What’s On in Helsinki: January 2020

As January, and a new decade, dawn in Helsinki, the dark nights continue but there is no shortage of things to do! In January you can enjoy the Lux Helsinki light art festival, the Night of Science, numerous concerts, themed fairs, theatre performances, and more. There are events for the whole family to enjoy throughout January.

Here’s what to do in Helsinki this month, including concerts, festivals, outdoor events, and more:


Friday 3rd January

Andy McCoy

Finnish rock musician Andy McCoy is returning triumphantly from a 24-year break. His new solo album was released in the autumn of 2019 after being in the works for four years, and in January McCoy is taking the stage at Tavastia. Tickets are 30€.



Our Time is Now / Carmina Ndahiro

Roasberg cafe hosts this art show by Rwandan-Finnish photographer Carmina Ndahiro. This collection of Ndahiro’s work consists of photos of women in Rwanda, showing both their grace and their strength. The 3rd of January is the opening of the show, and the show runs through the month. Free event.


Saturday 4th – Wednesday 8th January

Lux Helsinki

Lux Helsinki is an annual festival which lights up the nordic winter. Light-based artworks will be shown along a route through the city, taking over both familiar landmarks and unknown corners. A selection of restaurants will also offer special dishes as a part of the accompanying Lux Helsinki Eat. Free event.



Saturday 4th January


Located in the Sello library in neighbouring Espoo, this event is one for fans of anime, manga, and games. Like any similar convention, it offers workshops, gaming sessions, cosplay, and art. This year, the theme of the convention is “magic”. Free event.


Iltapukuoutlet (Evening Gown Outlet)

A few times a year, Helsinki’s Vanha Ylioppilastalo (Old Student House) turns into an outlet sale for women’s formal wear. There are always 1000+ gowns available, with a maximum price of 199€. There are gowns of all sizes available. Free event.



Tuesday 7th January

RUN Against Sea Pollution

This 10-km run around the shores of Lauttasaari is organised by Zer0emission, a project aiming to raise awareness about sea pollution. During the run, participants can chat with Zer0emission members about the project. The 10€ participation fee will be donated to WWF’s Baltic Sea conservation efforts.


Thursday 9th – Saturday 11th January

Medusan huone (Medusa’s Room)

Medusan huone is a theatre performance presented by Saara Turunen and Kansallisteatteri (Finnish National Theatre). It is a contemporary story inspired by the myth of Medusa. The show explores topics of gender and power through musical and visual storytelling. Tickets are 40€.



Thursday 9th – Sunday 12th January

Disney on Ice – Magical Ice Festival

This winter spectacle is sure to be familiar to many families with children. Disney on Ice hits Helsinki in January with classic Disney characters as well as those from Moana, Frozen, The Little Mermaid, Tangled, and Beauty and the Beast. Children’s tickets start at 34€, adult tickets start at 49€.


Thursday 9th January


Both Finnish and international folk music and dance will be honoured at this event, which takes place in Helsinki’s famous Tavastia club. The programme will alternate between performances and presentations of awards. Five performers are scheduled. Tickets are 25€.



TRGM Helsinki Goes 80s Hyväntekeväisyysspinning (Charity Spinning)

Team Rynkeby – God Morgon are a charity cycling team who are working with UniSport Helsinki to organise a charity spinning class. The 1980s will be back in full swing through the music, which is sure to make you sweat! The 25€ ticket cost benefits ill children via Sylva ry and Aamu Säätiö.


Friday 10th – Saturday 11th January

Craft Beer Winter Wonderland

CoolHead Brew brewery and Korjaamo cultural centre bring you an event to warm up the Helsinki winter. Sample craft beers from both Finnish and international breweries who value quality over quantity. Advance tickets are 25€, including 15€ in drink credits.



Saturday 11th – Sunday 12th January

Mennään naimisiin häämessut (Let’s Get Married wedding fair)

If you’re planning your own wedding or are perhaps a wedding planner, this event is not to be missed. At this fair you can meet experts, get advice and tips, and of course explore what wedding industry products and services are on offer. Tickets are 9€.


Saturday 11th January

JMKE, AOM Album Debut + Kumikameli, Baltimor, Kulahtunut villi

Estonian punk legend JMKE lands in Suvilahti this January to perform songs from their 30+ year career. The event becomes a mini festival with the addition of bands AOM (celebrating an album release), Kumikameli, Baltimor, and Kulahtunut villi. Tickets TBA.



M & Cats of Transnistria

Bar Loose is a classic hangout for rock fans in the Kamppi neighbourhood. Their lineup for this weekend includes two Finnish indie acts who are gaining momentum with their dreamy indie pop sounds. Trio Cats of Transnistria takes the stage first, then comes singer-songwriter M. Tickets are 11,50€.


Sunday 12th January

Queer-opastus at Taidekoti Kirpilä

Taidekoti Kirpilä is the home-turned-museum which houses the art collection of the late collector Juhani Kirpilä and his life partner Kalle Rosenqvist. At this event you can learn about the collection through a viewpoint outside the typical heteronormative one. Free event.



Wednesday 15th January


Swedish band Opeth is bringing nearly 30 years of experience with death- and progressive-metal to this concert. They have a huge discography of 13 albums to play music from. The venue is Black Box, a 3000-seat club in the Helsinki Ice Hall. Tickets start at 59€.


Thursday 16th January

Tieteiden Yö (Night of Science)

Tieteiden Yö is a block party of a different kind. Instead of just letting loose, participants can enrich themselves through fun and fascinating science-related events. Artificial intelligence, visual art, and culture and society are all explored through a scientific lens. All events are free.



IHMEen Tieteiden Yö (IHME at the Night of Science)

IHME is an organisation which commissions ecological artwork. They are working with Bioart Society and Climate Whirl to offer a Tieteiden Yö event that focuses on the intersection of contemporary art, science, and ecology. There will be discussions with experts and a film screening. Free event.


Repurposing the university to tackle the climate emergency

This event at the University of Helsinki aims to discuss the current global climate emergency and to find out what the university can do to help fight against it. The event will consist of 3 speeches and a panel discussion. Free event, but register if you’d like to join for coffee and conversation after.



Friday 17th – Sunday 19th January

Matkamessut (Travel Fair)

Matkamessut brings together about 1000 businesses in the travel industry, including travel agencies, attractions, airlines, tourism boards, and hotels. You’re sure to find inspiration for your next holiday here, as there are representatives from over 80 countries.


Saturday 18th January

Party like Gatsby Helsinki – Cabaret Noir

Just as the 20s start again, partygoers all around Europe are invited to party like Jay Gatsby. The party comes to Helsinki in January, bringing with it live music, circus, showgirls, and other glitz and glamour. Dress code is required. Tickets start at 43,70€.



Magnesia Winter Getaway

This day retreat is on Suomenlinna, an island with an old fortress off the coast of mainland Helsinki. It’s the darkest time of the year, but you can spark an inner light in yourself with yoga, music, dance, self-reflection and other pampering activities. Tickets are 89€.


We Jazz: Makaya McCraven, Timo Lassy, We Jazz DJs

We Jazz is a Helsinki-based record label and festival which is presenting a sampling of jazz talent at Ääniwalli club. Finnish musician Timo Lassy opens the live programme, then it’s the turn of Chicago-based Makaya McCraven. We Jazz’s DJs round out the night. Tickets are 30€.



Monday 20th January

Academy of Moving People and Images: Graduate Screening

The Academy of Moving People and Images (AMPI) runs a one-year filmmaking programme aimed at people who have come to Finland in pursuit of asylum, a better life, education, or work. This event at the Bio Rex theatre is a showcase of the first graduating classes’ work. Free event, but RSVP.


Wednesday 22nd – Sunday 26th January

Cirkus Cirkör: Bloom

The colour and positivity of flowers, the grandeur of classical music, and the drama of contemporary circus combine in this show. Trapeze artists and acrobats hope to make people laugh, then bring them to the edge of their seat with excitement. Tickets range from 27,50-43€.



Friday 24th – Saturday 25th January

Utopia Festival

The former boiler hall in Suvilahti will turn into an electronic music utopia for one weekend. Music will combine with lights, visuals, and of course dance. Eight international artists have been booked, and Finnish artists will be announced soon! One-day tickets are 55-60€, two-day tickets are 105€.


Friday 24th – Sunday 26th January


Vegemessut, the Nordic countries’ biggest vegan food event, returns for its winter session. The first day is reserved for industry professionals, but Saturday and Sunday are open to the public. On those days you can sample delicious vegan food and view a varied stage programme. Tickets for a half-day session are 12€, or a full day is 20€.



Saturday 25th – Sunday 26th January


Savoy Theatre presents a weekend of Armenian culture. The Naghash Emsemble and Vardan Hovanissian Trio will perform concerts, and both days will have a screening of the film “The Color of Pomegranates”. Ticket prices vary from 10€ for a film showing to 70€ for an all-inclusive weekend ticket.


Sunday 26th January

Feeri – kiehtovaa lastenteatteria Annantalossa (Feeri – echanting children’s theatre at Annantalo)

Teatteri Quo Vadis brings two performances of their children’s play Feeri to Annantalo cultural centre. Feeri is the story of two children exploring a world which may be a dream, or may just be reality. The children learn lessons about friendship along the way. Tickets are 10€.



Wednesday 29th January

Wilko Johnson

Guitarist Wilko Johnson rose to fame in Great Britain in the 1970s with the band Dr. Feelgood. He is still performing as a solo artist today. In the beginning of 2020 he is taking a short tour around Finland, including a stop at Helsinki’s Tavastia. Tickets are 37,50€.


An Evening With Ryley Walker

Chicago-born musician Ryley Walker combines blues, folk pop, jazz, and experimental sounds in his music. Experience the artist’s work in an intimate setting in the unique G Live Lab venue. Tickets are 33€.



Thursday 30th January – Sunday 2 February

Helsinki Must Be Destroyed Festival

This is the third incarnation of this punk festival, which starts with a pre-party and goes on to showcase eleven music acts over the weekend. On the Rocks night club plays host. One-day tickets are 30,50€, two-day tickets are 44,50€.


Friday 31st January

Lasten Hautausmaa at Tavastia Club

Lasten Hautausmaa is a six-member Finnish rock group who is about to release their fourth LP, IV. After taking a break from performing to put the album together, the band returns to the stage at Helsinki’s famous Tavastia. Tickets start at 16€.



Friday 31st January – Sunday 2nd February

MP20-messut (MP20 Fair)

MP20 is the biggest motorcycle fair in Northern Europe, with representatives from all major motorcycle brands. You can shop for bikes and gear, find information, and register to try out your motoring skills on a race track. Adult tickets are 17€.


Ongoing in January

Sanna Pelliccioni | Minna! Kuvituksia Minna Canth -lastenkirjasta (Minna! Illustrations from Minna Canth children’s book)

Art and culture centre Annantalo is known for children’s events like this one. This exhibition consists of material from the book Minna!, a biography of Minna Canth made for children. The book was written by Leena Virtanen and illustrated by Sanna Pelliccioni. Free event; runs until 31st January.



Lux Korkeasaari

Korkeasaari Zoo is participating for the first time in the yearly Lux Helsinki light festival. Experience the zoo anew as a brightly lit wonderland full of light art! One euro from each ticket sold will go towards conservation of the snow leopard. Normal ticket prices are in effect, so 14€ for adults and 8€ for kids. On until 8th January.


Ariadne auf Naxos

If you’re a business or organisation that would like us to add your event to next month’s calendar, please contact us at hello [@] scandinaviastandard [dot] com. Thank you!



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Linda Vuorenvirta

Linda Vuorenvirta is an illustrator and culture buff from Helsinki, Finland. Follow her on Instagram @lindanimated to see her latest art projects.