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Tuska Festival 2023: A recap of our weekend in TUSKAEXPO

Pheew! What a weekend!

We had the utmost best and funnest time! There were so, so, so many amazing interactions with really wonderful people!

A big thank you to all of you who stopped by our stand, whether it was to talk or to purchase our products, each encounter was special!

I think the best way to share our experience is to break the weekend into each day. Each day was different, each day was awesome, and each day deserves to be remembered, atleast by us!

29.6.2023 Thursday evening

Thursday evening was our time to build our stand and layout our products.

My team is not only friends and family but also some of the most efficient people I know!

Once we arrived at Suvilahti, I went to get our Vendor passes and Staff bracelets, as well as our car permits to be able to enter the Tuska Festival area when building or packing our area up.

I really tried my best to remember to document as much as I can, so here's a video of me and brother, entering Tuska and walking towards the TuskaExpo area, to start building.

30.6.2023 Friday, Day 1 of Tuska Festival 2023

The Tuska Festival gates would be opened at 14:00 PM, so we needed to be at our stand an hour early, to make sure everything works and most importantly, looks good! (Last year we had a huge problem, when izettle crashed in the entire EU for the first entire day of Tuska. Which was a magor wrench in our wheel, but thankfully, this weekend there weren't such issues, an occasional wifi connection break, but that was it. A huge relief!)

What really made my day start in the best way possible, was when we were walking towards Tuska, some people passing by yelled at us "Your drinking game is so goddamn good!"

I mean, what a compliment! Nothing feels better, than to hear that people enjoy our game! That is the exact reason why I made the game into a product. So that people would have a great time playing it. That was just the best thing to hear, it pumped us up, instantly!

Just a couple highlights of the day:

  • One customer came by to let us know, he had taken the game with him to Japan, whilst traveling. Ended up playing the game with a leud of international strangers, (a local from Japan, a German, a Dutch and someone from Belgium) having a blast and enjoying the evening together. He came over to let us know, that Icebreakers for Vikings is THE perfect game for breaking the ice and how much fun he had! The strangers are now his friends! -What a cool, cool story! I appreciate it so much that you came over to tell us this! This is the exact reason I made the game into a product, this is the perfect exampe! Thank you!!

  • So, so, so many people complementing the brand, the graphics and our stand! - I was beaming in happiness!!!

  • The iconic Jone Nikula stopped by our stand, and ofcourse I wanted a photo! He wore our Icebreakers for Vikings togo pint all day at the festival!

  • The Legendary Henry Saari, who is nowadays a friend, came to the festival wearing our Unchain the Beast t-shirt of Fenrir. He wanted to show his support! Such a wonderful person!!!

  • Randomly saying in Finnish to a guy that he has a nice shirt (he was wearing a Sea Shepherd tshirt) . He said he dosen't understand, and I said the same in English. Little did I know, by complimenting on his tshirt, me and Tuulia would make some really amazing friends! Turns out he and his wife are Sea Shepherd Italy's crew! Which is such an honorable thing to do, I appreciate them and what they stand for already, just knowing that. Not only do they save our oceans, they also make incredible jewellery! They have fossil shark teeth that are + 75 million years old!!! Check their jewellery out: Travellers_crew_jewellery

So not only did we have a blast on the first day, we made some really awesome friends.

All in all a very successful start. Tuska Festival had 21 000 visitors on Friday. Even the scorching heat did not stop you!

1.7.2023 Saturday, Day 2 of Tuska Festival 2023

The gates opened at 13:00 PM, and we needed to be at our stand at 12:00Pm, a Tuska photographer wanted a couple of pictures of us before the stand is flooded with customers :)

As soon as we got to the festival, it starting raining a little bit.

The sky was dark, and you could just tell that it was going to be a wet day at the festival :D

The raining didn't seem to bother Festival goers, they came prepared. Dressed in rain ponchos and rainboots :)

The rain had no effect on our sales either! We ran out of our Icebreakers for Vikings togo pints!

All of you who have them, you are a bunch of 500 people, who are the only ones on this planet to own one! They are limited edition.

We will however, be making a new 500 bunch of an Icebreakers for Vikings togo pint, but that will be with different art. So don't freak out.

Just a couple highlights of the day:

  • Ale Kuoppala, a legendary musician, stopped by our stand. He got a Fight all day, Feast all night shirt and gave us his support on his social media! Really nice of him!

  • People were playing Icebreakers for Vikings at the festival area, having so much fun, bystanders seeing that, decided to come get a copy also! - This is just the cherry on the cake, all I can say is "chef's kiss"! That is the best thing in the world. People seeing others having fun and wanting a copy. Can it even get better than this? Can it?

  • Seeing dear friends, who came to say hi and show support, and seeing them in awe of what we have created :)

  • A customer ordered the game online because he was behind my brother at Diablo's concert and read the back of his tshirt... :D

  • A group that came by on Friday but were abit hesitant to buy the game, then bought it, just dropped by to let us know they played it Friday night and Saturday morning and they absolutely love the game!

  • All of the interactions with people who not only appreciate the work I've put into the game but the complete context! Telling me how much they love the brand. - This makes me gutted, I get shellshocked, I really don't know what to say to you, other than I appreciate all of it! Every word, every second. You guys blow me away with the love and support!

  • A pictue of our stand ended up on Yle website, kind of by proxy :D The Yle news reporter took pictures of all the styles in Tuska and took a picture of four guys with witch hats, our stand ended up in the background... Mr. Jussi Mankkinen, you should of interviewed us, our story is interesting and would have been a good article ;)

2.7.2023 Sunday, The third and last day of Tuska Festival 2023

The day began when the gates were opened at 15:00 PM, there was quite the rush at our stand. We were a bit stunned but excited, what a way to start the day!

It was evident that people had been playing Icebreakers for Vikings, since there was no need to even try to talk about the game, people literally came over and said, "I want a game, take my money!"

Just a couple highlights of the day:

  • The awesomest customers from the previous days, coming by to let us know, they played the game in the evening and in the morning to get the day started! And ofcourse, had a blast! -This is just the best thing to hear! Love it!

  • The people who had played Icebreakers for Vikings the previous evening after the festival with friends, and wanted their own copy! - Do I even need to market the game, yall seem to have it covered? :D

  • The people who got instant FOMO, seeing others play the game at the festival, and decided to come get their own copy! - This is excellent! The smile on my face, because of this. Love this!!!

  • The absolute legend, Ale Kuoppala making an Instagram story about us and our stand!

  • Meeting Electrical Calboy crew!

  • The really really cool interactions with a couple game designers! Loved to meet you! And am in awe of your praise on the execution of the game and the brand, it means alot. Especially when you know the deeper levels of what it takes! Please keep in touch!

  • A couple customers that I met last year, coming back to either by a game or a shirt, depending on what they got last year. I really appreciate the discussions on Norse mythology, it is always a pleasure to see you!

  • Having childhood friends visit and show support!

  • Having my new work colleague stop by to show support!

  • Meeting a lady who works at a museum. Who knows, it's possible you can find my game at a museum shop in the future...That is pretty cool!

  • One couple Seppo&Tiitu, Seppo bought three of our shirts last year, came back this year, and true to himself, got a fourth one. Brought his wife over, and she got the game and will be playing it very soon with her sisters, and ofcourse Seppo. As promised!

  • Driving home in the early morning hours, tired as hell, just trying to get home, and hearing the ping ping on my phone of new orders! I'm assuming there were some Icebreakers for Vikings being played after Tuska Festival? :D -Incredibly awesome

What a weekend!

We absolutely loved every second, every interaction!

Hope to see you again!

The BIGGEST thank you to my team! You guys are the dream team! It is such an important thing to have a team that you can trust will honor your products and brand! When I listen to you interact with people coming by the stand, I beam with happiness! Not only do you have the best energy whilst talking about the game, you talk about the product with confidence and pride! I couldn't ask for a better team to do this with! Most of you have been in this, since the beginning, you have gone through quite alot of product testing :D Thank you for all you put into this weekend! Forever grateful for you guys!

The happiness, gratitude, and pride, I'm feeling about Icebreakers for Vikings as a game and as a brand is inexplainable. I'm so tired, but extatic! Thank you for your support, your compliments, all of it! And you guys playing the game out there like crazy, remember to #icebreakersforvikings on your socials whilst posting. I will be doing some random giveaways, you won't wan to miss out!



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