No strings attached
In the summer, Oulu lures bands and performers from all over the world. We’d like to think it’s because we’re on the edge here, geographically, but the mentality is somewhat special as well. The short but intense arctic summer really brings out the best in us – and the weirdest of us.
From a world renowned air guitaring get-together, Air Guitar World Championships, to metal, indie and pop events, Oulu hosts several festivals during the summer. In addition to guitars without strings, the centrally located Kuusisaari island, “Kuuska”, hosts easy-to-get-to music events all the way til the end of August. Kuuska Soi, “The Sound of Kuuska” ends the summer season. The locals really know how to pre-party, party and after-party, filling the streets, parks and river banks in groups of friends.
So picnic away or, if tablecloths and good service are more your thing, find the restaurants in Pikisaari or by the market place for delicious menus full of local treats. The festival areas also cater to all tastes from vegan to pasture raised.
Local breweries bring their best to quench
Just a little bättre
Along the Arctic seaside, festivals are literally organised on strips of land or little islands, so wherever you look, there’s a view. And the sound of sea.
If you’re early, and lucky, you just might grab tickets to Bättre Folk in the Hailuoto island next to Oulu, a tiny festival with just a few thousand tickets for sale. This indie event brings people from all around Finland to embrace the atmosphere, listen to bands as well as writers on a stage built on a small jetty surrounded by the roaring sea.
Without the big crowds, with local food producers serving freshly caught perch and burgers from cattle that grazes the fields on the very same island, you just can’t help but feel a little bättre. Organic all the way, buy a bottle of wine or locally brewed beer, sit down on a rock covered with a traditional Finnish rug, and toast to the seagulls.
Organic all the way.
When in Venice… wait what?
To finish your roadtrip, head to the long sandy beach in Kalajoki. The locals and tourists spend merry weeks every summer in a wonderland of sand, good vibes, beach bars and camping life. For friends of beach football, fast cars and sporty tractors, Kalajoki hosts many events to choose from.
In the end of August, the Arctic Seaside suddenly lights up with lanterns, candles, and bonfires. Summer’s almost over, the nights get dark but the air is still warm. In an Ostrobothnian tradition, the last weekend in August marks the Venetian festival – end of the cottage season. The locals make a final toast to summer, get together around bonfires, light up the sides of roads with lanterns and decorate their camper vans with strings of lightbulbs.
The summer goes out in a flame.
Protect the sea
Although ever present, the beloved sea is never taken for granted. Every year, on the last Thursday in August, we celebrate Baltic Sea Day. So while you visit, join the locals in thinking of concrete ways of protecting it – pick up your litter, or someone else’s, should it catch your eye?