Join us for an introduction to Finnish summer festivals! First we take a look at some of the biggest and most interesting ones in the field of pop, rock, metal, electronic and hiphop – ranging from experimental indie happenings to massive EDM festivals.
Sideways is an urban festival located in the heart of Helsinki: the renovated former slaughterhouse yard Teurastamo in Sörnäinen. Sideways offers a diverse range of alternative music, food and culture. The two-day festival sold out last year when it was arranged for the first time and will likely sell out this year too. This year’s lineup includes international acts like PJ Harvey, Explosions In The Sky and Peaches as well as Finnish acts such as Oranssi Pazuzu, Circle, French Films and View.
The biggest and best-known metal festival in Finland, arranged at Suvilahti, Helsinki in June. The nineteenth annual Tuska programme includes local metal favorites such as Children Of Bodom, Lordi, Swallow The Sun, Omnium Gatherum and Beast in Black with international bands like Ghost, Anthrax and Hatebreed .
Provinssirock – the self-proclaimed the festival of the people – brings leading domestic and international stars, up-and-coming new talents, and a happy atmosphere. Provinssirock has been organized annually in the historic setting of Törnävänsaari festival park in Seinäjoki since the year 1979 – and in cooperation with festival giant FKP Scorpio since 2015. This year’s lineup consists of local names such as Amorphis, Nightwish, Santa Cruz, Death Hawks, K-X-P and Disco Ensemble along with international acts like Action Bronson, Graveyard, Bring Me The Horizon and Rammstein.
Summer Up, held in the city of Lahti offers a great variety of rap, hip hop and pop in the sunniest season of Finnish summer. This year’s lineup consists of international rap stars like Tyga, Future and Mac Miller with domestic favorites such as JVG, Cheek and Robin.
The 46-year-old Ruisrock, held at the national park of Ruissalo, Turku is the oldest festival in Finland, and the second oldest continuously running rock festival in Europe. The line up this year includes top performers, such as Major Lazer, Zara Larsson, MØ, Patti Smith and Rudimental from abroad and Apocalyptica, Mirel Wagner, Santa Cruz, Michael Monroe, Ronya, Huoratron, Alex Mattson and Noah Kin from Finland.
Ilosaarirock is an outdoor festival founded in 1971, which takes place at Laulurinne in Joensuu at a lakeside close to the city centre. The three-day weekend begins on Friday night with two club nights including mainly local acts. On Saturday and Sunday a variety of acts fill the festival area: international names include Ellie Goulding, Skepta, The 1975 and Paradise Lost, while the domestic lineup boats with Amorphis, Timo Lassy Band, Moonsorrow, View, Shiraz Lane, Death Hawks, Stam1na, K-X-P and Tähtiportti.
H2Ö fills the maritime, industrial-romantic dockyard area in Ruissalo, Turku with experimental and boundary-breaking Finnish alternative music and intriguing international underground gems, with no genre restrictions. On top of the diverse music, the old carpentry shop area will be coloured with a vast multi-artistic programme: performances, installations, workshops and street art. This years lineup has Mercury Rev, Dungen, Aldous Harding and Hinds as international headliners, while dozens of Finnish acts include Es, Dalindéo, Kiila, Piirapuke, Death Hawks, Kiki Pau, Samuli Kemppi and Radiopuhelimet.
Weekend, based in Kyläsaari, Helsinki (as well as Stockholm, Sweden and Pärnu, Estonia) is one of the biggest electronic dance music festivals in the Nordic, with a large production, and more than 50 world-class artists yearly. This year’s line up includes international dance music luminaries like Armin Van Buuren, Martin Garrix, Knife Party, Tiesto and Steve Aoki with their Finnish colleagues such as Alex Mattson, Orkidea, Darude, Alex Kunnari and Super8 & Tab.
During its 13-year existence, Flow Festival has become synonymous with Helsinki’s hip urban culture. The event is known for its eminent programme including acts from legendary performers to the best upcoming talent, both local and international. Flow also embraces the arts and an impressive selection of high-class cuisine. Only a short walk away from the centre of Helsinki, the Flow provides three days of blissed-out festival escapism in a disused power station from the turn of the century, brought to life with beautiful light design and decorations. This year’s lineup boasts with international headliners such as Iggy Pop, Massive Attack, Sia, M83, Stormzy, The Last Shadow Puppets, New Order and Anohni. Flow’s domestic acts include Liima, Jaakko Eino Kalevi, Rooxx, Mikko Joensuu, Villa Nah, Ronya, Irina Björklund, Lil Tony, View, Teddy’s West Coasters, Jukka Eskola Soul Trio, Death Hawks, Tsembla and Venior
Helsinki Festival is organized annually in late August and early September. The multifaceted festival aims to make art accessible for all. The programme features free happenings and paid concerts ranging from classical and world music, jazz, pop and rock, circus, dance, theatre, a children’s programme, cinema and several urban events. The lineup for 2016 includes international concerts by Jimmy Webb, Ernest Ranglin & Friends, Mexrissey, and Anoushka Shankar, while the Finnish names include Amorphis, Hector, Verneri Pohjola and many more.
Modern Sky Festival Helsinki brings a variety of international acts in indie pop, electronic and alternative rock to Helsinki, Finland 26–27 August. The festival is set at Ääniwalli venue, known as one of the most forward-looking club venues in Helsinki, built in an old warehouse in the midst of office buildings near the hip Kallio neighbourhood. Modern Sky has a special focus on Asia’s rising music scene, with international acts from Taiwan, China, Japan and India, including Bo Ningen, Jambinai, Mono, Aristophanes, Cuushe and Shao. Other international acts include Wild Beasts, Zola Jesus and Mystery Lights, and the Finnish lineup introduces acts like LCMDF, Mirel Wagner, K-X-P, Biniyam, Morphology and White Balance.