What’s On in Helsinki: October 2019

Autumn is in full swing in Helsinki come October, bringing with it film festivals, book fairs, art exhibitions, and music events. It’s still nice to be outside, just put on a coat and grab a hot drink! But there are plenty of options for having fun inside as well. October is the month of Halloween too, and the holiday has taken off in Helsinki in recent years; so be prepared to get a little spooky!

Find out about the best events in Helsinki this month:

Wednesday 2 – Saturday 5 October


This contemporary circus performance explores two character’s search for each other after a missed connection. The story is told through acrobatics and dance, which are complemented by dreamlike sound and video art. The performance is at Caisa, one of the city of Helsinki’s cultural centers. Tickets are 10€.



Friday 4 – Sunday 6 October

Superwood Festival

Finnish fashion designer Ivana Helsinki is the creative force behind the annual Superwood Festival. The urban music and art festival has a lineup of 30+ musicians, art installations, vegetarian food, and 20 minute talks by researchers. Tickets range from 32-82€.


Friday 4 October

Helsinki Psych Fest

Three stages in Helsinki’s Suvilahti cultural centre will fill with psychedelia on October’s first weekend. 10 music acts will take over two of the stages, and the third will showcase theatre, 8mm films, art, magic performances, karaoke, and more. Tickets are 17,50€.



Saturday 5 October

YET Vol. 3

On October’s first weekend, head to Ääniwalli to hear music from a nine-strong lineup of performers. There will be a wild mix of power pop, psychedic rock, garage rock, and punk. The night will be rounded out by seven DJs spinning into the night. Tickets are between 22,50-25€.


Saturday 5 October

Käsityötarvikekirppis (Handicraft Materials Flea Market)

Crafters can buy inexpensive new supplies at this flea market in Helsinki’s Kumpula neighbourhood. If you’re a crafter with an overflowing supply drawer, you can sign up to sell your own as well for a fee of 10€. There will also be a cafe at the event.



Sunday 6 – Saturday 12 October

Stadin Silakkamarkkinat (The City’s Herring Market)

For six days in October, 30 fishermen will sell their wares from their boats at the Helsinki harbour market. There will be sellers of other local and organic products as well. The Helsinki Distilling Company will provide drinks, and musicians will provide entertainment.


Sunday 6 October

Kattilahallin kirppis (Kattihalli Flea Market)

Kattilahalli Flea Market is the largest communal flea market in Helsinki, bringing together 140 sellers this time around. You can find clothing, housewares, toys, and possibly some unexpected treasures. This time there will be an extra reason to drop by: Ali-Ollin Alpakktila is bringing by some real live alpacas! Free event.



Thursday 10 October

Valokarnevaali Linnanmäessä (Light Carnival at Linnanmäki)

As the nights start to get longer and darker, amusement park Linnanmäki lights up brighter than ever. Rides, boardwalk attractions, and much more in the park will be decked out in lights of many colours. Entrance to the park is free, ride tickets are purchased seperately.



Friday 11 October

Technology and Ethics

The public is welcome to take part in this panel discussing the societal impact of technology. The panel is a part of the Aalto University master’s level course “Mechanical Engineering in Society”. Experts in the field will discuss how technology and ethics are handled in contemporary societies. Free event, no registration required.


Ghosts on TV, Cyril Awakens, & Sunday League

Three Finnish alternative bands will take the stage at the popular Helsinki club Semifinal. Ghosts on TV bring post-rock and indie sound, Cyril Awakens combine pop, techno, and electronic, and Sunday League provide energetic indie rock. Tickets cost 7,50€ online or 8€ at the door.



Saturday 12 – Sunday 13 October

Retro & Vintage Design Expo

Finnish, Swedish, Estonian, and Danish retro goods from the 1920s-1980s are on display by over 80 vendors in this expo. Lovers of vintage and retro can pick up home decor, ceramics, glassware, clothing, accessories, textiles, paper goods, LPs, and more. Adult tickets are 10€, and those under 18 are free!



Sunday 13 October

Pakanalliset Syysmessut (Pagan Autumn Festival)

The theme for this festival is “inhabitants of the Finnish forest”, including those which originate from fantasy and mythology. In addition to exhibitors selling their art, jewellery, and other mystical objects, the festival offers workshops, lectures, and walk-in Pagan themed tattoos. Tickets are 7€ if bought early, or 10€ at the door.


Tuesday 15 – Sunday 27 October

Galleria No. 8 Goes Lauttasaari

Galleria No. 8 on Lauttasaari (a large island within Helsinki’s archipelago) is home to a two-week long group show by seven female artists. The types of work within the show range from paintings and photographs to textiles and ceramics. Free event.



Wednesday 16 October

Guitars, Guitars and More Guitars!

Three Finnish guitar virtuosos are teaming up to bring a night of music to cultural center Suvilahti. The guitarists are Jarmo Nikku, Ben Granfelt, and “Muddy” Manninen. Finlands Kompp, consisting of bassist Masa Maijanen and drummer and background singer Miri Miettinen, will accompany the guitarists. Tickets are 20€.



Thursday 17 October

Homes For All Torch Light Walk

The Association for Social Justice in Helsinki believes that everyone has the right to a roof over their heads. Join them for a peaceful march through northeastern Helsinki to help them spread this message! They will provide torches and placards, but you can also bring your own. Free event.


Mall of Tripla Opening

Pasila is known as the second city centre of Helsinki, and Tripla has been under construction for some time now right next to the train station. This October it’s opening its doors for the first time! Tripla includes over 250 businesses, the Finnish Music Hall of Fame, a cinema, and much more. Free event.



Friday 18 October

Mira Luoti Live

Finnish pop artist Mira Luoti will take over legendary music club Tavastia to promote her upcoming album. Be one of the first to hear her new music ahead of the album’s autumn release! Tickets are 18€ online, or 20€ at the door.


Tiede, tieto ja totuus -hackathon (Science, Knowledge, and Truth Hackathon)

This hackathon tackles serious issues relating to modern society’s information overflow and the consequent devaluing of said information. Participants aim to find solutions to problems such as denial of the climate crisis, the return of previously eradicated diseases, and online information manipulation.



Friday 18 – Sunday 20 October

I Love Me

Helsinki’s largest convention venue Messukeskus plays host to this festival of luxury and pampering. Discover new trends in hair, makeup, fashion, jewellery, health, and beauty. I Love Me is the biggest event of its kind in Northern Europe! Adult tickets are 16-19€.


Wednesday 23 – Sunday 27 October

Cinemaissi Film Festival

Cinemaissi Film Festival is returning to Helsinki after two years, bringing with it a selection of films from all over Latin America. Themes represented include women on screen, LGBTQ+ rights, Indigenous cultures, and social rights. Tickets to individual screenings are 9,50€.



Thursday 24 – Sunday 27 October

Helsingin Kirjamessut (Helsinki Book Fair)

This fair fills Helsinki’s largest convention venue with lovers of literature, authors, and many other industry professionals. There are more than 1000 total speakers and 300 booksellers and publishers at the event! 2019’s fair themes are freedom of speech, songwriting, and American literature and culture. Adult tickets are 16-17€.


Viini ja Ruoka (Wine and Food)

Viini ja Ruoka is Finland’s largest food and drink event, full of high profile events and tastings. On the 26th, four Finnish chefs will compete for Finland’s Bocuse d’Or prize, and other chefs will give demonstrations in the test kitchens. And above all, Viini ja Ruoka presents hundreds of high quality wines and plenty of delicious food. Tickets are 16-17€.



Friday 25 – Saturday 26 October

Helsinki Dark Electro Festival

Having been held for five years, the Helsinki Dark Electro Festival is celebrating its milestone anniversary this year. Held at On the Rocks club, the event features six live acts and DJs spinning afterwards on both nights. 1-day tickets are 30€/32€, and 2-day passes are 55€/60€ (buy in advance for discounts).


Friday 25 October

Mikäoke at On the Rocks

Mikäoke – literally “what-oke” – lives up to its name as a new variation of classic karaoke. Bar On the Rocks hosts the event, where the lyrics to the karaoke songs are made up by the audience on the spot. Audience members use their smartphones to communicate their improvised lyrics.



Saturday 26 – Sunday 27 October

Lakritsi- & Salmiakkifestivaalit (Liquorice & Salmiac Festival)

Finland is famous (or notorious?) for salmiakki, a salty liquorice candy. Some love it, some hate it, but it’s ubiquitous in sweets around the country. If you’re one of the lovers, head to Wanha Satama for sweet and salty festival. Tickets 11€ if purchased early, or 14€ at the door.


Saturday 26 – Sunday 27 October

Varjokirjamessut (Shadow Book Fair)

The Shadow Book Fair is an annual event for independent publishing houses to show off their wares. The event is for anyone interested in books, music, political discussion, and poetry in an antiauthoritarian countercultural environment. A pop-up cafe will serve vegan treats during the event. Free event.


Saturday 26 October

Helsinki Halloween Run

Even when you’re dressed like a skeleton, a witch, a fairy, or some other fantastical thing, you might want to run! If you find yourself in that situation close to Halloween, you can take part in Helsinki’s annual Halloween run. The event has both 5k and 10k trails. Registration is between 21€ and 34€.



Astoria Magic Night

Comedian and magician Risto Leppänen will orchestrate a show put on by four fellow magicians from the Nordics. The night will be capped off by saxophonist Jetro Tulinen, and the bar at the Astoria banquet hall will be serving drinks. Tickets are 29€.


Wednesday 30 October

Tangerine Dream + Hiro Kone

Trailblazing electronic music giants Tangerine Dream are making at stop at Helsinki’s The Circus club. The show is a part of their “16 Steps – Random & Revision 2019” tour. Tangerine Dream have made an indelible mark on the electronic music scene over their 50-year career. The band is supported by NYC musician Hiro Kone. Tickets are 45,50€.



Thursday 31 October – Saturday 2 November

Refugee Film Festival

The Refugee Film Fest is back for its second year at cultural center Caisa. This festival, consisting of films about the current refugee crisis and/or created by refugee filmmakers, spreads important social awareness in a accessible way. In addition to films, the festival also includes discussions about the topics at hand. Ticket prices TBA.


Thursday 31 October

Jiri Nikkinen: The Beatles Tribute Band

Jiri Nikkinen and his band are celebrating the Beatles’ final album, Abbey Road, on its 50th anniversary. The tribute band will perform the iconic album in its entirety in a two-hour long concert. Tickets are 26€.



Ongoing in October

Neuron Bomb: Mental Health Inspired Art By Linda Vuorenvirta

For this show, I used my own experiences with mental health issues as a springboard to create art. The themes touched upon include depression, anxiety, feeling detached from your body, and not being able to calm your thoughts or live in the moment. 10% of proceeds from work sold will be donated to Mieli (The Finnish Association for Mental Health). This show runs from the 2nd – 30th of October.


VICAR, a life with a pencil

Chilean cartoonist and scriptwriter Victor Arriagada Rios, or “VICAR” (1934-2012), was responsible for drawing most of the European Donald Duck comics in his time. Annantalo presents an exhibition of the late artist’s work, with the opportunity to have a guided tour by VICAR’s son on the opening night. Free event. Runs until the 31st of October.



Lupta Femeilor – Women’s fight

This exhibition is a documentary of the struggles of Romani women who have immigrated to Finland. The exhibition consists of 7 portraits of Romani women by Katriina Haikala, photographs taken by the Romani women themselves, and a film. The title, “lupta femeilor”, means “women’s fight” in Romanian. Free event. From the 4th – 31st October.


Aino Venna & Ilona Jäntti: Ballantine Scale

Presented by Cirko, the Centre for New Circus, this duet combines the aerial acrobatics of Ilona Jäntti and the musical score of Aino Venna. The performance explores the borders between inside and outside, nature and culture, and night and day. Tickets are 28€, or 17,50€ for discounted groups. From 24th October – 6th November.


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.