In June 2023, a group of Finland’s most notorious neo-Nazis and a few of their international friends ventured to a lakeside cabin resort set against picturesque woodlands some 120 kilometres north of Helsinki. They called the gathering ‘White Boy Summer Fest’ after an internet meme co-opted by far-right extremists. Bellingcat first investigated the phenomenon in 2021. Run by a far-right cultural collective and combat sports group, the event was first held last year, and organisers have indicated plans to make White Boy Summer Fest (WBS) an annual affair. Over two days, attendees watched far-right bands perform, participated in combat sports, and mingled with other hate group members in hot tubs. Observers warn that neo-Nazi networks — including international ones like the Hammerskins, whose members attended WBS — use events like these to network, radicalise each other, recruit new members and raise money. Organisers have successfully kept the locations of the 2022 and 2023 WBS events hidden from the public — until now. Thanks to Bellingcat’s Global Authentication Project (GAP) and burgeoning Discord community, we geolocated both events to rural accommodations belonging to Evo Nature Ltd, a hospitality company in southern Finland. According to its website, Evo has properties in 15 locations between Helsinki and Tampere and received approximately 30,000 customers in 2019. (…) The 2023 edition of WBS kicked off the evening of Friday, June 16. As photos posted by organisers on social media make clear, the spectacle was anything but subtle. Four Finnish neo-Nazi bands performed sets on a stage in a log cabin while flanked by two swastika banners. Some band members sported Nazi patches and symbols on their clothes and instruments. In a video taken inside the cabin and posted by organisers, a flag of the international neo-Nazi network Blood & Honour hangs on a wall by the stage. As Bellingcat discussed in our investigation of European Fight Night in Hungary, Blood and Honour is banned in several European countries, including Germany and Spain. They were also listed as a terrorist organisation by the Canadian government in 2019. Meanwhile, members of the domestic neo-Nazi group Crew 38 Finland attended WBS, according to their Telegram channel.
via bellingcat: Saunas and Swastikas: Finland’s Summertime neo-Nazi Meet-Up