timo-vainioThe Maata Näkyvissä Festival attracts annually 23 000 young Christians to celebrate the Gospel. How did it all begin?

In the autumn of 1984, 17-year-old Timo Vainio went to school as usual. Suddenly at school Timo started to feel chest pains. He had been diagnosed with a heart problem at birth, but hadn´t previously had any serious symptoms. That fatal day, however, Timo had a heart attack and passed away.

Timo´s family requested that instead of flowers, people direct donations to Turun kertsi, a Christian youth group of which Timo was an active member. The group received a total of 4 000 FIM in donations, and they thought long and hard about how to invest the money. There were many ideas, but none of them got the full support of the team.

Finally, after many suggestions and subsequent rejections, the group decided upon a memorial service for Timo. 120 kids came to this memorial, the very first Maata Näkyvissä Festival in 1985.

Back then, hardly anyone thought this event would grow to be the biggest Christian youth festival in all of Scandinavia, or that in only six years it would fill the Turkuhalli arena, now known as Gatorade Center.

This year, the Maata Näkyvissä Festival is organized for the 32th time. The event is organized by the Lutheran Evangelical Association of Finland (LEAF) and Evangeligal Lutheran parishes in Turku, with the help of hundreds of volunteers.

The performers at the festival are Christians from Finland and all over the world, including top musicians and artists from the world of theater and dance. The audience also gets a taste of the Gospel as the performers share the message of Jesus and grace. Throughout the weekend, the festival guests have the opportunity to take part in various lectures and discussions as well as one-on-one time with the staff to talk about questions relating to anything and everything. Maata Näkyvissä focuses on the Gospel – the center of attention through the years.