Flow is both a state of mind and a physical state, where emotion flows collectively through music as part of a bigger entity.
Now in its tenth year, Flow music and city-culture festival – which takes place in August – is always organised in high spirits and features the freshest acts. As well as music, the four-day Helsinki-fest also offers visual arts, cinema, design and food culture.
Having been firmly established in the Finnish festival calendar, Flow Festival has grown ten times in size over its ten-year history. As with last year, some 60,000 revellers are expected to be in attendance in Suvilahti, Helsinki.
— Flow has evolved naturally according to demand. This year we’re celebrating our 10th anniversary in keeping with the founding principles of the festival, but we’re also constantly bringing in new elements, explains press officer Susanna Hulkkonen.
— Since the very beginning, the festival’s founders have wanted to put on the kind of event that they themselves would want to attend. This spirit is still very much alive.
City festival breaking the mold
With its former industrial power station surroundings, the Helsinki district of Suvilahti provides an interesting setting for a complete festival experience. Even just this urban venue sets Flow apart from many of the traditional “field festivals”.
The list of performers shows a contemporary selection of Finnish and international acts from indie rock to soul to jazz and from world music to the freshest dance tunes. Flow wants to break the traditional festival mold and offer up music and much more besides.
— At Flow, we also highlight the importance of areas such as food culture. On-site we’ll have more than 20 real restaurants, offering delicious foods from all around the world, from local, organic dishes to Asian fusion cuisine.
There are more than a hundred music acts alone. Internationally, the best-known acts include Alicia Keys, The Knife, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds and the Kraftwerk 3D Show. In terms of internationally-acclaimed home-grown Finnish talent, there will be sets from Black Lizard, K-X-P and Husky Rescue.
Emphasis on environment and volunteer spirit
Hulkkonen says that Flow has gained a great reputation internationally. Around half of the accredited media representatives at this year’s festival will travel from around the world, with the majority of media interest coming from Russia, the UK, Germany and Estonia.
— It’s always fun to read foreign articles where they’re amazed at how a festival of this class can be organised in Finland.
Festival-goers are encouraged to travel to the venue by bike, on foot or on public transport instead of their own cars. (Photo: Flow Festival/ Jussi Hellsten)
Any modern festival has to be environmentally sustainable. Electricity is produced as much as possible using wind power, the organisers are very conscious of the festival’s carbon footprint and equipment made from recycled and durable materials is preferred. There will be no parking spaces for cars, meaning that festival-goers will have to come to the venue on foot, by bike or on public transport.
— We will have around 700 volunteers. We had more applicants than ever before and we weren’t even able to offer everyone a job. For many, Flow represents the high-point and gentle descent into the darkness of autumn, concludes Hulkkonen.