One thing that is true of humanity: everyone, no matter where they live, loves a good music festival. And while the biggest festivals coincide with the most major music markets like the US and the UK, there are amazing festivals everywhere in the world including Flow Festival in Helsinki.
While Finland isn’t a country known for having a rich musical history, Flow has been a major player in the festival sphere for many years.
But as with many festivals, Flow offers far more than music. Check out five reasons Flow is a festival everyone should attend below:
1. Balloon 360° Stage
Like most festivals, Flow Festival has a series of stages spread throughout the grounds, but the Balloon 360° Stage definitely stands out among the rest.
Not just because it exists exactly as described (there is a giant alighted balloon above the stage, and the stage itself offers 360° views of the artists), but because its primary musical offering consists of a single genre: jazz.
On this stage, Flow demonstrates that jazz music is still alive and well. This year they’ve booked spectacular new talents like DOMi & JD Beck, the esoteric specialist Meshell Ndegeocello, and the Warp Records signee Nala Sinephro.
No matter what anyone’s genre preference is, they will appreciate the raw talent being flexed.
2. Private Event Spaces
Everyone’s heard of having a table at the club. Some elevated events like EDC Las Vegas have tables inside the grounds, but Flow Festival takes this to the next level with private event spaces.
Flow has options for eight, 20, 100, or even more than 100 guests at various secluded spaces throughout the festival space.
Perhaps you’re planning a work retreat for your company? A bachelor/bachelorette party? Or you just are so popular that you have 100 friends to roll with. Nothing like having your own space at a festival.
3. Art X Music X Sustainability All In One
Flow festival immerses attendees in its values. Thankfully numerous festivals around the world are adopting environmental initiatives, but Flow takes this to the next level by integrating sustainability into its music and art programming.
For example, one of the art pieces by Holland’s Thijs Biersteker is called “Gasp,” and it literally takes real-time data of air pollution and channels it into a visual spectacle, magnifying air pollution particles in the form of colored oil in water to demonstrate what their presence in our air would look like.
Another one of Flow’s stages is called “The Other Sound X Sun Effects,” and this is where, early in the day, there will be talks on sustainability from revered figures like Anni Sinnemäki, Helsinki’s Deputy Mayor, and then later in the day, musical artists like Arushi Jain will perform as well.
Simply by attending Flow, you are participating in a seminar on sustainability.
4. Eat Around The World
In recent years food options have become major offerings at festivals, and Flow takes this idea to the next level.
Not only does Eat & Drink have its own section in the festival’s app, but they announce the menus of each of the over 40 restaurants and 20 bars in advance.
So rather than squinting at what’s available from the back of the line you, can plan your culinary experience before you arrive. Planning may be a bit difficult given the plethora of delicious choices available, though.
The emphasis is on vegetarian and locally produced foods, but in terms of pallets, there is everything from hot dogs, pizza, and burgers, to Syrian-Lebanese and Nepalese dumplings.
5. Beyond The Gates And Into Helsinki
When it’s time for Flow Festival, all of Helsinki erupts in celebration. Like the diverse offerings within the festival, there are many different ways to get into the spirit of Flow throughout the city.
There are, of course, opportunities to enjoy music like at the Marski Bar Terrace every other Friday throughout the entire summer from DJs like Fiona Timantii and DJ Harvest.
But there is also more than music available. This coming Saturday, August 5 (or 5 August if you’re already in Finland) Redi Helsinki is hosting a flea market chalked full of unique festival threads designed by Laila Lindqvist.
People who purchase outfits at Redi can share their fit on Instagram for a chance to win tickets to Flow 2024 as well!
Beyond the official Flow activities, the festival has a guide on how to enjoy the best of the city whether you’re looking for more music, sightseeing, food, or anything else.
The festival also has a specific guide on how to enjoy Helsinki as sustainably as possible.
Flow Festival will take place at Suvilahti in Helsinki, Finland. Tickets are still available here.
All images provided by Flow Festival on Facebook