FolkWorld #75 07/2021
© Teemu Fiilin, Laura Aspelin (Music Finland)

A Guide to Finnish Summer Festivals 2021

Ilkka Heinonen

Artist Video Ilkka Heinonen

Despite the extraordinary year, Finland will once again have a rich and dense summer festival season! It's time to draw out your calendars and take a look at this year’s festival assortment.

Sommelo, 26 June–1 July


Artist Video Pauanne @ FROG

Even in the global landscape of festivals, Sommelo, held on both sides of the Finnish-Russian border, in the historical landscape of Kainuu and Viena Karelia, is truly a unique one. This year, with a slightly downsized program, Sommelo offers a nice selection of Finnish folk music, ranging from Zäpämmät to Johanna Juhola and workshops with topics from runosong to kantele and back.

Haapavesi Folk Music Festival, 1–3 July

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. Artistic director for the event is Teija Niku. This year’s line-up will be 100 per cent domestic (as all Swedish acts that were booked had to cancel their performances), with artists like Dantchev:Domain, Ilkka Heinonen, Tsuumi Sound System, Ma Rouf, Pauanne and PK Keränen (22-Pistepirkko) with prominent folk accordionist Leija Lautamaja, among many others. The concerts will be also streamed this year.

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 Anne-Mari Kivimäki & Palomylly, Maria Kalaniemi & Eero Grundström, Piirainen | Blom | Company and many others.

Helsinki Festival, 15 August–1 September

Helsinki Festival is the largest arts festival in Finland, with a program consisting of concerts and happenings from classical and contemporary music to indie rock, hip hop, jazz and world music.

Finnish Music Quarterly

The article has originally been published @, June 2021, a showcase in English for Finnish musical culture since 1985.

Photo Credits: (1) Ilkka Heinonen, (2) Pauanne, (3) Johanna Juhola, (4) Anne-Mari Kivimäki (Puhti), (5) Maria Kalaniemi, (6) Finnish Music Quarterly / Music Finland (unknown/website).

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