The Finnish Musicians’ Union is committed to promoting equality, eradicating harassment, and addressing other inappropriate behavior within the Finnish music industry, as well as creating safer spaces for professionals. The Finnish Musicians’ Union is engaged in discussions and projects related to equality and safety in the industry. On this page, you will find compiled contact information, guidelines, as well as information about projects and discussions on the topic.

Contact Information

Members of the Finnish Musicians’ Union can contact the union’s officials regarding issues related to harassment and inappropriate treatment:

Juho Viljanen
Shop Steward (he/him)
+358 (0) 40 5272 470

Jaakko Kämäräinen
Freelance Coordinator (he/him)
+358 (0) 40 861 3231

Sanni Kahilainen
Communications Manager (she/her)
+358 (0) 40 861 3231

I Don’t Make World, I Make Pop music

In March 2023, the Swedish association for music creators, Skap, published a report on structural racism in the Swedish music industry (Jag gör inte world, jag gör pop). The report, conducted by Dr. Jasmine Kelekay (University of California, Berkeley), centres the experiences and perspectives of music creators who have experiences of racism in the industry. The report, based on a survey and a set of interviews, delves into issues such as the white normativity in music education, the racialization of genres and musical styles, exotification, the impact of racism on the well-being of musicians and on the music industry as a whole, as well as the exploitation of BIPOC musicians. The report’s findings reveal a harsh reality, but the publication also offers many suggestions for improving the situation.

As the survey is unique in Europe and because conditions are somewhat similar in many countries, Research Association Suoni felt it was important to make the survey accessible to a readership outside Sweden. Suoni has now published the Finnish and English translations of the report as part of the association’s Acta Musicologica Militantia publication series. Carmen Baltzar has been responsible for the translation and the publication has, in addition to Skap and Suoni, received support from the Finnish Musicians’ UnionFinnish Music Creator’s Association, and The Society of Finnish Composers.

The translations are openly available for download on Suoni’s website.

Photo: Karin Z. Sunvisson

“Safe at every stage – A Safe Music Industry for All” guidelines provide clear instructions for creating a safe space and modeling good behavior. Developed collaboratively by the music industry, the guidelines aim to eradicate harassment, discrimination, and inappropriate treatment from the sector.

The page compiles instructions, best practices, useful links, and ideas on how to act if one witnesses or experiences harassment, discrimination, or inappropriate treatment in our industry. The guidelines also allow individuals to reflect on their own actions – if someone has engaged in harassment, discrimination, or inappropriate treatment themselves, the guidelines offer support for resolving issues and learning from them. The guidelines encourage all music industry actors to designate a contact person for investigating potential harassment cases.

At ‘Safe at Every Stage’ event, actions for promoting a safe music industry were presented

On Tuesday, August 16, 2022, music industry organizations hosted the ‘Safe at every stage’ discussion event.

The event addressed practical examples related to promoting a safer and more equitable music industry.

Kimmo Valtanen, Managing Director of Universal Music, and Lottaliina Pokkinen from Lehtinen Legal Oy discussed how contractual means can be used to eradicate harassment, discrimination, and inappropriate behavior. Pasi Eskelinen, opera prompter at the Finnish National Opera and Ballet, and orchestral musician Patrik Stenström provided detailed insights into the practices of a major arts institution for creating a safe workplace. Setumo Bodibe, a mentor, radio host, and basketball coach, spoke about achieving representation at events.

The event was organized by the music industry organizations that developed the ‘Safe at Every Stage – A Safe Music Industry for All’ guidelines: Finnish Musicians’ Union, Finnish Music Creators’ Association, Music Finland, SOA – Finnish booking agencies and agents, Finnish Symphony Orchestras, LiveFIN, Teosto, Gramex, Music Publishers, Music Producers – IFPI Finland, Finnish Composers, and the Finnish National Opera and Ballet.

G Livelab clubs adhere to the principles of creating a safer space. All forms of harassment are prohibited in G Livelab premises and activities.

According to a survey conducted in spring 2022, three out of four individuals working in the music industry have experienced inappropriate treatment within the past five years. Women, non-binary individuals, and young people are particularly likely to experience such behavior. One in ten respondents reported experiencing inappropriate behavior frequently.

Inappropriate behavior manifests in various forms, such as inappropriate comments, belittlement, as well as discrimination or harassment based on gender, sexual orientation, or ethnic background.

The survey on equality in the music industry was commissioned by the Finnish Musicians’ Union, Finnish Music Creators, Music Finland, the Music Promotion Foundation, Gramex, Music Producers, the Finnish Jazz Federation, Finnish Music Publishers, Finnish Symphony Orchestras, Finnish Composers, and Teosto. The survey was conducted by Inklusiiv.

In its statement on May 30, 2022, the General Assembly of the Finnish Musicians’ Union invited the entire music industry and trade union movement to join efforts in promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace. The General Assembly is the highest decision-making body of the Finnish Musicians’ Union.

Fresh research in the music industry reveals that professionals in the field encounter a lot of inappropriate behavior. Freelancers, young people, women, gender and sexual minorities, non-Finnish speakers, and other minority professionals in the music industry often face discrimination, harassment, racism, and marginalization.

Action must be taken to improve the situation. Problems with structures, power dynamics, and operating models must be identified, and efforts must be made to achieve equality from grassroots to decision-making levels.

Responsible Music Industry: Towards Equality

The Responsible Music Industry: Towards Equality event in autumn 2021 focused on ways to promote a fair and safe operating culture in the music industry.

The discussion was part of the joint project of the Finnish Musicians’ Union, Finnish Music Creators’ Association, and Autiosaari Oy called Responsible Music Industry, which aims to outline, build, and strengthen common responsible practices.

Guest speakers at the event included artist Jesse Markin, saxophonist and music creator Linda Fredriksson, Yle X’s music director Tapio Hakanen, and journalist Maryan Abdulkarim. The event was moderated by Helmi Saksala, project manager of the Responsible Music Industry project. The discussion was held in Finnish.