50th Musik vid Siljan (Dalarna, Sweden), 29 June - 7 July 2019.
A live music week for the whole family: Just a week after Midsummer, Music at Lake Siljan takes place. This musical event offers a wide variety of music to suit all ages and tastes in a beautiful and unique environment. You are invited to enjoy traditional folk music, classical music, church concerts and traditional dancing to fiddle music in various village community houses. You are also welcome to participate in any of the many musical courses which are offered during the week. Music at Lake Siljan offers around 50 concerts and a large variety of fiddeling, choir singing and traditional dancing.
30th Førde Traditional and World Music Festival (Sunnfjord, Sogn og Fjordane, Norway), 3 - 7 July 2019.
30 Years Without Borders: Garifuna rhythms from Belize, Cajun music from Louisiana, duduk melodies from Armenia, a dose of Russian madness, fado from Portugal, Balkan brass lessons, washboard lessons with a Cajun queen, Scottish reeling and Swedo-Norwegian folk rock music – all is set and ready for musical diversity when the Førde Traditional and World Music Festival celebrates its first 30 years. “30 years transcending borders! is this year’s theme, and the programme offers many welcome reunions, but also a chance to encounter new and exciting artists”, explains director Per Idar Almås.
25th Urkult Festival (Näsåker, Västernorrlands län, Sweden), 1 - 3 August 2019.
A festival for everone: During three days people, music and culture from different parts of the world arrive at Näsåker, a village with about 600 inhabitants located by the great rapid Nämforsen part of river Ångermanälven. Apart from concerts on various stages the program consists of workshops, poetry and a variety of activities for the little ones. Urkult is well known for its opening ceremony “Eldnatten” or “the Night of Fire” – a unique spectacle containing many different forms of art such as drums, singing, dancing and fire.
30th Telemarkfestivalen (Bø, Telemark, Norway), 8 - 11 August 2019.
An arena for all folk music: For 30 years, the Telemark Festival has been an arena for diverse and viable folk music from all over the world; the popular, the traditional and the innovative. The offering ranges from the commodity, beautiful and close to the intense, compelling and challenging.
25th WOMEX World Music Expo (Tampere, Finland), 23 - 27 October 2019.
WOMEX 19 Opening: Arctic Fire – Pohjoiset tulet. This year's Opening artists are: Pauanne, a power trio described as folk fiction, who incorporate archive recordings from the last 100 years into their new folk-grit sound; Pekko Käppi, a Finnish folk music composer, singer and jouhikko (ancient Finnish bowed lyre) player who has revolutionised the standards of playing this iconic instrument; Suistamon Sähkö, a folktronica act with a pinch of folk poetry, rap and manic dance moves; and Vildá, a duo that is a blend of indigenous Sámi yoik, detailed rhythms and improvisation, inspired by present-day pop and the Sámi people's close connection to nature.
Regional Stage: Northern Connections. Continuing the annual tradition of representing and supporting talents from the host countries and around, this notable 25th jubilee edition of WOMEX programme will showcase musical talent not just from the Nordic region (Finland, Norway, Sweden & Denmark) but also from neighbours Estonia and Lithuania. Taking to the regional stage are: Tuuletar, a Finnish quartet comprising of four women with four microphones and no instruments building a world of sounds; the six-piece Mames Babegenush from Denmark, will perform klezmer and Balkan brass with a distinctive Scandinavian stamp and a hint of manouche jazz; Cätlin Mägi, hailing from Estonia, sings and plays 50 (yes, fifty!) Jew’s harps. From Kautokeino in Finnmark, the centre of the Sami culture comes Elle Marja who uses yoik singing, percussion and electronics.
Summer is already looming despite the chilly weather, so it's time to draw out your calendars, because the rich and dense festival season is around the corner! We picked 30 interesting Finnish summer festivals here, see more below.
Sommelo, 26 June–1 July
You can’t find a festival like Sommelo easily: held on both sides of the Finnish-Russian border, in the historical landscape of Kainuu and Viena Karelia. The festivals offers a versatile selection of traditional and modern folk music, ranging from Värttinä to Vassvik, Solju, Hivshu & Mirja Palo.
Haapavesi Folk Music Festival, 27–29 June
Haapavesi Folk Music Festival’s programme is once again filled with folk and world music along with music for children, jazz, rock and classical music, with artists like Maria Kalaniemi & Eero Grundström, Anna Murtola, Suistamon Sähkö, Joonas Haavisto Trio, Korpiklaani and OK:KO on the large lineup. The artistic director for this year is Teija Niku.
Kaustinen Folk Music Festival, 8–14 July
Established in 1968, Kaustinen Folk Music Festival is the largest folk music festival in the Nordic countries. Among the hundreds of acts that perform during the festival week in Kaustinen are Vildá, Antti Paalanen, ENKEL and Tsuumi Sound System.
Pori Jazz, 18–20 July
Finland’s oldest jazz festival is known to dig deep also in genres way beyond jazz. This year the line up includes headlining rock legends Toto and Stray Cats, pop megastar Christina Aguilera, legendary jazz, soul and world music performers such as Archie Shepp, Ron Carter, Cymande, Angélique Kidjo, Antibalas and Betty Wright along modern jazz and soul like Melody Gardot, Mahalia, Ibibio Sound System and José James. Finnish acts include pop phenomenon Alma, soul singer Ina Forsman, grimy folkers Pekko Käppi & K:H:H:L, local hero J. Karjalainen as well as jazzers Timo Lassy & Ricky-Tick Big Band Brass, Mopo, OK:KO and the brand new supergroup Superposition!.
Raahe Jazz on the Beach Festival, 25–27 July
Raahe Jazz on the Beach Festival, with over three decades if history, is an intimate and modern outdoor jazz festival in the idyllic, old wooden seaside town Raahe in Northern Finland. The line-up includes Ylva Haru, Sole Azul with Jaakko Laitinen, Hot Heros, Litku Klemetti, Bowman Trio, Naïssam Jalal, Three Days of Forest (FR), Linear John, Kaisa’s Machine and more.
Oulunsalo Soi, 8–11 August
Oulunsalo Soi Festival hosts a variety of concerts in Oulu and its surroundings, with a strong focus on Baroque music. The festival's new artistic director is violinist Kreeta-Maria Kentala. This year’s line-up includes artists, musicians and groups such as harmonica band Sväng, pianist Joonas Ahonen, Barocco Boreale (‘northern Baroque’), traverso players Pekka Elsilä and Pauliina Fred as well as Kreeta-Maria Kentala herself.
Helsinki Festival, 15 August–1 September
Helsinki Festival is the largest arts festival in Finland. The program consists of concerts and happenings from classical and contemporary music to indie rock, hip hop, jazz and world music. This year the schedule contains, for example, Arnold Schönberg’s Gurrelieder by Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and Lahti Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Susanna Mälkki, Max Richter’s eight-hour masterpiece Sleep and Walter Sallinen’s experimental sound work UXO. On the bill there are also pop and rock acts like Anna Calvi, Ellips, Asgeir, Courtney Barnett and Yola, as well as soul and funk artists like Orgone, Nicole Willis and Lizz Wright with UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra. And on top of that you have the world music sounds of Benin International Musical and Helsinki-Cotonou Ensemble, the Finnish all-female hip hop collective Dreamgirls and crossover acts such as Stargaze and Anna Meredith. Not to forget dance, theater, film, visual arts and children’s culture.
Photo Credits: (1) Musik vid Siljan, (2) Sofia Karlsson, (3) Hoven Droven, (4) Frigg, (5) Førde Traditional and World Music Festival, (6) Mahsa Vahdat, (7) Vassvik, (8) Karl Seglem, (9) Solo & Indré, (10) Accordion Samurai, (11) Urkult Festival, (12) Maija Kauhanen, (13) Skenet, (14) Telemarkfestivalen, (15) Eivør, (16) Suistamon Säkhö, (18) Womex, (19) Vildá, (20) Pekko Käppi, (21) Mames Babegenush, (22) Tuuletar, (23) Solju, (24) Kaustinen Folk Music Festival, (25) Sväng (unknown/website); (17) Väsen, (by The Mollis).