If you're wandering through Europe in August, in search for a music festival that's going to strike your every chord in a slightly different way, Finland's Flow Festival must have popped up somewhere during your exploration and now it's time to take a closer look at this award winning gem. Commonly called as simple as Flow, this hip and mesmerizing festival brings urban music straight to Helsinki at the historic Suvilahti power plant area. It's been going on strong for ten years now and here are some reason why it should be on your "must go-to" list.
It all started when music producer Tuomas Kallio gathered his friends from the Helsinki-based music collective Nuspirit Helsinki to create a festival which would later mash music and arts in its finest eclectic union offering something new and unique to the Finnish urban scene. So the first ever Flow was held way back in 2004., being heavily focused on jazz and soul, including artists such as Marlena Shaw, Ty, Jazzanova and many more. Through the next few years it moves its location from downtown northward where in 2007. lets "its roots grow" in the Suvilahti power plant area where it's held till this day forward. Same year, it officially changes its name to Flow Festival, as we know it today.
During the next couple of years, it raises its popularity, attracting bigger names and mixing its multi-genre musical cocktail. In 2008. it welcomes well known indie folk-pop duo King of Convenience and famous American hip hop group The Roots. Year later, during its four days, this unique festival gathers around 40,000 visitors making it so impressive that it catches the public attention and wins its first Music & Media Finland Festival Year award, the first of four awards in its brief history. Also, in 2013 it was nominated as the "Best Medium-Sized Festival" at the European Festivals Awards.
Line-ups get flooded with big names from all around the globe — Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, The Chemical Brothers, M.I.A., Robyn, Kanye West, Empire of the Sun, Bon Iver, Yann Tiersen, Iggy Pop, Pet Shop Boys and the list just continues to go on, making this assembly momentous and unforgettable place to be at.
Flows unique flow
In addition to amazing music content, it also offers a treat to everyone who enjoys all forms of art including visual arts, film screenings, design and also, food and drinks. This eclectic mixture of creativity and expressions united under one name, makes Flow unprecedented station to enjoy.
If all of the stated above does not tickle your fancy and you're still not convinced that Flow is a place to be, maybe it's important to cover one more subject. Finland's capital and the biggest city and of course the hometown of this charming festival, Helsinki is a jewel of its own. Surrounded by many beautiful islands, Helsinki offers lots to see, do and experience. Ateneum Art Museum, Esplanade Park, Market Square, Olympic Stadium, Sibelius Monument, Suomenlinna Sea Fortress are just some of the amazing attractions that are going to enhance the whole experience if you decide to visit. And if you are wanting more fun and party never to stop, night life in Helsinki won't let you down either. If you're in the mood for some underground venues there are Kaiku, Siltanen and Kuudes Linja, as one of the best clubs and bars you'll need. Plenty of food joints and restaurants will offer you enough to fall in love with iconic Finnish cuisine and never want to leave this place again.
To describe this festival in one word - it must be peculiar. Always fresh, immersive and sometimes unreal, Flow unifies all forms of art into one medium-sized festival with a heart of a dragon. Not only it cuddles your ears and art buds, it is also environmentally-friendly and considerate. Flow is entirely carbon neutral festival, since 2009. and all festival's activity is made from waste and residues, encouraging not only visitors but transport providers and food vendors to be as eco-friendly as possible. This places Flow a level higher on our love meter.
Taking everything into inconsideration, Flow Festival takes us to our slightly twisted fairy tale music station providing much more than "big names" and "impressive sale stats". It is for sure — a Flow in the right direction.
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