The summer programme of Helsinki’s cultural centres is full of events – take a look at what the summer full of culture has to offer!

People of all ages can spend summer days enjoying music, dance and various activities at Helsinki's cultural centres. The centres will be holding a number of outdoor gigs in their summer yards, hosting fascinating exhibitions in their galleries and celebrating Pride in many ways. Most of the events are free of charge.
Sunny Helsinki Day was celebrated with dancing on June 12, 2024 at the Cultural Center Stoa square. Photo: Petri Anttila
Sunny Helsinki Day was celebrated with dancing on June 12, 2024 at the Cultural Center Stoa square. Photo: Petri Anttila

Helsinki’s cultural centres are once again offering a wide variety of summer activities, art, theatre and music this summer. The summer is full of primarily free-of-charge cultural events for people of different ages.

Adventures and art for children

Annantalo will be hosting a variety of events throughout the summer. These include Art Things workshops on weekdays, in addition to which Annantalo invites young people to make street art and have fun in the street art container. The Centre’s summer artist, musician Jukka Kääriäinen, will be creating an audio work out of the dreams and wishes of Annantalo's visitors during the summer. You can add your dream to the work on weekdays, during Annantalo's opening hours. While there, you can also drop by the Poetry Lounge celebrating 100 years since the birth of Kirsi Kunnas. The summertime music playschool held in Annantalo’s A-lava will continue in August.

Kanneltalo’s summer art camps take children to the forest to learn about basic painting and drawing techniques and materials from nature. Meanwhile the summer yard of Vuotalo will be hosting art workshops open to everyone, and Meri-Rastila will be holding the Pehmee kaupunki (Soft City) dance camp.

Dancing and gigs for people of all ages

One of the highlights of the summer is the urban festival Malmi Summer of Events organised at Ala-Malmi park, which offers free-of-charge events, activities and concerts for city residents of all ages on 6–15 June and 15–24 August. The urban festival programme features gigs without age limits, circus performances, workshops, exercise, dance, flea markets and picnics. The featured music artists will include Arppa, Terveet Kädet, Grande Mahogany, Pikku Papun Orkesteri and Honey B. and T-Bones.

The Get Together Music Series of concerts held at Cultural Space Merirasti in July will showcase world music artists and celebrates diversity and the universal language of music. The concert series will feature the northernmost flamenco singer in the world, Anna Murtola, and her latest project entitled La Tierra Blanca, as well as the Greek tunes of Kaleidoscope, and Chico Matada, who draws inspiration from Mozambican folk music and jazz. Their concerts will be followed by the Baghdad to Granada evening, where East meets the West and ancient harmonies converge with contemporary rhythms.

The popular city dances once again offer opportunities to practise different partner dances with guidance and completely free of charge this summer. Participants can look forward to learning partner dances ranging from foxtrot to single-time swing, jenkka to samba and waltz to tango at Ala-Malmi Park, Stoa Square, Vuotori Square, Sitratori Square and Puustellinaukio Square in Malminkartano.

Pride celebrated in many ways

During Pride week, Helsinki’s cultural centres will be organising a wide range of activities for people of different ages. Cultural Centre Caisa in Kallio will be holding Pride week celebrations for adults featuring theatre, music, comedy, stage poetry and drag. The performances will explore topics such as non-binary gender, polyamorous relationships and kinks. The performances are restricted to people over the age of 18.

On Wednesday 26 June, Stoa square will turn into Queer Square for the Youth Pride pre-party, featuring various colourful workshops from street art to canvas printing and nail art. In the Parade for a Better Tomorrow workshop, participants will be able to dream, dance and create props for the Pride Parade, while the queer poem night provides an opportunity to simply listen to poetry or perform your own. The atmosphere of the afternoon of events will be created by DJ Mora.

Annantalo’s youth Pride Lab on Monday 24 June will offer participants an opportunity to make flags, pins and jewellery and customise their own clothes. Meanwhile Malmitalo’s Kino Helios will be organising a Pride film series, and on Wednesday 26 June, the cultural centre will be holding an LGBTQIA+ youth poetry collage workshop.

Pride Week at Maunula House will include a Pride social media wall, quiz and crafts. On Tuesday 25 June, Metsäpurosali Hall will be hosting a free dance performance for young people entitled Jos nyt olisi huominen (If it were tomorrow). Meanwhile, Vuosaari House will be hosting LGBTQIA+ workshops where participants of all ages get to make flower crowns, jewellery and their own signs for the Pride parade.

Galleries open in the summer as well

Helsinki’s cultural centres will be keeping the doors of their galleries open during the summer as well. In June, you can experience Jessica Alexandra North’s Enchanted Garden exhibition, which was inspired by wild and unkempt gardens, at Caisa, while Kanneltalo will be hosting the Young Visual Art Now 2024 Aflame joint exhibition.

Meanwhile, Stoa Gallery will be hosting the Luovuus itää (Creativity sprouts) group exhibition of the Roihupelto art quarters celebrating the 40th anniversary of Stoa throughout the summer. At Stoa, the spirit of Pride will keep on going in July as well with the opening of the Rainbow Cities Network exhibition Queer Elders and Pioneers in the balcony gallery on 5 July. The exhibition will explore the history and icons of LGBTQIA+ rights. This marks the second time that Helsinki, which joined the network in 2021, is taking part in the exhibition.

The summer of culture culminates in the Night of the Arts on 15 August

Helsinki’s summer of culture will culminate in the Night of the Arts on 15 August, after which it is time to start looking forward to autumn. At Stoa, the Night of the Arts will be celebrated with the Elojuhla music event, featuring UMO Jazz Orchestra accompanied by Pikku Papun Orkesteri, Elena Mindru and Juha-Pekka Mikkola.

The August part of the Malmi Summer of Events will begin with a bang on the Night of the Arts. Performing on stage at Ala-Malmi park will be MODEM, who are known for their sensual synth-pop, and Grande Mahogany, who will cap the evening with his swinging rock.

At Maunula House, visitors can look forward to a singalong, the Blackout Poetry workshop and an introduction to improv theatre. At Kanneltalo, the Night of the Arts will be celebrated with a performance by Kaiu Kajo, a band that combines various folk music traditions. Kanneltalo's summer will also include the Kannelmäki Blockparty on 31 August, which is to be celebrated in the style of Venetian Carnival.

At Vuotalo, the popular August Evening Song concert series is set to continue. The Night of the Arts at Vuotalo will be a celebration of world music, dance and joyful togetherness. At the Story Sharing Café, people from all over the world can meet and share everyday stories.

The full summer programme of Helsinki’s cultural centres is available on the website (External link)(Link leads to external service)(External link).