Small town of Lemi in Finland wins competition for the title of Capital of Metal

Small town of Lemi in Finland wins competition for the title of Capital of Metal

Lemi, a municipality with some 3000 inhabitants in rural Southeast Finland, came out as the winner in the month-long Capital of Metal competition for the world capital of heavy metal music. The Capital of Metal title is awarded to the city with the most metal bands per capita. After a tight contest with the Finnish city of Joensuu, Lemi finally won the title with a clear score.

The Capital of Metal campaign is nearing its end with the small municipality of Lemi in Southeast Finland being declared the World Capital of Metal. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Tuska Open Air Metal Festival, Sony Music Finland and ten Finnish cities launched the campaign on 21 May 2018 at On the website, Finnish metal bands have been able to tag their details on the map of Finland in pursuit of leading their own hometown to the victory.

During the campaign, approximately 1,300 bands' details have been tagged on the map, and nearly 7,000 friends of metal music have liked their favourite bands on the website. 

The campaign is based on Finland's position as a country with the greatest number of metal bands per capita in the world.  Finland's metal density has been established at 53.2 bands per 100,000 inhabitants.

Lemi won the competition with 13 bands and the dizzying ratio of 422.6 bands per 100,000 inhabitants. The figure is naturally theoretical, given that the number of inhabitants in Lemi is 3,076.

Joensuu came second with 177 bands and the ratio of 233.4 bands per 100,000 inhabitants, also by far exceeding the national average. In terms of absolute figures, Joensuu has the greatest number of bands.

Lemi is very satisfied with the recognition.

”This is of course a huge honour for a small municipality," says Mayor Jussi Stoor "In Lemi, music has always played a big part in peoples' lives, and thanks to the strong spirit of community the bands were active and joined the campaign We really want to thank all bands and those who were involved in the campaign."  

Even though Lemi is mainly known for its traditional lamb dish "särä" and potato farms, the metal music community has been aware of the municipality as the place of origin of the popular metal band Stam1na.

Antti ”Hyrde” Hyyrynen, the band's lead figure, says that he will cheer the victory at his studio where he is busy recording music: ”Lem1 metal music is of sterling quality. But this was, of course, already common knowledge."

In addition to the close competition between Lemi and Joensuu, exciting turns were seen when Helsinki sent an international request for assistance to its southern neighbouring city of Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. Concerned about becoming defeated, Helsinki proposed to its southern neighbour that they should establish a metal metropolis 'Hellinn' in order to supplement the number of their band with Estonian metal bands.

The city management of Tallinn agreed to the proposal earlier this week, but the cooperation between the neighbouring countries' capitals left Hellinn at no more than 154 bands.

The official Capital of Metal award ceremony will be held at Tuska Open Air Metal Festival, which is organised in Helsinki from 29 June to 1 July. Mayor of Lemi Stoor will be present to receive the recognition and his own honorary title, Mayor of Metal. At the festival area, there will be a Capital of Metal tent, where people can buy Capital of Metal T-shirts or take a transferrable Lemi tattoo in the spirit of metal music. The new Mayor of Metal will also be present for a chat.

Friends of Finnish metal music can visit the Capital of Metal website until the end of June. Those who have liked their favourite bands on the website take part in a prize draw for record store gift certificates. In addition, T-shirts with custom-printed city names in metal style can be ordered from the website.

Campaign website:
More information and picture and video material related to the campaign:
On Facebook:
On Instagram:
Campaign logo: #capitalofmetal

Request for assistance video by Helsinki:
Tallinn's response video:
Video greeting by Mayor of Lemi:


Contacts and requests for interview by the media:

Tuomo Saikkonen
Project Manager, Capital of Metal
+358 400 252 756

Meira Pappi
Specialist, country branding, Ministry for Foreign Affairs
+358 40 140 8940

Eeka Mäkynen
CEO, Finnish Metal Events
+358 50 344 4780

Jussi Stoor
Mayor of Lemi (and Mayor of Metal)

+358 400 553 325