This Punk Band Performed At Eurovision To Prove Disabled People Can Rock
PKN are your new favourite Finnish punk band – and they went to Eurovision to raise awareness of services for learning disabilities. Update: They didn't qualify for the grand final, but their performance in the semi final received a huge reaction on social media.
PKN didn't qualify to the final of Eurovision, but their performance received a huge reaction online during Tuesday night's semi-final of the competition.
PKN will now officially represent Finland in the this year's Eurovision after winning the country's selection competition, Uuden Musikiin Kilpailu, on Saturday night. The band beat nine finalists thanks to public votes and will compete in the Eurovision grand final in Vienna on 23 May.
This is PKN, a punk band from Helsinki. They're entering Eurovision this year, but for a slightly different reason than most acts: to raise awareness of mental health services and show the world what disabled people can do.
Here they are on Saturday, after getting through to the final of UMK, the contest to decide who will represent Finland at this year's Eurovision.
And this is the song they're entering: "Aina Mun Pitää". As you can see, they really do rock.
The band members, who have Down Syndrome or are autistic, met through a music workshop run by Lyhty (meaning "lantern"), a charity based in Helsinki that offers services for people with developmental disabilities.
The band's driving force is guitarist Pertti Kurikka, while Kari Aalto sings and writes lyrics, the bass player is Sami Helle, and Toni Välitalo is on drums.
PKN is short for Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät (meaning Pertti Kurikka's Name Day).
The band were put together by Kalle Pajamaa, who works at Lyhty.
Pajamaa told BuzzFeed News: "Of course we want to show the world that disabled people can do and perform music as so-called normal people."
They still have to win the final round of the UMK competition on 28 February, which is decided by a public vote.
"We still have a competition in Finland that we must win to get to the Eurovision," Pajamaa told Sputnik News.
"Pertti the guitarist for example is a big fan of Eurovision contest," he said. "Their families are supportive as well as the fans. Even the punk scene has been very supportive for the guys."