Oodi Helsinki Central Library.

Extended play times to be implemented for five of Helsinki’s event areas in accordance with new model

In its meeting on 2 November 2020, the Helsinki City Board approved a prioritisation model for event end times, which aims to abolish the practice of granting extensions to event durations based on the submission order of the permit applications alone. The choices under the prioritisation model will be made by the City’s event coordination group and decided upon by the City’s communications director. Decisions on noise reports will still be made by the environmental authority, based on the choices available within the framework of the prioritisation model.

The guidelines for 2021 apply to the number and end times of outdoor concerts and events ending after 22:00 in five areas within Helsinki: Kansalaistori, Töölönlahti Park, Suvilahti, Kaisaniemi and the old Malmi airport. As regards the Olympic Stadium, the situation will be reviewed after the opening year.

The first prioritisation choices will be made by Christmas, and the next application period will take place immediately at the beginning of 2021. The specifics will be announced as soon as possible.

In accordance with the new model, late events in the areas listed above will be prioritised in such a way that supports the diversity of urban events, the operating capabilities of professional event organisers and the fulfilment of the City’s strategic goals. The model views events from the perspective of the three main goals of the City’s effective roadmap for events:

  • the events support and further the objectives of the City Strategy in the best way possible with regard to building an international, vital and fascinating city of events
  • the events are organised in a responsible manner
  • the events are functional

Late end times to be considered based on the Environmental Protection Act

A guideline on event end times in the most common event locations was prepared and deployed by the environmental monitoring unit of the City of Helsinki Urban Environment Division in 2016 to limit noise disturbances in the areas in question.

In the five areas listed above, an individual event can have no more than two event dates that end after 22:00. In other locations, event activities subject to the obligation to submit a noise report are processed case by case based on the reports. As a general rule, a noise analysis and measurements conducted by a body certified by the Finnish Environment Institute or accredited by FINAS are required for any activities causing environmental noise after 22:00. Organisers must submit noise reports on their respective events to the City’s environmental protection authority no later than 30 days before the actual event. Decisions on noise reports are made based on the Environmental Protection Act and the relevant guidelines.

“Outdoor events that end after 22:00 can naturally be organised in other locations, too. Late end times can be considered on a case-by-case basis on special occasions, such as New Year’s Eve, Mayday Eve, Midsummer’s Eve and the Night of the Arts event,” explains Team Lead Elina Salo-Miilumäki from the City of Helsinki Environmental Services.

The guidelines on end times are updated based on the results of resident surveys regarding outdoor concerts.

The prioritisation model is one of the measures detailed in the City’s event roadmap

Completed in 2019, the event roadmap and its section on future measures ensure that the event-related goals listed in the City Strategy 2017–2021 are achieved in the best possible way for all parties concerned from organisers and participants to the City organisation.

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Events in Helsinki

Photo: City of Helsinki