August – the Month of Culture in Helsinki

Posted by | 15th August 2013 | Living in Finland, Why Finland

Helsinki Festival is one of the biggest summer festivals in Finland and comprises of hundreds of events which span over 18 days, beginning with the date of 15th August. This event can gather up more than 49,000 people!

However, for the ones keen on less crowded places, August brings a lot of single events too just before the festival, including the URB 13 which is held at the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art during 2 – 11 August. There is a wide variety of performances and entertainment from street dance to experimental theatre.

The Etno-Espa series taking place on 5-22 August reunites numerous contemporary folk acts in the Esplanade Park. Admissions are generally free and the setting couldn’t be better: close to an ice-cream stand, the Havis Amanda fountain and the Kappeli restaurant terrace. The event will be closed with the performance of the singer Lau Nau.

Jazzy Nights

For the jazz fans, Hakaniemi is the place to go. This is where, annually, jazz bands gather up and perform all night long. Wednesdays are also usually free admissions and should you miss it, worry not: just a few meters away, the Juttutupa pub also offers free jazz every Wednesday.

On Saturday nights you can visit the same pub to listen to blues, folk and even country-rock music.

Rock in the Park

And if the relaxing yet entertaining jazz music isn’t exactly your cup of tea, the Canadian singer Neil Young will be performing loudly in Kaisaniemi Park.

At a rather different end of the scale, Swedish pop-rock stars Bo Kaspers Orkester and Eva Dahlgren will be performing a double-bill at the Helsinki Arena.

The Weekend Festival however, is for the ones with electronic music tastes as DJ producers such as David Guetta (France), Armin van Buuren (the Netherlands) and Calvin Harris (Scotland) will be entertaining the crowd with their electronic dance music alongside domestic stars such as Cheek, Darude and Orkidea. This event will be held in the seaside Kalasatama district, near Sörnäinen.

Big Names at the Flow Festival

Marking its 10th year, 2013’s Flow Festival will showcase performances from international stars such as Alicia Keys, Gloria Gaynor, Grace Jones, the German band Kraftwerk and even Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

The scene will see some famous jazz names too including American saxophonists Steve Coleman and Ravi Coltrane as well as internationally-renowned Finns Teemu Viinikainen and Timo Lassy.

And what about some Free Fun after all of this?

Helsinki Festival comprises of a multitude of free events which range from dance to children’s activities, art exhibitions and even circus performances. On the Night of the Arts, held on 22nd August, no less than 200 events will be offered to the public for free and to top it all up, every night at 9pm there will be one performance given from the top of the city’s towers, offering a unique and amazing view.

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