Finland’s most popular festivals and music events
During the summertime, numerous festivals and music events are held across Finland, bringing together a wealth of people to enjoy great music. Whether you are interested in the top pop artists, tango tunes, or the unique atmosphere of the opera festivals, there is guaranteed something for every taste. We’ve listed five popular music events that you should definitely experience at least once in your lifetime.
Ruisrock, in the scenic area of Ruissalo, Turku, brings together nearly 100,000 music lovers every year. From 1970 onwards you can see the top Finnish pop music artists and many well-known performers from abroad. The sight of a cruise ship headed for Sweden slowly passing by behind the stage, during the performance of a favourite artist, is bound to be an experience that won’t easily be forgotten.
Organised since 2010, Saaristo Open is a 2-day music festival that takes place in the breathtaking scenery of Turku Archipelago. The festival area is built on the beach of Hovirinta in Kaarina, and the festival attracts approximately 12,000 guests each year to enjoy live music, friendly atmosphere and the beautiful archipelago landscapes. There's no age limit in Saaristo Open, but the organisers recommend children under 14 years old arriving to the festival with an adult. Kids under 7 years old can enjoy the music free of charge when arriving with an adult. Saaristo Open takes place at the beginning of June each year, which makes it an ideal summer festival to combine with a holiday in Turku Archipelago and even biking or driving the beautiful Archipelago Trail.
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Photo: Ruisrock / Mari Herrala
The Ilosaarirock organized at Joensuu’s Laulurinne is one of Finland’s longest arranged and probably most legendary music events. At the multi-stage festival venue, you can see performers from aspiring underground bands to Finland’s most popular artists. According to a famous saying, the sun always shines at Ilosaari, which means it is wise to bring some sunscreen, apart from friends and a cheerful spirit. And if there is a need for cooling off during the summer day, Ilosaari provides the possibility to jump into the sea even in the middle of a gig.
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Photo: Ilosaarirock / Terhi Hytönen
The Seinäjoki Tango Festival
In the month of July, in the midst of the most beautiful summer, new stars are born at the Seinäjoki Tango Festival, year after year. The music event which takes place in the centre of Seinäjoki is today one of Finland’s most popular summer events, gathering more than 100,000 visitors every year, to dance to the music of the most popular tango singers in Finland. The festival culminates in annual TV finals, where the new “royalties” of the Finnish Tango scene are crowned.
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Kuva: Seinäjoen Tangomarkkinat / Viacheslav Vinokurov
The Savonlinna Opera Festival
The magnificent setting of the Savonlinna Opera Festival in the Olavinlinna medieval castle lake scenery fascinates year after year. The group of events which take place annually in July gather more than 60,000 listeners. In addition to the opera, there are plenty of interesting events in the immediate vicinity of Olavinlinna. If you have not previously experienced the atmosphere of the opera festival, now is the time to do it.
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Kuva: Savonlinnan Oopperajuhlat
One of Finland’s most popular festivals, Pori Jazz, is famous for its versatile choice of music performers. During the July festival, you can enjoy performances of well-known international artists and spot plenty of famous persons also in the audience. Just a short walk from the centre of Pori, the festival centre at Kirjurinluoto offers a great setting for the event itself.
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Photo: Pori Jazz photo / Petri Anttila