Finland’s Flow Festival Cuts Ties With Heineken Over Continued Operations In Russia

Finland’s Flow Festival has severed ties with alcohol sponsor Heineken due to the beer brand’s continued engagements in Russia.

Heineken was condemned earlier this year for its enterprises in the country following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Heineken is currently the third largest brewer in Russia.

Yesterday, Flow Festival CEO Suvi Kallio released a statement that read, “When we were informed about Heineken’s situation in Russia in the spring, we had discussions with the festival’s main partner Hartwall about the presence of different products at Flow and evaluated the situation together.”

“Based on knowledge at that point, Heineken was to leave Russia during the spring. Unfortunately, this has not happened up to this point,” he continued.

A statement made by Heineken in March said that the company was “shocked” and “saddened” by Russia’s actions and outlined plans to exit the country, with the caveat that “the reality for businesses with large production and manufacturing operations in the country is challenging and complex”.

Heineken added that it would stand to lose €300 million by ending its operations in Russia, which would entail closing seven breweries that employ over 1,800 workers throughout the country.

Even though the brand set the goal to cease its Russian endeavors by the first half of 2023, their breweries and engagements remain operational.

As a result, Kallio said that Flow Festival will end brand cooperation with Heineken and replace its Heineken Silver beverage offerings with additional drinks from Finnish brewing company Hartwall.

Flow Festival is set to kick off this weekend, August 11-13, at Suvilahti in Helsinki, Finland and will welcome dance acts including KAYTRANADA, Louie Vega, Chloé Caillet, and more.

Featured image from Flow Festival. Credit: Joshua Mellin.




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