In August, Helsinki’s events calendar is back in the swing of things. There are still some restrictions on large groups, but small events are happening and businesses are working hard to keep visitors safe. In August you can enjoy plenty of music, from blues to trance, art exhibitions, and even the traditional Helsinki “beer floating” down a river!
Here’s everything happening in Helsinki this August, including festivals, fleamarkets, live music, and film screenings:
Saturday 1st August
Open Doors at Flipperiluola Apollonkatu 7
Adults who remember playing classic pinball games at the arcade, as well as kids interested in what retro gaming looked like, are all welcome at Flipperiluola – literally “Flipper Den”. €18 gives you unlimited access to 26 machines. Children are allowed from 3pm – 6 pm.
Saturday 1st August
This event, which translates to “beer floating,” is a wacky yearly event that sees people taking lilos and any other conceivable floatation devices down a river. Of course, as the name suggests, beer is enjoyed while floating. The river being traversed is Keravanjoki in Vantaa. Free event.
Neonya!! Party Park
The party is one filled with dance and picnicking, and the park in question is Nylander Park in the Hermanni neighborhood. DJs BLNQ, D-Shark, Hexexen, Kehveli, Tabbels, Movestache, Saden, and Yukata will play. Free event, bring your own snacks!
Sunday 2nd August
VUM Open Air 2020 Opening
Ääniwalli’s VUM open-air events start again for the season on the second day of August. The event is timed for Sunday evening and starts at 3 pm, when Trevor Deep Jr., J. Lindroos, Sansibar, and Marju will perform. Free entry.
Monday 3rd August
WHS Teatteri Union, a cinema in Kruununhaka, is showing a moon-themed film once a month during that month’s full moon. In August it’s Two Who Stole the Moon, a 1962 Polish film directed by Jan Batory. The film, shown in its 35mm format, will be seen for the first time in Finnish cinemas. Tickets are €9.
Wednesday 5th August
Storyville, ranked by Downbeat Magazine as one of the best jazz clubs in the world, hosts American harmonica player and singer Kat Baloun. She will perform with a Finnish band consisting of Jonne Kulluvaara, Jaska Prepula, and Juppo Paavola. Tickets TBA.
Thursday 6th August
Come see Todd Hayne’s cult classic about glam rock at Kallio’s Riviera cinema and bar! The 1998 film stars the likes of Ewan McGregor, Christian Bale, and Eddie Izzard. There are two further showings the following week as well. Tickets are €18.
Friday 7th – Sunday 9th August
Modern European restaurant and bar Hello Stranger brings electronic music to their dance floor this weekend. Performing are The Sound Collective / Mihut & Janne Rasi, Samuli Kemppi, Suski, and Roberto Rodriguez. Free entrance.
Friday 7th August
M/s Poitsila Presents: SompAct – Wheel of Death Performance
M/s Poitsila served as a tugboat in WWII, but these days the vessel is docked in Helsinki’s Sompasaari. The ship is a venue for events, such as this circus performance utilizing the “wheel of death” apparatus. Admission fee is voluntary.
The ship Grand Georgia, which regularly functions as a Georgian restaurant and bar, turns into the “Latin Boat” for one night only. DJs Gus El Pibe and La Canela will spin Latin beats so guests can dance the night away. Tickets are €6, cloakroom included.
This free music festival brings eight bands to the stage in culture hub Maunula-talo. Äiti Heresia, Nuoruus, Future Box, Sorsajengi, Ghosts on TV, Love Sport, Tamara Luonto, and more will entertain you with music ranging from punk to experimental.
Saturday 8th August
Luca’s Wood Oven Pizza at Siili Cafe
Siili Cafe is an adorable summer spot in Käpylä. They always have good drink and food, but this day they’re featuring authentic Neopolitan style pizza cooked by chef Luca Platania. Options are Margherita, Cacio e Pepe, and Marinara.
Lapinlahti Park Flea Market
Lapinlahden Lähde, the old psychiatric hospital-turned-cultural-centre, is turning into an open flea market. Anyone can come and sell their items, and you do not have to register beforehand. Unsold small items, such as dishes and knick-knacks, can be donated to help Lapinlahden Lähde.
Rafla Antiques, Hot Dogs, Wine, and Happy Moments
Adlerfelt restaurant on Suomenlinna’s Susisaari is called the “Happy Place of Suomenlinna.” They’re inviting everyone to come to their antique sale to pick up antique dishes and other treasures. You can enjoy a hot dog while you shop, as well as wines from Viinitie. Free event.
Jukka Nousiainen & Kumpp at Bar Loose
Jukka Nousiainen is a Finnish rock musician who has three solo albums under his belt. His music combines raw rock with a rustic and bluesy sound. This month he is performing at Bar Loose with his band, continuing the venue’s limited-capacity summer concert series. Tickets TBA.
Concert Tour Supersaha is back on track in August and they’re taking a trip back to the early 2000s with trance music. DJs Proteus, Indigo, Thomas, and Lupu will be spinning. Earlybird tickets are €15, €20 on the door.
Cat Movie Day at Cinema Orion
Celebrate international cat day with Cinema Orion! The feline films being shown are “Pekka Töpöhäntä”, “Harry and Tonto”, “Katukatti Bob” (“A Streetcat Named Bob”, shown for the first time in Finnish cinemas), and the infamous “Cats” film adaptation from 2019. Tickets are 10€.
Sunday 9th August
National Dress Picnic at Esplanadi Park
The “birthday” of Finnish national dress is in August, and celebrations will take place all around Finland. In Helsinki, there will be a picnic in the iconic Esplanadi Park. Put on your national dress if you have one, pack a picnic, and come join others in the park. Free event.
Monday 10th – Sunday 16th August
RAW: Relational Art Week
Myymälä2 is a gallery in Helsinki’s design district, and they are presenting a fascinating new project. For one week, seven artists will present their work in a space that will function without the use of electricity. In the spirit of conserving electronic energy, the program will be documented manually by further artists. Free entrance with limited places.
Friday 14th – Saturday 15th August
Craft Beer Helsinki at Oljenkorsi Backyard
Craft Beer Helsinki’s main festival was cancelled, but they’ve teamed up with Olutravintola Oljenkorsi to have some mini-festivals. One will be held in the middle of August on the restaurant’s terrace. Free entrance, but try to come early as spots are limited.
Friday 14th August
Henna & Houreet, Plastic Tones & Teini-Pää at Bar Loose
Bar Loose is honouring the cancelled 2020 Flow Festival by holding their own mini-festival with three artists. Come listen to power pop, punk, and indie rock courtesy of Henna & Houreet, Plastic Tones, and Teini-Pää. Tickets TBA.
Allas Live: Maustetytöt
Allas Sea Pool is a year-round sauna and wellness centre, but in the summer they really come alive with outdoor music gigs. This time it’s Maustetytöt, a Finnish pop duo made up of two sisters, on the stage. Maustetytöt has been very successful since their debut album last year. Tickets are €27.50
Wednesday 19th – Saturday 22nd August
This progressive and groundbreaking art festival will showcase works in both the Ateneum museum and other spaces around the city. The theme for this year is hope, reflecting on the violent and disasterous start to 2020 and aiming in a better direction. Tickets TBA.
Friday 21st – Sunday 23rd August
This weekend festival has music for many tastes, from pop to rock to ska. The bands performing include Lasten Hautausmaa, Mikko Joensuu, Pelle Miljoona United, Wasted, Mary Ann Hawkins, Pietarin Spektakkeli, and The Valkyrians. Bring the entire family and a picnic! Free event.
Saturday 22nd – Sunday 23rd August
For the second year, Finland’s only DIY festival brings workshops, demos, courses, and merchants selling supplies to Helsinki’s Suvilahti. Tickets are €9 for one day or €16 for both.
Saturday 22nd August
Elokuu: Indie Festival
For the first time, Elokuu: Indie Festival brings together Finnish indie musicians to perform at Sompasaari’s conttibar. There will be performances from Rules (with their debut album release), Gim Kordon, New Silver Girl, KO:MI, Pink Chameleons, Kolibre, and DJ Paola Suhonen. Free event.
Monday 24th August
Murder Walk in the Heart of Helsinki
This unusual guided tour by WalkHelsinki introduces you to the darker side of the city. Starting from Vanha Kirkkopuisto and continuing to Senate Square, the experience teaches you about Helsinki’s violent crimes. The tour is 90 minutes and tickets are €15.
Friday 28th August
Helsinki bar Lepakkomies is turning 40 and they’re celebrating with plenty of music. The lineup includes Civicide, Fosforos, Foreseen, Generals, and Sonic Poison. Four DJs will round out the night with further music. Tickets TBA.
Saturday 29th August
Dave Lindholm Lights at Bar Loose
Finnish blues legend Dave Lindholm has gathered several other musicians – guitarist Tommi Laine, drummer Juppo Paavola, and bassist Mikko Löytty – to form Dave Lindholm Lights. They’re bringing their electronic blues sound to Bar Loose at the end of August. Tickets are €19.50.
Ongoing in August
Andy & Angela McCoy: Art Extravaganza
Hard Rock Cafe in the heart of Helsinki’s centre is showing the art of a legendary power couple: rock musician Andy McCoy and actress/singer/artist Angela McCoy. The colourful paintings will be on display every day from 11 am – 11 pm from Wednesday 12th August – Wednesday 2nd September. Free entry.
Inspiration – Contemporary Art & Classics at Ateneum
Artworks by European old masters have inspired many contemporary artists, and many of these homages have been gathered for this exhibition. Nearly 40 contemporary artists’ work is on display, along with photographs of the old masters’ artworks. From Thursday 18th June – Sunday 20th September. Tickets are €17.
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