The coolest festival in the Nordic countries is back this summer! From August 11th to 13th, Flow Festival will put the international focus on Helsinki as artists like METAL cover stars Caroline Polachek and Shygirl, Blur, Tove Lo, Suede, Pusha T, Kaytranada, Lorde, Kelela, Wizkid, and 070 Shake among many others take the various stages of the festival by storm. Oh, and this is Flow’s last year at the iconic Suvilahti power plant, which has hosted the event since 2007. What better way to say farewell than dancing and celebrating together?
“Flow is already a tradition for many Helsinki residents. It’s the one summer party to look forward to and also a late summer celebration,” said Tuomas Kallio, the festival’s Artistic Director, when we spoke with him last year. But not only that. It is also one of the most important music festivals in in Europe. Because after almost twenty years of bringing top-class acts to the Finnish capital, Flow has become a staple in the city’s culture as well as an unmissable event for many international artists and festival-goers.
As usual, this year’s line-up is packed with talent from all genres – pop, indie, hip-hop, electronic, and experimental. In addition to the main headliners mentioned above, the festival also pays special attention to specific genres. For example, they’ve created the new X Garden stage (replacing the former Red Garden), which celebrates and praises the diversity of Helsinki’s club scene by collaborating with three different collectives – Club U-Haul, Club Zero, and Korgy –, all of which take pride in creating safe spaces for Black, Brown, and POC folk as well as the LGBTQ+ community.
The importance of club music and the dance floor as a place of communion is also paramount in both the Resident Advisor Front Yard stage and the Backyard stage, which will shine a light on the broad range of DJs and artists bringing people together through techno, house, soul, Afro beats, funk, disco, and more. Some of the artists we’re excited to see include the b2b between Eris Drew and Octo Octa, Hunee, Kampire, Folamour, Jyoty, Sadar Bahar, Chloé Caillet, Habibi Funk, Speedy J, Louie Vega, Nooriyah, Chaos in the CBD, Justus Arvelin, and Knife Girl.
The hauntingly beautiful Balloon 360º stage will host a wide range of artists from very different styles, including Grammy-awarded Meshell Ndegeocello, emblematic reggae singer Horace Andy, and the self-proclaimed “multinational alternative K-pop band” Balming Tiger. On The Other Sound stage, in partnership with long-time collaborator Sun Effects, the festival makes a risky (and worthy) bet on the more experimental side of music, sound art, and contemporary dance. The program includes Maya Shenfeld, LRXY, Claire Rousay, Mario Batkovic, Arushi Jain, and Mikko Sarvanne Garden among others, all of which will present work that defies categorisation and pushes the boundaries of art.
Music is the most integral part of the festival, but the organisation has also planned an interesting talks programme where experts will discuss topics such as sustainability or the current state of the music industry in Finland. They’ve also paid extra attention to the food area, which puts a special focus on plant-based options as well as local cuisine to enhance the experience. And for magazine lovers (thanks for reading), they’ve printed Flow Mag with exclusive content about the festival.
So whether you’re looking for an astounding line-up, a big and international yet slow-paced festival that embraces everyone, or a break from the (soon-to-come) heat waves, Flow Festival is one of the best options to consider. See you in Helsinki!
Flow Festival 2022 Marcel Dettmann C Konstantin Kondrukhov  0246.jpg
Backyard2022 Flow Festival 2022 Saturday C Konstantin Kondrukhov  9392.jpg