Finnish summer festivals bring music to your ears

Five famous Finns reveal their festival faves. During the summer months in Finland, you can visit a different festival almost every day, and the events calendar continues into the autumn and beyond.

We asked five well-known culture personalities to recommend their favourite Finnish festivals (links below).

You can listen to music at a festival called Silence, hear jazz on a fortress island, enjoy chamber music far from the big city, and more.

Rosa Liksom

Author, artistPhoto: Pekka Mustonen

“My favourite is Silence Festival, organised in Lapland in the small village of Kaukonen in June. It’s a multidisciplinary programme – contemporary classical music and contemporary circus – that brings together people interested in art and local culture. They have workshops and high-quality performances in a beautiful, peaceful setting.”

Paola Suhonen

Designer, artist, film makerPhoto: Kim Öhrling

“Superwood is a unique boutique festival that brings the best of Finnish electro and pop music, academic talks, film, and art and design under the same roof. It’s held to the east of Helsinki by the sea, in the middle of a dark forest. The first Superwood was in 2017 and this was the first time a Scandinavian fashion brand organised its own festival. This is the best reason to come to dark Helsinki in October.”

Pekka Kuusisto

Violinist, composerPhoto: Maija Tammi

“If you’re into chamber music, it’s more or less impossible not to know about the avalanche of sound that is the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival. Two weeks of nearly constant daylight and joyous music-making in a tiny little town far away from the larger blobs on the map. If you need to be closer to Helsinki, come to Our Festival. I’d recommend it even if I wasn’t the artistic director. It lasts a week and has roughly 20 events of very varied programming, featuring concerts in the living room of the Sibelius family.”

Riku Rantala

Writer, TV personalityPhoto: Marko Rantanen

“I’d recommend Viapori Jazz, a small but top-class jazz festival held every August on the Suomenlinna fortress island, overlooking Helsinki. It combines Finland’s best sounds and musicians, picturesque venues, and dark and warm late summer nights.”

Isac Elliot

Pop artistPhoto: Sony Music

“My favourite festival is Ruisrock, a huge three-day festival in the archipelago outside of Turku. It has always been a dream of mine to perform there. Any stage would have been nice but I got to play on the main stage. I’m always going to remember the warm and sunny day when my dream came true at the age of 16. The surroundings are amazing, with boats and ships cruising past the festival area – it is just very special.”

By Taru Virtanen, ThisisFINLAND Magazine 2018