The festival began in 1985 when it was still called the Northcalotte Accordion Event. Accordion music was very popular in the northern parts of Finland and Sweden. The music in the area was of high quality and Lapland was rewarded muptiple times with Kultainen harmonikka (Golden Accordion) award. In Tornio and Haparanda much was done to support the development of accordion music by bringing together friends of music from Finland, Sweden and Norway.
The event has always included courses, concerts, dance and other occasions. The idea was to make the sound of accordion be heard in both cities, inside and outside and on land and sea.
Teuvo Kalliola, a local talent, has taken part of the courses yearly. Also Mika Väyrynen, Antti Juvonen, Juha Söder, Pauli Ruuskanen, Timo Kyllönen, Jari Rahkonen and Erkki Friman along others offered teaching during the first years. Aira Siuruainen-Kalliola has taught theory of music and Kari Ahvenainen has offered courses on how to repare accordions.
The Accordion Festival has now reached the mature age of 20 years and the new decade has introduced the festival with new ideas. Pasi Hirvonen and Erik Iivonen have taught the courses during the past few years. Erik's work as a teacher in Stockholm area has helped new talents to participate in the accordion week. Also Niko Mäenalanen, another local talent, who has got his education in Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, has brought young spirit to the atmosphere.
Many top musicians and amateurbands ave performed in Rajasoitto - Gränsspelet event, which has given these artists an opportunity to make themselves famous. Here are some examples of the artists:
* Veikko Ahvenainen
Kultaisen Harmonikka (Golden Accordion contest) winners
* Maria Kalaniemi
Other kinds of music