Top 5 Tips, Helsinki Festival 2016
Marketta Lehtonen May 16, 2016

Helsinki Festival comes to town again in August-September. The new programme was published in April, of which I gathered some oF the most interesting hints. The choice wasn’t easy to make, because loads of fascinating music, theatre and dance programme as well as partner festivals, such as Art goes Kapakka, Korjaamo Theatre’s Stage Festival and Viapori Jazz I had to left behind. More detailed information of the festival is available at .

The installations designed by Choi Jeong Hwa are made of colourful recycled plastic. Image: Finnish National Gallery/Petri Vertanen


1. Night of the Arts & Choi Jeong Hwa

The Night of the Arts is a huge carnival day that has been arranged in Helsinki since 1989. The programme fascinates people of all ages. This year’s event will be held in August, 25. The programme consists of old favourites that remain their charm year after year featuring something new and spectacular. My own favourites are the big city happenings, that allow  people to participate and be part of the show. This year the big thing is an installation at the Senate Square designed by Korean artist Choi Jeong Hwa together with citizens. The theme is marine protection which belongs to current issues in Finland when we think about the Baltic and its future. Choi Jeong Hwa is known for his colourful works made of recycled material, that already can be seen in his exhibition “Happy Together” at the Museum of Contemporary Museum Kiasma. The same kind of art was offered by Helsinki Design Week last autumn, when the installation by Finnish artist Kristiina Tuura was on display at the Havis Amanda fountain.

The works made by Niki de Saint Phalle are humorous with dark tones. Image: Helsinki Festival/Niki Charitable Art Foundation


2. Niki de Saint Phalle

One of my favourites is French sculptor Niki de Saint-Phalle, whose exhibition will be held at Kunsthalle Helsinki. She’s known for her cheerful dancing female figures that are bursting with joie de vivre and good humour. You’ll find that kind of exuberant atmosphere in burlesque shows. Saint Phalle was married to a Swiss artist Jean Tinguely, whose exhibition had been held at Amos Anderson Art Museum in Helsinki 2014 featuring also works they’d done together. Otherwise the nearest place to catch her works is in Stockholm, in the sculpture park by Moderna Museet.

Pop up concerts spread around Helsinki to surprising locations. Image: Helsinki Festival/Mary Ribbay



3. Pop Up Concerts Kaupunkiklasaria

Pop up events have become more and more popular recently in Helsinki. There has been arranged cleaning days, in which the whole city is a huge flea market and people are selling their things in the streets. Also restaurant days have the same idea – once in every three months anyone can open a popup restaurant for a day. This time, the big thing is pop up classical music concerts in which young Finnish top musicians with string instruments tour the city and give free concerts. Classical music is great to hear in live and these concerts will surely find new fans. The detailed programme will be available from the website The programme covers also other music styles like pop music. As advance information, the Finnish participant of the Eurovision Song Contest Sandhja will attend one of these concerts in Linnanmäki Amusement Park.

Huvila Festival Tent has a charming terrace. Image: Helsinki Festival/Jussi Hellsten

 4. Five Star Acts

The summer concerts at Huvila Festival Tent is a must every year. The programme is based on multicultural rhythm music. In addition to this, there will be held a special brunch concert by five Finnish stars of different art forms. They are the designer Minna Parikka known from her elegant and hilarious shoes, musician Eicca Toppinen from the metal band Apocalyptica, Tampere Filharmonia conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali, photographer Touko Hujanen and dancing couple Katja Koukkula and Jussi Väänänen. These artists will realise a communal art project in spring-summer and that will come to an end on September 4th with a brunch concert at Huvila. This bunch of people together brings many questions in my mind. What they’ll do together? And how? Have to find out!

Fernando Rubio offers peaceful moments in hectic surroundings. Image: Helsinki Festival/Conrado Krivochein


5. Fernando Rubio
Argentinian artist Fernando Rubio has performed his work “Everything By My Side” already in 11 different cities, including some of the biggest metropoles in the world, like New Yok, Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires. Helsinki Festival will showcase the work also in Helsinki bringing beds along the Keskuskatu street. The artist invites people to stop by for a while and slip between sheets in order to experience some surprising encounters. Funny, but interesting!

Blue moment in Huvila. Image: Helsinki Festival/Petri Anttila


Helsinki Festival will be held August 19th – September 4th and the programme is available in Check it out and let us know your Top 5!



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