Topi Löppönen, CEO of Musopia, hits the gong and opens the Musopia Peace & Love Festival with an impressive sound. The first band is about to take the stage: Los Musopatos!
“Musopian Rhapsody”, one of the hit songs composed by Markus Pajakkala, Musopia´s in-house music composer, sounds phenomenal.
This year – well, 2023, to be precise – we at Musopia decided to reinvent the concept of a traditional company Christmas party and do something completely different yet true to our style. This aim resulted in us renting the legendary Semifinal rock venue in the heart of Helsinki and throwing a full-blown festival with seven bands consisting of the amazingly talented Musopia team members.
We asked Paula Lehto, CMO and co-founder of Musopia, what the initial idea behind the Peace & Love Festival was and what inspired her to come up with the concept. “Musopians are great music lovers, and many of them are, in fact, professional or hobbyist musicians. We wanted to celebrate that talent with our team, friends, and long-time partners. Also, I have wanted to organize a festival in the Semifinal rock bar for a long time, since pre-covid times”, she explains.
And indeed, finding performers in-house wasn’t a challenge. “Most of the bands, “Los Musopatos”, “Musallica”, “Paris Lunchbox”, and “Divas”, are in-house bands, combinations of Musopians. Then we had “Kopra” and “Bon Anjovis” as guest stars; their members are also part of the extended Musopia family.”
“All the bands were fantastic; I´m super proud of all of them. It was great to see new sides of your colleagues and how they turned into talented musicians! One heartwarming thing was seeing how we supported one another in making it all happen”, Paula says with great enthusiasm.
“Musopians are great music lovers, and many of them are professional or hobbyist musicians as well. We wanted to celebrate that talent with our team, friends, and long-time partners.”
Support was truly there at every stage and at every step of the way, from organizing to performing. Paula gives special thanks to Tuomas Valtonen, a fellow Musopian, for his input. “I was fortunate to have someone like Tuomas as a stage manager, who can handle all the stage and tech-related parts of the project.”
Tuomas also agrees that cooperation was vital in organizing the event and managing the stage. He shares the view that the evening was a highly enjoyable experience. “The best part is when all the planning is finally done, the stage is set, and the first band kicks in. You can take a breather, soak in the vibe, and watch people having a blast. That moment when all the hard work pays off – that’s the real highlight. I mean, who doesn’t love live music? Being a part of that is still the coolest thing ever.”
Although Tuomas already had several years of experience setting up music events, the experience was the first for Paula. “I have never organized a music event before at this scale. We have had jams in the office, but not in an outside venue. This was a super interesting learning experience for me.”
Mirella Baas, the singer of Paris Lunchbox, agrees with Paula. “It was so much fun! It was my first time on a stage, and to be honest, I was very nervous at first. The good atmosphere, coworkers’ support, and the great gigs before ours helped me relax, though.”
“Singing and playing in a band has been a long-time dream of mine, so this felt like the perfect opportunity to challenge myself. I’m glad I did”, she continues.
Ending up in a workplace that allows you to combine your profession with your passion isn’t given in the business world. This is why Musopia’s way of enabling its team members to enjoy music on both levels is noteworthy.
Indeed, the in-house bands are usually formed at work. “Ours was born during a coffee break, and I suppose it’s similar for most of the other bands. When someone needs a specific instrument for their group, they ask around in Slack or at the office, and the right people bundle together organically. It’s impressive how many multi-talented colleagues I have”, Mirella explains.
“Ending up in a workplace that allows you to combine your profession with your passion isn’t given in the business world.”
Needless to say, she enjoyed the evening as well. “There’s a very primal level of enjoyment in creating music together, and that’s what it ultimately boils down to. It would be fun to continue playing together with our band in the future.”
When we asked Paula if she would like to organize a similar event again, it proved not to be tough to answer. “We love to organize different kinds of events for the team! For example, it´s great to do something fun after an intensive strategy planning day. I guess it is a mode of “work hard, play hard” for us Musopians.”
“I loved to see how the event affected the atmosphere at work and the whole team,” she continues. “There were many happy and relieved people at the office after the Peace & Love Festival. Happy because everyone had such a blast, and relieved as it also required much attention and energy to pull it all together. Personally, I was flying 15 cm above the ground just for being so impressed by the Peace & Love vibe!”