​Flow Festival ends partnership with Heineken over brand’s operations in Russia

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Finland’s Flow Festival, which is due to go ahead this weekend from August 11 – 13, has abruptly ended its partnership with Heineken Silver over the beer brand’s ongoing operations in Russia.

In a statement yesterday, August 8, Flow Festival’s CEO Suvi Kallio explained: “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.”

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In March, after Heineken was called out for its continued operations in Russia, the brand made a statement detailing its plans to exit the country where they currently stand as the third largest brewer.

A statement expressed that, while they were “shocked and saddened” by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, “the reality for businesses with large production and manufacturing operations in the country is challenging and complex”.

Heineken revealed that it would lose €300 million by pulling operations in Russia, and would need to shut down seven breweries with more than 1,800 workers across the country. Despite their commitment to doing so in the first half of 2023, Heineken has still yet to end its Russian ties.

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“We have reassessed the situation and come to the conclusion to end the partnership and brand cooperation with Heineken,” Kallio said. “Heineken Silver will be replaced with Hartwall’s other products at the festival.”

Flow Festival takes place this weekend in Helsinki, Finland. Headliners this year include Wizkid, Blur, Pusha T, Caroline Polachek, and Kaytranada.

Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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