Festivals in Finland - Statistics & Facts

The colorful festival scene in Finland ranges from multi-arts events and concerts to theater shows and film festivals. Next to internationally known, large-scale happenings live the smaller but equally culturally relevant regional events. The majority of the country’s most popular festivals take place in the summer: Ruisrock, Ilosaarirock and Pori Jazz, to name a few. Alongside music enthusiasts, the summer caters to other audiences with events such as the Tampere Theater Festival, Seinäjoki Tango Festival and Sodankylä Film Festival. Such festivals are financed mostly by ticket sales and public funding.

Every year, Finland Festival, a non-profit organization dedicated to culture and tourism, ranks the country’s most sold and visited festivals. In 2017, the top 10 chart in ticket sales was topped by three music festivals: Ruisrock, Ilosaarirock and Pori Jazz. In that year, Ruisrock, the oldest rock music festival and also one of the oldest festivals of the genre in Europe, reported 105 thousand sold tickets. Ilosaarirock, a music festival held every summer in eastern Finland, hit 67 thousand in ticket sales, followed by the 2-day jazz event Pori Jazz with nearly 60 thousand tickets sold. With free concerts, Pori Jazz was also Finland’s number one visitor magnet with over 405 thousand visitors in 2017. Other festivals without entrance fees also proved popular, such as the sea-themed Kotka Tall Ship Races and the multi-arts World Village Festival organized in May.

Despite of many events being free, in most cases a contribution in the form of a ticket purchase is in order. In 2017, ticket prices of major festivals varied roughly from 50 euros for a day ticket up to over 180 euros for a 3-day pass. Among the more affordable ones were events taking place in smaller Finnish cities such as Satama Open Air, Wanaja Festival and Jurassic Rock. At the other end of the pricing spectrum were internationally attractive festivals such as the artsy music event Flow Festival and the hip hop driven Blockfest.

An annual festival survey reveals that as of 2017, the majority of event organizers had a successful year with positive visitor growth. Organizers know that festival participation depends largely on ambience and the presence of friends and other like-minded people, without forgetting the importance of a good-quality festival program. With the audience in mind, the popularity of Finnish festivals is expected to increase in the future.

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