In the beginning of our road trip in Finland we stopped at Valamo Monastery and drove to Rääkkylä to visit some friends. We were able to enjoy some traditional summer cottage life like so many Finns do every year; eating well, going to sauna and swimming in the lake. However, the weather turned out to be quite rainy during our visit, so our host got the idea of visiting the city of Kitee and seeing the Nightwish exhibition there.
Nightwish is a Finnish band that plays symphonic metal and perhaps the most successful Finnish band ever. It was started in 1996 in Kitee. The original band members are keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen, singer Tarja Turunen and guitarist Erno Vuorinen. The band was in the headlines in 2005 when they fired their singer Tarja Turunen in an open letter. A lot of drama was involved in it. Anette Olzon of Sweden was hired to be the new singer and after that, Floor Jansen of Netherlands joined the band. But there is nothing quite like the original Nightwish.
The Nighwish Exhibition is held in the Kitee Museum. In my opinion, the idea is great but the setting is kind of bizarre. The museum is in an old barn and all the other exhibits are related to Finnish history. Yes, Nightwish probably has it's part in the history of Finland, but a very different sort. It also felt like the exhibition had been put together very quickly and they forgot the final polishing of the place. There were wires hanging here and there, some items were difficult to see due to the light hitting the glass, and the timeline seemed to be a little confusing. Maybe in some other place this exhibition would have been more at home and easier to organise so that it fits in the surroundings. Now you really had to be careful not to hit your head on the old barn's door frame or to trip on something. Otherwise the items were very interesting: documents, posters, shirts, and all kinds of things. Most of them have been brought to the exhibition by Tuomas Holopainen's mother.
I have always liked Nightwish even though I am not a "super fan". I did even see them in concert once in San Jose, California. At that time they were touring with Floor Jansen. For Nightwish fans this exhibition is probably a great thing. In spite of the rainy day, fans kept coming in while we were there. It would be interesting to know just how far people have travelled to see this exhibition in Kitee. Originally this section was suppose to be part of the changing exhibition of the museum and I didn't find information whether it will be continued or not. But if you happen to be close by, visiting the museum is a fun little activity which doesn't take all day!
The museum is open every day but Mondays, and the entrance fee is 3€.