Go with the Flow

One of the best things about festivals is that you are able to check out lots of different artists and that the atmosphere can change completely in a matter of minutes. This is the case of Helsinki’s Flow Festival as well.


The first day was all about raving, when Major Lazer tore the place down. The second day was wrapped in rainbow colours, and Belle & Sebastian, Years & Years and Pet Shop Boys provided a nice evening for us. It was a good way of showing the festival goers how open and accepting Finland and Flow have become. People were generally very happy, and the audience seemed to enjoy everything about the festival, especially the music, arts, and food. The venue itself is very unique, and it is the perfect place for a festival like this. It is near the city centre but there are no houses next to it, which means that the music does not have to end at eleven every night. This also makes the venue very accessible.

The sold-out Flow Festival reached it's new attendance record with 70 000 people in total visiting the festival over three days.
First weekend: The sold-out Flow Festival reached it’s new attendance record with 70,000 visitors.

Musically, the third day was obviously the best day of the festival. After all, two Norwegian artists were playing, and it also featured Beck, Florence + The Machine and Alt-J to name a few. The atmosphere was also a bit more mellow and relaxed than it was on Friday and Saturday. This was probably because most of the guests had to be back to work on Monday morning.

However, there are some things that could have been changed to improve the Flow Festival. Advance information about the festival and the infrastructure at the venue are not the best I have experienced. This means that things can feel a bit chaotic at times, but the Finns are relaxed people, so it’s not really a big deal.

Local Finns say that we are lucky to be here at this time of the year, because the Finns tend to be more outgoing and social in the warm summer months. Maybe the general impression of the country would be somewhat different in the other seasons of the year.

Festivals are all about the atmosphere and creating a community. That is why the only way to enjoy the Flow Festival is to go with the flow and just take part in it. Go to see as many different performances as you can, try different foods, talk to people, and you will feel what the Flow festival is supposed to be like.

Photos: Oriol Salvador, Bruna Passos Amaral

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Author: Petter - Norway

Petter Brønstad is a freelance journalist. He has experience from Dagsavisen, one of the leading daily newspapers in Norway, as well as from GAFFA, the country’s biggest music magazine. “There are many things to learn from Finland, even for a Norwegian who grew up under fairly similar conditions not so far away.”

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