You’re not you when you’re hungry. A well-fed rock star is less diva than a hungry one. This is the guiding principle of the department head of the artist catering Eveliina Romppanen, Eve to her friends. I caught up with Eve in the middle of the sunny Ilosaarirock Sunday. The sun shines full bore high in the sky and the mood is cheerful and casual, and the young lady has a moment to spare beneath the shade.
– The most important thing in this job is to make sure that everything flows. Good prep work and planning is the key.
She praises her whole crew, from the volunteers to the cooks in Kerubi, the legendary rock restaurant that provides the food. Which, by the way, means that you, dear festival guest, can also enjoy rock star grub in Ilosaari’s Kerubi pop-up restaurant, located between the Ilosaari Lounge and Main Tent.
The only way to spend Ilosaarirock
Like many other volunteers, working in Ilosaari is the only proper way to spend the weekend for Eve. She has been a paying festival guest only once and even then it was in Provinssirock a few weeks ago, where she was getting ready for her new job as department head of artist catering.
– I was in charge of catering on the Sue Stage for five years and before that I was a volunteer. Volunteering is definitely the best way to enjoy Ilosaarirock, she says.
The beautifully decorated backstage of the Main Stage emphasizes recycling, just like everything else in Ilosaari. The artist catering offers the rock stars a chance to charge up before a gig or to unwind after one, for example by watching the World Cup final tonight.
Irreplaceable team spirit
Ilosaarirock takes a toll on volunteers and especially department heads, but the feeling of all working together towards a common goal and the team spirit among volunteers keeps people moving. The memories and the feeling make people come back year after year.
– Everything is just so incredibly nice and relaxed, and we’re all proud of the festival, Eve enthuses and flashes a wide smile.
It’s easy to believe her, when everything happening around her is going like clockwork. The most important decoration, the sun high in it’s zenith, seems to also shine a little brighter.
Text: Sari Kontra
Photo: Lauri Hämäläinen
Translation: Jaakko Suvanto