The Helsinki Festival (in Finnish: Helsingin juhlaviikot, in Swedish: Helsingfors festspel) is the largest multi-arts festival in Finland. It is also called Finland's biggest cultural event in terms of visitors. In 2009, around 288,000 people visited the Helsinki Festival.
The Helsinki Festival was established in its present form in 1968 by the City of Helsinki to follow up and to broaden the supply of culture in the mainly classical music festival then called "Sibelius viikot" ("Sibelius weeks"). The original "Sibelius viikot" festival was active from 1951 to 1965.
The Helsinki Festival is an annual event and it was organized in 2010 between 20 August and 5 September. The Next Helsinki Festivals are organized on 19 August – 4 September 2011, 17 August - 2 September 2012, 16 August - 1 September 2013 and 15 August - 31 August 2014
The performances consist of theater, music, dance, art exhibitions, circus, movies, children's programs and various forms of other culture. Numerous renown international artists have also been performing at the Helsinki Festival. Many of the performances are free. One of the main events is called "Night of the Arts" (Taiteiden yö), when all the city is open for anyone to perform outdoors in the parks and streets of Helsinki.
The main concerts are at the large festival tent called Huvila Festival tent which is built every year in one of the parks in Helsinki. Today, theater has a big role in the festival and many (also international) performances are held at the Korjaamo Culture factory in Töölö in Helsinki.
- YLE - Finnish Broadcasting corporation on Helsinki Festival
- Helsinki Festival webpage
- Helsinki Festival programme 2010 in English
- article in Helsingin Sanomat (Finlands biggest newspaper)
- Best of Helsinki