When it comes to music festivals, Finland is the place to be. Events from large-scale rock festivals to tribal culture happenings are held all over the country throughout the short but light-filled summer.
For such a small country, Finland hosts an unbelievable number of festivals. Many of them are music-related and held in the summertime.
The Pori Jazz Festival is the biggest in its genre with around 150 000 visitors. A score of towns and cities host their own jazz festivals, too numerous to be listed here.
The promised land of rock
Finland is a country of rock lovers. Larger rock festivals include Provinssirock in Seinäjoki, Ruisrock in Turku, Ilosaarirock in Joensuu, and heavy metal festival Tuska (translates directly to “Pain”) in Helsinki.
The Flow Festival, also held in Helsinki, caters for fans of indie and alternative music (whatever that means these days). Pipefest in Himos is the place to be for hip hop heads.
Opera in a castle
Perhaps surprising to some, Finland is well known in the opera circuit. The main stage of the Savonlinna Opera Festival, celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2012, is the Olavinlinna castle looking over Finland’s grand Lake Saimaa.
Chamber and folk music aficionados are not forgotten, either. Since its inception in 1970, the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival has enjoyed wide international acclaim, as has the Kaustinen Folk Music Festival that celebrates its 45th edition in 2012.
The list goes on…
The Seinäjoki Tango Festival gathers together dancers of all ages, and the St. Mary’s Day festivities in Hetta, Lapland is the highpoint of the year for Sámi culture.
Jutajaiset in Rovaniemi is a Lappish folklore festival. At the shift of August and September, bringing the busy summer with its countless events to a close, is the Helsinki Festival, a two-week all-city event in the capital.
Contrast is the main ingredient in Finnish cultural life, probably because everything looks and sounds different from our northern perspective. This may explain heavy metal music played on cellos and films almost completely without dialogue.