cirk

Photo: Matti Jäyrynen

Petri Kekoni Company & Kamariorkesteri Avanti!: Glow of Dimness (2021), Photo: Pasi Orrensalo

Glow of Dimness (2021)

Petri Kekoni Company & Kamariorkesteri Avanti!

Photo: Pasi Orrensalo

Compagnie Linga: Flow (2022), Photo: Gert Weigelt

Flow (2022)

Compagnie Linga

Photo: Gert Weigelt

Oriantheatre Dance Company: KA-F-KA (2022), Photo: Nick Bowers

KA-F-KA (2022)

Oriantheatre Dance Company

Photo: Nick Bowers

Ukrainian Dance Group Volyn: Cossack's dances and songs, Photo: Roman Baranchuk

Cossack's dances and songs

Ukrainian Dance Group Volyn

Photo: Roman Baranchuk

Metamorphosy 2.0

Yeinner Chicas

Photo: Igor Begakaev

Kimmo Pohjonen & Johanna Ikola: UZone (2023), Photo: Petra Cvelbar

UZone (2023)

Kimmo Pohjonen & Johanna Ikola

Photo: Petra Cvelbar


The festival’s current funding is not enough to cover the costs of organising an international festival in the northern countryside, and its board and staff are no longer willing to fight the windmills.


The state subsidies the festival receives are not sufficient to ensure the long-term and financially secure development of a festival with ambitious artistic content. It does not take into account the cost of organising the event, the salaries of the festival’s workers and artists under collective agreements, which have changed from a voluntary to a professional workforce, or the challenges of building a theatrical event in a rural area.


Updating the financial structure to bring it up to date has proved to be an impossible task. As cultural and arts festivals are not commercial enterprises but operate on a public benefit basis, it is unrealistic to assume that they can operate solely on the basis of box office receipts. This is particularly true for small events. All the money raised through an event goes back into the production of culture.


One of the main aims of the festival has been to provide job opportunities, training and visibility for dance artists, but in the current situation this is impossible. Alongside the decision to close, the festival organisation is also concerned about the current and very right-wing and conservative government’s social security cuts and their impact on unemployment and social security for dancers and other cultural and creative workers.


The closure decision will prevent a worsening of the financial situation. The government already cut the Finland Arts Promotion Centre’s budget by an unprecedented 5%. At the same time, special grants for cultural activities in sparsely populated rural areas were cut. There is reason to believe that more cuts are on the way.
The organisation does not consider the current situation to be equal in terms of cultural and regional policy, or equal between the Southern and the Northern Finland, or between cities and sparsely populated areas. The festival organisation is concerned that professional and international theatre art in southern North Ostrobothnia will disappear completely after the decision to close the festival.


In North Ostrobothnia, the cultural budgets of rural towns and cities are, as a rule and as a matter of principle, too low. This is a question both of the desire to support the arts and of the financial capacity of rural towns compared with large cities. Government grants do not take into account the ability of small towns to support major arts events in their cities, but they do require adequate support.


On the other hand, it is also about the political will of the municipalities, at least in the sparsely populated areas of North Ostrobothnia. The law on municipal cultural activities is interpreted very broadly and its implementation is not monitored by anyone. It is extremely important that during the Oulu 2026 European Capital of Culture year, the main objective of cultural climate change is genuinely achieved, and that the results are tangibly reflected in municipal decision-making and cultural budgets when the celebration is over.


The Full Moon Dances festival has been an opportunity for Pyhäjärvi to build a strong image as an international city of dance and events. Despite this, the festival has failed to build a genuine and respectful partnership with – again – very right-wing and conservative municipal politicians of Pyhäjärvi, which is a sine qua non for a vibrant event.


The festival organisation would like to thank all the wonderful artistic directors, artists, teachers, volunteers, audience, students, staff, partners, suppliers and presenters who attended the festival!


You made the Full Moon Dance Festival unforgettable for decades!