Paul Cashmere writing for Undercover.com.au reports on a rather icy welcome received by Alice Cooper. Apparently, the act is not welcomed in Tampere, Finland, as he is barred from performing at Tampere Areena Oy per a statement issued by the managing director, Harri Wiherkoski, which states in part “Artists who express suspicious values from Christianity’s point of view cannot be allowed to perform at the venue.”
Not to be outdone, Alice Cooper management has invited fans of the act to come to Helsinki which, it would seem, is outside of Finland’s version of the Bible Belt. Quoting from the article:
In response, Alice Cooper management said “We hope fans from Tampere denied access to these ‘suspicious values’ can come to Helsinki and make their own judgment. What’s really ‘suspicious’ to us is the act of judging something that one has never seen, heard or, otherwise, experienced. There’s nothing like an open mind and, clearly, Mr. Wiherkoski has nothing like one.”
Some rather harsh words for Mr. Wiherkoski. But it is my firm belief that he deserves them. If Alice Cooper was booked at a church, I could see the logic behind the restrictions on “suspicious values.” Culturally literate people know what Alice Cooper is about, and can see far above and beyond attempts to unjustly paint the concert as a thinly-veiled demon worship session. Unfortunately, it seems cultural literacy is lacking in Tampere. Based on what I’ve read, I think when I go to Finland, that’s a city I’d rather avoid.