50 years old | Paulina Ahokas, the director of Tampere Hall, is a real veteran of the event industry: “I can’t come up with anything significant that I would have achieved alone”

Paulina Ahokas, who has worked behind the scenes in culture since the twenties, has learned that daring is always worthwhile.

“We practice for another hour, ”he recalls Paulina Ahokas friends said at Kuopio High School of Music. But even that time, he didn’t restrain himself with his own viola.

“I’m probably wondering what would be a more striking name for our string quartet and what we would put on for the next gig,” Ahokas says and laughs now, more than thirty years later.

“And maybe I was planning a gig for a gig already.”

About going to school otherwise Ahoka, who liked much, did not think more closely about what he was doing. Or that doing so could develop into a profession, even a life’s work.

But that is what happened. Ahokas has been a multi-actor between music creators and music consumers since the age of twenty: initially as a promoter, then as a communications manager, producer, manager, CEO and now CEO. Or could we speak in one word about the enabler of the event industry?

“It’s even better. At the heart of my work have always been people and teams, productization, marketing and sales, ”explains Ahokas, who has worked as the CEO of Tampere Hall for the past ten years.

The fact that Ahokka, who is internationally oriented and has lived abroad for a long time, became the director of a concert and congress center in Inner Finland may still seem at first to be a leap from the core work.

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“A friend hinted at the place. After getting acquainted, I stated: more versatile and larger than any other event house in Finland. Maybe I can learn something new again. ”

In Siilinjärvi Ahokas, who spent his childhood, grew up in a musical family: Big sisters played, mother sang in choirs, teacher was dir. choir director with the title of mus. Ahokas, who played music from a small child, was still in the middle of two years after graduating from high school and was able to study at both the Turku Conservatory and the university, majoring in French.

But his studies were delayed for some time after the year, when Ahokas stopped in Prague for the second time in the summer of 1992 and left at a bar that was popular with foreigners at just the right time.

“The Canadian-American company types were passionate about their plan: plan to set up a rock club and jazz club in a fine historic building, but don’t know the factors. I said I could take charge of the jazz club. ”

Ahokas, inexperienced in the field, was responsible for the Café Nouveau program and the marketing of other premises in the same house for three years, later also for the rock club program. “I learned that you should always dare.”

The Tampere House, run by Paulina Ahokka, now also houses the popular Moomin Museum, managed by the Tampere Art Museum. The Moomin Troll Statue, located next to the house in Duck Park, reminds us of that. “The Moomin Museum’s collection is a national treasure,” Ahokas says.

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To Finland Ahokas returned from under renovation.

“Similar jobs were available elsewhere in Prague, but I wanted a degree from Finland.”

In Turku, he changed his major to cultural music research and studied marketing at the School of Economics as a minor. At that time, in the mid-1990s, it was not yet possible to study cultural production in Finland – the one that Ahokas had instinctively chosen as his high school student.

After graduating, he gained three years of experience as the Arts Manager at the Finnish Institute in Londonwas creating connections between Finnish – class artists and British event organizers and the media.

“Oh what did I learn? At least that the delivery of the message is based on personal contact and unyieldingness. At the same time, you need to listen to what the recipient of the message is interested in. However, it is a matter of human business. ”

from London Ahokas became the head of Music Export Finland, which was founded in 2002, and was initially its only employee. The office was a room at the Cable Factory, budget 75,000 euros.

The mission of Musex, which started as a three-year export ring, was to help the music industry increase its export revenue. “I well remember the meeting where everyone vowed that it would not be possible to get continued public support for the export organization.”

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It happened differently. Ahokas remembers that during Musex, export revenues increased tenfold in ten years, from five million to about 50 million euros.

“Moments of success are always nice but fleeting. The most interesting thing for me is the process of doing something, planning and implementing something, ”says Ahokas, and emphasizes“ doing things in groups ”many times.

“I can’t think of anything significant that I would have achieved alone. And as you get older, the feeling just gets stronger. ”

  • Born in Siilinjärvi in ​​1972.

  • Master of Philosophy from the University of Turku in 1999, majoring in cultural music research.

  • EMBA degree in management from Aalto EE 2014.

  • In Prague from 1992 to 1995, he worked as a promoter for a jazz club and a rock club.

  • Turku Down by The Laituri Marketing and Information Manager 1998–1999.

  • Arts Manager of the Finnish Institute in London 1999–2001.

  • Executive Director of Musex or Music Export Finland 2002–2011.

  • President and CEO of Tampere Hall since the beginning of 2012.

  • Member of the State Arts Council 2016–2019, member of Yle’s Board 2018–2022.

  • Vice Chairman of the Board of Musiikki & Media since the end of 2017, Chairman of the Board of LiveX Oy since the beginning of 2019.

  • Tampere Flower Mayor 2020, was appointed 2020 Honorary Consul of Sweden in Tampere.

  • Turns 50 on Friday, June 17th

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