Once again, it's time to draw out your calendars and take a look at this year’s festival selection. For this guide, we picked over 40 interesting Finnish summer festivals from classical to pop, folk and beyond.
Rockfest 2–4 June
Put your classic rock / metal boots on and head towards Hyvinkää Airfield, located mere 50 kilometers from Helsinki. With a lineup of 70s and 80s legends such as Iron Maiden (UK), Scorpions (DE), Killing Joke (UK), Megadeth (US), Candlemass (SWE) supplemented by more recent favorites like Biffy Clyro (SC), Bring Me The Horizon (UK), Bokassa (NO), Kvelertak (NO) and Black Label Society (US), along with a long line of local greats like Nightwish, Amorphis, Blind Channel, Moon Shot, Lost Society, Diablo, Stoned Statues and Mokoma, Rockfest is sure to cater to all your rocking needs.
Organ Night & Aria Festival June 2–August 28
Organ Night & Aria Festival (Urkuyö) is a series of 14 concerts spread throughout the summer, offering a variety of classical music on Thursday evenings in the medieval stone church in the municipality of Espoo, just outside of Helsinki. The historic milieu along the Espoonjoki River and summer evenings create an unique atmosphere for high-quality concerts featuring Finland's leading artists. The opera singer Tuomas Katajala is serving as Artistic Director of the festival in 2022. With a strong focus on organ music, the festival promises to offer intimate lied concerts, guest orchestras, choirs and top international artists.
Naantali Music Festival 7–18 June
After a year of just online concerts in 2021, Naantali Music Festival now comes back with a live festival filled with two world première performances, impressive orchestral visits and leading international musicians. Naantali Music Festival concert venues in Naantali, Rymättylä, Raisio and Seili Island welcome some of the world’s leading musicians to perform. Programme highlights include premiere of Olli Kortekangas’ Partita Concertante and also his church opera Ende und Beginn which premiered last year. Also on the schedule is recently deceased Jaakko Kuusisto’s Cello Concerto, which will be interpreted by Arto Noras, as well as top Irish pianist Barry Douglas meeting conductor Dalia Stasevska and the Lahti Symphony Orchestra.
Silence festival 8–12 June
Silence festival gathers the most interesting performances and artists from Finland and abroad to Lapland. The multidisciplinary program of art and culture is spread in and around the small village of Kaukonen. This year’s highlights on the music programme include Maija Hynninen’s audio artwork, Always is Today and classics of electronic music from 1950’s and 1960’s, Kantele artist Arja Kastinen and circus artist Tom Collin's (FR) bodily boundary stretching work Drop of a Light, as well as kantele artist Arja Kastinen with runo-singer Ilona Korhonen.
Sideways 16–18 June
Sideways is the largest early summer indie festival in Finland, with dozens of live acts showcasing the most interesting Finnish and international indie acts. Held in the heart of capital Helsinki, this year’s top acts at Sideways include Roisin Murphy (IE), The Avalanches (AUS), Big Thief (US), Dinosaur Jr. (US), Caribou (CAN), Mogwai (SC) and Dry Cleaning (UK). Finnish highlights include Astrid Swan, Louie Blue, Babel, Haunted Plasma (first domestic show!), K-X-P, Jesse Markin, Lxandra and Circle (with Richard Dawson).
Nummirock 22–25 June
For fans of heavier music spending the weekend of midsummer festivities at Nummirock has become a decades-long tradition. In 2022 the lineup features artists like Hammerfall (SWE), Sepultura (BR), At the Gates (SWE) and Gorgoroth (NO) as well as local heroes Apocalyptica, Ensiferum, Korpiklaani and Smackbound to name a few.
Sommelo 26 June–1 July
Even in the global landscape of festivals, Sommelo, held on both sides of the Finnish-Russian border, in the historical landscape of Kainuu and Viena Karelia, is truly a unique one. This year, with a slightly downsized program, Sommelo offers a nice selection of Finnish folk music, ranging from Zäpämmät to Johanna Juhola and workshops with topics from runosong to kantele and back.
XXXVI Summer Sounds 30 June–4 July
Now entering its 37th season already, Avanti’s Summer Sounds will this year run in Porvoo from June 29 to July 3. The theme for this year is "Body Language", during which the music will enter the streets and cafés of Porvoo. The Artistic Director is Julia Wolfe, one of today’s greatest American composers. Summer Sounds will be presenting a cross-section of her compositions, culminating in riSe and fLY at the final concert. The programme, with its strong American slant, will also afford glimpses of other composers, including two of Wolfe's previous students Shelley Washington and Anna Clyne. Backing these composers of the “postminimalist” era will be works by György Ligeti, Steve Reich, Meredith Monk, John Adams and John Luther Adams.
Provinssi 27–29 June
Held in Seinjäjoki, South Ostrobothnia, Provinssi is one of Finland’s largest and oldest rock festivals. This year the international artists include acts like Korn (US), Pendulum (AUS), Deftones (US), Opeth (SWE), and The Sounds (SWE). There’s also a wide range of Finland’s biggest artists performing, such as Sunrise Avenue, Von Hertzen Brothers, Beast in Black and Blind Channel as well as the most interesting newer artists – like Lxandra, Knife Girl, Olivera and Wheel to name a few.
Tuska 1–3 July
During its existence of over two decades, Helsinki's Tuska has become one of the largest metal festivals in the Nordics. This year international bands like Mercyful Fate (DK), Deftones (US), Carcass (UK), Kreator (DE), Baroness (US), High on Fire (US) and Soilwork (SWE) are among the lineup of the three day festival, along with Finnish metal greats such as Oranssi Pazuzu, Beast in Black, Mokoma, Omnium Gatherum, Amorphis, Blind Channel and Stratovarius.
Haapavesi Folk Music Festival 1–3 July
Haapavesi Folk Music Festival’s programme is once again filled with folk and world music along with music for children, jazz, rock and classical music. Artistic director for the event is Teija Niku. This year’s line-up includes artists like Ojajärvi Blom Ojajärvi, Alda, Hurja Halla, Haapoja & Illmari Kollektiivi and Jaakko Laitinen & Väärä Raha, among many others.
Ruisrock 8–10 July
The oldest rock festival in Finland, and the second oldest continuously running rock festival in Europe, located in Ruissalo Park, Turku, has successfully gravitated towards mainstream electronic, hip hop and pop audiences in the past years. In 2022 Ruisrock’s programme features international stars like Major Lazer (US), Megan Thee Stallion (US), Beabadoobee (UK), Playboi Carti (US), Turnstile (US), Martin Garrix (NL) and The Kid Laroi (AUS), complemented with Finnish acts like Blind Channel, Cyan Kicks, Jesse Markin and Louie Blue.
Time of Music 6–11 July
Time of Music (Musiikin aika) in Viitasaari, Central Finland, celebrates its 40th birthday this year. Time of Music focuses on cutting-edge contemporary music, and hosts the most important composers and artists of the field yearly, gaining an international reputation as a courageous, border-breaking and innovative event. Once again conceived by Artistic Director Johan Tallgren, the theme of the festival is “Mundi Novi – New Worlds”. The opening concert of the festival presents the world premiere of Mark Applebaum’s composition Venture Capital Punishment. Another highlight, Hibernation is Sebastian Hilli’s and Jenny Jokela’s audiovisual collaboration dealing with solitude and social isolation.
Archipelago Sea Jazz 8 July – 6 August
Archipelago Sea Jazz is a four-festival series held in the intimate atmosphere of the Baltic Sea archipelago. Including Baltic Jazz, Korpo Sea Jazz, Turku Sea Jazz and Åland Sea jazz the festival offers a wide selection of jazz from Finnish top artists such as Aki Rissanen, OK:KO and Antti Sarpila as well as international names such as John Scofield (US) and Cyrille Aimée (FR).
Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival 10–23 July
In less than 50 years, Kuhmo Chamber Music has grown to become one of the world's foremost classical music festivals. For a fortnight chamber music takes over the streets of Kuhmo, as over a hundred musicians perform at dozens of concerts. This year, there are 58 concerts and 12 Heart of the Day -events in the festival programme, aimed for for first-time listeners, modern enthusiasts, chamber music lovers and hard core listeners. Over 100 musicians appear at the festival, including names such as pianists Naoko Ichihashi, Natacha Kudritskaya and Juhani Lagerspetz. Among more than twenty violinists are Mi-kyung Lee, Eriikka Maalismaa and Florin Szigeti, cellists include James Wilson and Senja Rummukainen. There are also four string quartets: Quartetto di Cremona, Danel Quartet, Abel Quartet and Unesco Quartet. This year’s theme is “The Art of Illusion”, originally made by the former, recently deceased artistic director Vladimir Mendelssohn. Minna Pensola and Antti Tikkanen, the new artistic directors for the festival have updated the programme.
Kaustinen Folk Music Festival 11–17 July
Established in 1968, Kaustinen Folk Music Festival is the largest folk music festival in the Nordic countries. During the festival week in Kaustinen you can catch Värttinä, Mari Boine (NOR), Ida Elina, Kotamäki Company, Maija Kauhanen, Vilma Jää and quite literally countless others – over 4000 performers are expected to play at the free-for-all folk jam festival! Internationality is also visible in a new way during the festival week., following Unesco's decision to place the Kaustinen Fiddle Playing tradition on the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The Unesco celebration will take place on Thursday in the Keskipohjanmaa Arena.
Ilosaarirock 15–17 July
Ilosaarirock Festival is held in the city of Joensuu in eastern Finland. The long-running festival is a favorite for Finnish music lovers, selling out every year. This summer, the program consists of international artists like Liam Gallagher (UK), Ashnikko (US), Ulver (NO), Inhaler (IE) and Alan Walker (NO), along with domestics favorites such as Nightwish, Battle Beast, Moon Shot, Blind Channel, Beast in Black, Jesse Markin and Sami Yaffa.
Sastamala Gregoriana 15-22 July
Sastamala Gregoriana offers music from mediaeval, renaissance and baroque periods interpreted by leading musicians, held in the beautiful medieval surroundings of Sastamala, including the famous St. Mary’s church. This year’s theme, postponed from 2021 due to covid-19, is “Enchanting Bruges”, and the programme includes Ensemble Gamut!, Alta Bellezza, Cappella Pratensis (NL) and much more.
Pori Jazz 8–16 July
Finland’s oldest jazz festival is known for a lineup that usually goes way beyond jazz. This year the line up includes headlining rock legends Simply Red (UK) and Gov't Mule (US), r&b and pop megastars such as John Legend (US), Emeli Sandé (UK) and Lewis Capaldi (SCO), top notch jazz performers such as Kenny Garrett (US), Joe Lovano & Dave Douglas (US) and Charles Lloyd with Bill Frisell (US). And you can of course find the cream of the crop in modern jazz, alternative pop and soul like Thundercat (US), Joel Ross (US), Yola (UK), Lady Blackbird (US), Mdou Moctar (NG), Kokoroko (UK), Tinashe (US), Sons of Kemet (UK), Emma-Jean Thackray (UK) and L'Imperatrice (FR). Finnish acts include rocking alternative r&b artist Jesse Markin, modern soul and jazz auteur Tuomo, indie-pop phenomenon Maustetytöt performing with legendary surf group Agents, electro pop chanteuse Chisu as well as jazzers Valtteri Laurell, Linda Fredriksson Juniper, Juhani Aaltonen and much more.
Ilmiö 22–23 July
In late July, Fans of indie and underground music scene gather to Ilmiö, a festival held in an intimate environment in the old factory quarters of downtown Turku. Its multi-disciplinary programme consists of acts such as Babel, Acid Kings, Kontio Polaris, Ruissalo Amping, Punomo and Kuusamo. Admission to the festival is free of charge!
Uusi Tampere 19-20 July
Another urban festival, also located in an old industrial area, but this one is in the city of Tampere, like the name says. Uusi Tampere will showcase international acts Etran de l’Aïr (NE), Buscabulla (US/PR) and Iris Gold (DK) and some of the most intriguing names in Finnish indie music today: Ada Aik, 22-Pistepirkko, Handshaking, Ty Roxy, Linda Fredriksson Juniper, Louie Blue and many more.
Bättre Folk 15-16 July
Bättre Folk, held in the beautiful surroundings of the Hailuoto island, has the reputation of an iconic “hipster” festival. In the past years it has grown to be a popular, yet distinctive event with a lineup featuring some of the Finnish top acts. This year the festival will host domestic – and Finnish singing – indie names such as Vesta, Malla, Kissa, Arppa and Ursus Factory. Besides music, Bättre Folk also offers new literature, sauna culture and community art for the audience to enjoy.
Odysseus 22-24 July
The atmospheric island of Lonna will be filled by jazz music on July 22–24, when the second edition of the Odysseus Festival will take over the area. The summer festival is essentially an expansion of the popular We Jazz events on the island – a weekend-long, musically diverse event. The Odysseus organizers are the same people as the team behind the yearly We Jazz Festival – and in the same spirit this event will be presenting new, interesting performance spaces. The program of the event contains the crème de la crème of Finnish jazz, indie and folk: Jukka Eskola Soul Trio, Olli Ahvenlahti New Quartet, Timo Lassy & Teppo Mäkynen, Islaja, Marja Ahti, Joose Keskitalo, Ainon and Bobby Oroza, just to mention a few. This year's international guests include Ill Considered (UK), Etran de L’aïr (NE), Hailu Mergia (ETH), Alabaster Deplume (UK) and Makaya McCraven (US).
Our Festival 24–30 July
Our Festival (in Finnish: Meidän Festivaali) is renowned for its fresh approach to the arts and its crossover events. With its artistic director group, the string quartet Kamus, the event seeks new perspectives on musical encounters and concert practices, with a view to giving the audience an experience that is simply not available elsewhere. The next Our Festival takes place in various locations in the landscapes of Lake Tuusula only half an hour’s drive north from Helsinki. The theme for this year is "On loan", and the wide lineup features musicians such as Caroline Shaw, Olli Mustonen, Kamus, Trio Est, with compositions by the likes of Kaija Saariaho, Osmo Tapio Räihälä, Caroline Shaw, Jaakko Kuusisto, Bryce Dessner along with more familiar works by Brahms, Bach, Prokofjev, Schubert and the like.
Kuopiorock 28-30 July
Sometimes called the sunniest festival in Finland, Kuopiorock brings a great offering of rock and pop music to the Northern Savonia. This year, the lineup includes nu-metal heroes Limp Bizkit (US), along with local rockers such as Amorphis, Blind Channel, Reckless Love, Startovarius, Sami Yaffa, Wheel and countless more.
Raahe Jazz on the Beach Festival 28–30 July
Raahe Jazz on the Beach Festival, with over three decades of history, is an intimate and modern outdoor jazz festival in the idyllic, old wooden seaside town Raahe in Northern Finland. This summer’s line-up includes Linda Fredriksson Juniper, Silva Kallionpää Quartet, Vilma Jää, Priya Carlberg (US), Davás Duo (NO) and more.
Qstock 29-30 July
The two-day festival in Oulu, Northern Finland, gathers a lineup with the Finland’s biggest artists such dance legend Darude, domestic stadium rockers Haloo Helsinki! and last year's Eurovision success Blind Channel, along with metal exports Stratovarius, Wheel, Omnium Gatherum, Xysma, Stoned Statues and others. International names include Electric Callboy (DE), Limp Bizkit (US) and Lukas Graham (NO).
Smugglerrok 1-2 August
Focusing more on rock than actual smuggling, the funnily named event in Lieto, a province just outside the city of Turku caters a selection of Finnish rock from the harder and heavier side of things. The lineup includes international names Accept (DE), Mustasch (SWE), Hardcore Superstar (SWE), Danko Jones (CAN), Millencolin (SWE), Bonnie Tyler (WLS) with local counterparts such as Stratovarius, Brother Firetribe and Korpiklaani.
Rauma Festivo 2-6 August
Rauma Festivo is a five-day chamber music festival that takes place in the unique surroundings of Old Rauma, the largest wooden town centre in the Nordic countries. This year the program is built around the theme "hurmos" (which translates loosely to "ecstasy") including various concerts that joyfully combine different arts from breakdance to opera and circus to film. The lineup includes renowned Finnish musicians such as rapper Ailu Valle, bassist Ville Herrala and soprano Marjukka Tepponen.
Weekend Festival 5-7 August
This year, Finland’s most widely known EDM festival Weekend hosts international acts such as Post Malone (US), David Guetta (FR), DJ Snake (US), Stormzy (UK) – and a long list of local talent ranging from Blind Channel to Averagekidluke, JS16, Mary Ann Hawkins, Louie Blue, Jesse Markin, Super8 & Tab and beyond. Weekend's 10th anniversary festival will be held at a new festival grounds in Kantola Park, Hämeenlinna.
Saarihelvetti 5-6 August
Experience the heaviest and darkest metal music imaginable whilst being surrounded by the beautiful lake Pyhäjärvi. This is offered by the metal festival Saarihelvetti (which translates to “island hell”) held on the Viikinsaari island in Tampere. This year the festival features a great lineup with the biggest names of the Finnish metal scene such as Turmion Kätilöt, Moonsorrow and Omnium Gatherum as well as international acts like Combichrist (US) and VOLA (DEN).
Kesärauha 10–12 August
Turku’s new indie and alternative event, Kesärauha (“summer peace”) debuted in 2021. For their second year, the lineup at the three-day festival features a total of over 50 acts, from local ones like Moon Shot, Astid Swan, Jesse Markin, Xysma, Jori Hulkkonen, K-X-P, Louie Blue, Vince Vigo, Nicole Willis, View, Detalji and Knife Girl to international artists like DJ Shadow (US), Wolf Alice (UK), Viagra Boys (SE), Jungle (UK), First Aid Kit (SE) and countless more!
BRQ Vantaa Festival 7–17 August
The old parish church of St Lawrence’s historical environment is at the heart of the unique BRQ Vantaa Festival, which showcases baroque music and period instruments while also including musical works from other eras. Artists include Peltomaa-Fraanje-Perkola, Bachcelona Ensemble, Il Gardellino Chamber Ensemble and many more.
Turku Music Festival 8–22 August
The Turku Music Festival is Finland’s oldest continuously running music festival, having been founded by the Musical Society in Turku in 1960. It has evolved into a diverse urban event with a wide range of excellent music including grand orchestral concerts, chamber music, recitals, jazz, outdoor events and children’s concerts. The current artistic director is Klaus Mäkelä. The guest roster includes Finnish and foreign stars each year – this time featuring artists ranging from actor John Malkovich to violinist Daniel Bard and jazz guitarist Jarmo Saari to soprano Tuuli Takala.
Oulunsalo soi 10–14 August
Oulunsalo Soi Festival hosts a variety of concerts in Oulu and its surroundings, with a strong focus on Baroque music. The festival, which consists of the opening of eight concerts and an art exhibition, brings top names in chamber music to the Oulu region for the 25th time. Debuting as the artistic director this year is Mika Rännäli, a pianist from Oulu. This year’s line-up includes artists and musicians such as Emma Vähälä, Helena Juntunen, Virtuosi di Kuhmo, Sennu Laine, and Rännäli himself
Flow Festival 12-14 August
One of Finland’s best known festivals internationally, Flow Festival provides music from pop and rock music mainstays to newcomers in genres ranging from r&b to indie, techno, hip hop and experimental music. All this is served in a monumental architectural site with exquisite light design and decorations, along with a magnificent choice of world spanning cuisine right in the midst of Helsinki. This year the line-up boasts with international acts such as Gorillaz (UK), Burna Boy (NG), Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (AUS), Florence and the Machine (UK), Princess Nokia (US), Freddie Gibbs (US), DJ Koze (DE), Little Simz (UK), Fontaines DC (UK), Bikini Kill (US) and Michael Kiwanuka (UK), as well as local greats like Linda Fredriksson Juniper, Jimi Tenor, Cucina Povera, Nyky Ensemble, Lxandra, Annamarét, Jesse Markin, Louie Blue, Mono Junk, New Ro, Timo Lassy & Teppo Mäkynen and Morphology.
North of Hell 13–14 August
Continuing the tradition of purgatory themed Finnish metal festivals, Oulu's North of Hell is the latest contender! Postponed from their would-be-debut year 2021 to 2022, the two-day event’s lineup contains classic metal such as Napalm Death (UK),Opeth (SWE), Cannibal Corpse (US) and Vader (POL) as well as more contemporary names like Cult of Luna (SWE), Zeal & Ardor (CH) and local stars including Turmion Kätilöt, Rotten Sound and Wolfheart.
Blockfest 19–20 August
Blockfest is the biggest hip hop festival in the whole Nordic area, which has since 2008 gathered countless international rap royalties and local favorites to Tampere. After two mandatory off-years due to Covid, Blockfest will now bring a lineup of international acts like 50 Cent (US), Jack Harlow (US), Baby Tate (US), Central Cee (UK), Yung Lean (SWE), Dreya Mac (UK) and Saint Jhn (US) along with the domestic stars such as JVG and Gettomasa.
Festivaali 26–27 August
A new music festival simply named Festivaali celebrates the biggest and most interesting local names in indie, almost crossing over to mainstream. Festivaali will be held in the beautiful lake scenery of Pyynikki in the city of Tampere and it brings on stage some acts such as garage rockers Ursus Factory, electropop band Ruusut, psychedelic soul rocker Jesse Markin, electronic producer extraordinaire Jori Sjöroos, former Regina chanteuse and songwriter Iisa plus many more.
Ijahis Idja 19–20 August
Ijahis idja is the most important gathering and meeting point for the Sámi people in Finland. The festival presents a range of Sámi arts, of sports competitions and handcrafts market and other side events. So far, Ijahis idja has revealed only one act in their line-up – Norwegian "heavyjoik" pioneers Intrigue – but if you keep visiting the festival's home page, you will surely find more names soon!
Helsinki Festival 12 August–4 September
Helsinki Festival is the largest arts festival in Finland, with a program consisting of concerts and happenings from classical and contemporary music to indie rock, hip hop, jazz and world music. This year the schedule contains, for example, a performance of all Kaija Saariaho’s choral works, including a premiere of her newest, Renaissance. On the bill there are also domestic pop and rock acts like garage rock pioneers 22-Pistepirkko, singer-songwriters like Bobby Oroza, Mikko Joensuu and Suad (all supporting international acts), The Hearing’s Ringa Manner and Valtteri Laurell Pöyhönen with UMO Jazz Orchestra as well as Timo Lassy with "Finland’s largest symphony orchestra devoted to popular music", Vantaa Orchestra. From the international side you have crossover acts like Holly Herndon (US), Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (US), Arooj Aftab (PK/US), Angelique Kidjo (BENN), as well as hip indie and rock acts like Low (US), Kurt Vile (US), Lucy Dacus (US), Goat (SWE), Deerhoof (US) and Agnes Obel (DK) and much more. Not to forget dance, theater, film, visual arts and children’s culture.
Kyröfest 20 August
Kyröfest, held at Kyrö rye distillery in Isokyrö, is promised to be "a unique village fiesta that brings people together". Containing some of the most interesting Finnish indie names of today, the line-up is indeed promising: Teksti-TV 666, Kissa, Yeboyah, Bad Sauna, Hassan Maikal and more. The municipality of Isokyrö is located in the South Ostrobothnia region, 43 kilometres from the nearest city, Vaasa, and 400 kilometres from Helsinki.