Held in the Ruissalo National Park is Ruisrock, Finland’s oldest rock festival and the second oldest in Europe. Proof of its popularity comes from the fact tickets are sold out before the final programme is released.
At Ruisrock, in addition to music there is also art to enjoy. Over the years the festival has witnessed a giant unicorn, ballerinas as well as a pink flamingo rising high into the air. An essential part of the festival is also the high quality food, as well as good wine and a well-stocked supply of cold beer and refreshing drinks.
Whether you’re a long-time friend or a new acquaintance, Ruisrock’s legendary sunset just has to be witnessed. Dip your toes in the water whilst watching the gig on the Beach Stage, and be sure to wave to the sailing boats passing by!
July’s DBTL (25th–27th July2019) is an inseparable part of summer in Turku. The festival frivolity is impossible to avoid, when this year DBTL’s party area takes place in the cathedral square and the neighbouring Brahe Park. It’s a little bit like returning to your roots, given that life in Turku began around the cathedral.
The array of artists is full of classic names from the domestic music scene, such as Eppu Normaali and Popeda as well as the hottest acts of the moment, the likes of Vesala and Sanni. You could say, that DBTL gives everyone a little something, but it’s more like everything for everyone. Even when you have the captivating River Aura scenery right in front of you, the atmosphere of the city festival easily grabs the spotlight.
The children’s own rock festival Seikkisrock (8th–9th June 2019) is the most extraordinary summer event, at least according to the kids. Held in the Kupittaa Adventure park is a two-day festival that is such a hit, adults enjoy it as much as the kids.
At this festival, you’ll enjoy the most popular music for kids. Get rocking with some familiar characters on stage and jam with some new stars. This summer, the little festival goers can dance and get moving with, for example, the legendary children’s band Pellekaija Pum and the energetic combo of Sitku. Expect amusing lyrics, a lively scene on stage and plenty of fun with play and art activities.
4 Aura Fest
At the beginning of August (9th–10th August2019) Turku’s Kupittaa Park bulges with fresh music and happy festival goers. Aura Fest has clearly marked its place in the schedule for Turku traditional summer festival season, helping to squeeze the last drop of fun out of the summer. Dancing away the end to the season, the weather in August is is often when everything is at its best.
The luscious Kupittaa Park provides an unparalleled festival setting, and if necessary you can sit and take it easy between gigs in the shade of the trees. This year the park welcomes sets from the likes of Gasellit, Pyhimys and JVG. In other words, on the basis of the rap line-up alone it’s worth clicking your way over to the ticket sales right now.
5 Korpo Sea Jazz
Spreading out across the archipelago is the legendary Korpo Sea Jazz (24th–27th July 2019), an annual go-to festival for all high-end consumers of jazz, where the best jazz musicians in Finland gather to perform in the middle of the Korpo nature. Event elements standing out include the sea and archipelago scenery, as well as the cosy communion with top musicians and intimate jamming sessions. What else could a person need?
Here, you may not find the traditional candy sticks or beer tents, but that is to your benefit. Korpo is an exotic destination for a festival, especially when the ferry drops you right on the spot. It’s a little bit like a mini vacation – a little jazz vacation.
Originally, Flame Jazz was developed as a jazz project for the Turku 2011 European Capital of Culture year, initiating the boom in Turku’s high profile and reputed jazz culture. The sinfully smooth jazz sound comes in the form of a concert series, which definitely ranks as the best tip for the spring season. Throughout April and May, gigs are sprinkled across the city to the outskirts of central Turku, so check the programme details and list of performers.
In the autumn, the concert venue boards a cruise ship, when the Flame Jazz Cruise (21st September 2019) transports the jazz way of life on a 24-hour festival out at sea. Jazz + archipelago scenery = the perfect combo!
7Turku Music Festival
With changing dynamics from echoes in Turku Castle and the intimate concerts in Turku’s cultural venues, the melodies created by Finland’s oldest music festival will resonate throughout the body of every listener.
The Turku Music Festival will be organised 8th–22nd August 2019 for the 60th time, and for the first time under the leadership of the new artistic director Klaus Mäkelä. At the famous gathering, Finland’s stars of classical music share the euphoria of music through dozens of concerts. Up-to-date programme information for the event can be found at the website below.
Key Ensemble is a Turku-based choir that has received praise and awards at every turn, and which is known for its rich a cappella sound and innovative repertoire. This might tell something for their popularity: Key Ensemble has been invited to give a concert tour in China in June! Key Ensemble will give a farewell- concert on Tuesday the 28th of May at the voluntary fire brigade-house of Turku, where also Chinese music included in the tour-program will be performed.
9Musicians of the King’s Road
Musicians of the King’s Road are a Turku-based baroque orchestra and choir, whose name comes from the old road from Bergen to St Petersburg, according to the postal route through Turku. The musicians live more or less along the King’s Road. The group’s repertoire consists of well-known masterpieces but also rare Finnish and European works. The musicians also make use of historical instruments. Private performances from the Musicians of the King’s Road have been enjoyed by Swedish royalty.
The tenth anniversary of the prestigious company begins on 6th January 2019 in Turku Cathedral, with G. P. da Palestrina’s renaissance mass Missa sine nomine. An extraordinary chance to listen and experience the sacred litany, which always echoes in the Vatican before a Pope is chosen.
10Turku Philharmonic Orchestra
Turku is Finland’s cradle of culture, so it makes sense that the country’s oldest orchestra and one of the oldest in the world, originated in Turku. The predecessor of the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, Turun Soitannollinen Seura, was founded in 1790. The legendary Leif Segerstam will work as the Philharmonic’s chief conductor until the end of spring 2019. The main guest during 2017–2019 is the Lithuanian-born conductor and star violinist Julian Rachlin.
The home of Turku Philharmonic Orchestra is the Turku Concert Hall, Finland’s first purposefully designed and built concert hall. The Philharmonic’s fabulous programme can be explored through the link below.