Undying & unconventional love for music
Olympia is a traditional yet topical and diverse cultural venue. It proudly offers its audience an eclectic mix of sold-out chart toppers, legendary comebacks and future stars.
“Often the biggest feeling of success comes from the right timing – when you get to present the audience with a rising star on the brink of their big breakthrough,” explains Marko Nikula, Olympia’s Programme Manager. He doesn’t deny the value of well-known artists or personal favourites either, and says that seeing them on the stage in Olympia fills him with joy and pride.
Nikula is in the fortunate position of doing work he loves. The enjoyment of the audience goes hand in hand with that of the performers and the staff. A memorable cultural experience is the sum of its parts: an occasion where everyone gets to experience something extraordinary. The marriage between fun and enjoyment and the excitement of discovery is an essential part of what Olympia strives to offer. And when you get to share that feeling with the audience, you know you’re on the right track.
The feedback has been great. We also welcome criticism and suggestions as these will help us to steadily improve.”
At Olympia, then and now meet the future in every nook and cranny. The hall itself is a unique part of Tampere’s cultural heritage. Originally built for the use of the Outdoor Workers’ Union, it was converted into a cinema in 1917. The last moving pictures were projected onto its screen in 1986, after which the building served as a venue for private functions, shows, theatre performances and TV events. In late 2016, it was restored to its original grandeur when the Olympia Quarter emerged on the local entertainment scene, offering an unconventional option independent from the big chains.
“There was clear demand for a place like this,” Nikula says. “It’s really excited people. Younger generations had barely heard of the Olympia, and older visitors had never seen it used like we’re using it.” A desire for constant discoveries in a traditional setting, the contemporary and vibrant culture scene and the unwavering ambition to surprise and amaze the audience have given everyone a creative high.
Olympia is pushed forward not only by a love of music, but also by an almost burning belief that Tampere and its people need and deserve to be constantly inspired. This point was proven by the warm welcome the locals gave the place.
“The feedback has been great,” Nikula says. “We also welcome criticism and suggestions as these will help us to steadily improve.”
“But we’ve good reason to be proud of what we’ve done. Positive feedback reassures us that we can do things differently, follow our own principles, as long as the focus remains firmly on the audience and the artists. It’s the sum of the small but important details that makes the difference.”
According to Nikula, one of those details is treating everyone who walks through Olympia’s doors the same way, with the same respect. Individual needs and aspirations are taken into account. Everyone is in the same line. People must feel unreservedly welcome. The artists are the guests of honour, and their well-being is ensured through cosy surroundings, great service and excellent food and drink. The technical side and logistics have to work and be well planned.
When all of this is combined with a desire to develop and improve, to explore the new and to surprise people and give them an experience they were never expecting, the Olympia is sure to remain interesting, inspiring and ever-changing. And not only for artists and the public, but also for the team and the broader Olympia community.