Photo: Samuli Pentti


Flow Festival, one of the most anticipated events of the year, kicked off its weekend festivities on a high note. With nearly 30,000 attendees, the opening day, Friday, was bathed in sunshine, setting the stage for a vibrant and memorable experience at Suvilahti, Helsinki.

The festival's main stage witnessed captivating performances by artists that ranged from global sensations to local favorites. The king of afrobeats, Wizkid, had the crowd dancing, while the iconic British pop band Suede brought a sense of nostalgia with their 90s hits.

Finnish artists Anna Puu and Paperi T added a local flair, delivering performances that resonated with the enthusiastic audience. Notably, the Silver Arena introduced an array of talents, including Finnish rapper Kube, Ege Zulu, Alma, and 070 Shake. The night culminated in a stunning set by Kaytranada, a producer-artist renowned for seamlessly blending genres.

From the electrifying performance of London rapper Shygirl to the mind-bending art-pop of Jockstrap, the Black Tent was alive with energy. Meanwhile, the Resident Advisor Front Yard featured techno legends like Speedy J, Chaos In the CBD, and DJ Nene H, transforming the space into a dance haven.

Art enthusiasts engaged with thought-provoking environmental art at the Tiilikello x Polestar art space. Dutch artist Thijs Biersteker's installation titled "Gasp" served as a poignant reminder of the urgent need to address air pollution and its impact on our environment. The installation resonated with attendees throughout the festival weekend.

The festival's program, Flow Talks, commenced with the Flow Talks Music panel, shedding light on the internationalization and growth of the Finnish music industry. Distinguished guests, including Minister of Science and Culture Sari Multala, songwriter Teemu Brunila, and MP Nasima Razmyar, highlighted the importance of collaboration and education in the music sector.

As Flow Festival continued into the weekend, audiences were treated to captivating performances by pop superstar Lorde, the reunited British pop band Blur, and the sensational Caroline Polachek. The event also offered a diverse culinary experience and engaging discussions, ensuring that attendees left with unforgettable memories.

Flow Festival came to a grand finale with a record-breaking crowd of nearly 90,000 attendees at Suvilahti, Helsinki. The weekend was marked by electrifying music performances, impactful art installations, and engaging discussions that left a lasting impact on festivalgoers.

The standout moment of the weekend was the eagerly awaited performance by Britpop legends Blur, who returned to the stage after an eight-year hiatus. The band's hits spanning decades, combined with new tracks from their recent album, created an unforgettable experience on Flow Festival's Main Stage. Indie-pop innovator Caroline Polachek wowed the audience with her unique sound and mesmerizing visuals. French sensation Christine and the Queens delivered a performance of a lifetime at the Silver Arena, showcasing her dynamic talent as both a singer and a dancer.

The alternative K-pop band Balming Tiger had the audience dancing wildly at Flow's landmark stage, Balloon 360°, while DOMi & JD Beck showcased their virtuosic progressive jazz. Reggae and dub legend Horace Andy created a magical atmosphere with his band, leaving a lasting impression on attendees.

Flow's newest club venue, X Garden, kept the party alive with diverse vibes provided by Helsinki's intriguing club concepts. The stage featured the hottest DJs of the moment, including C.FRIM, Yung Sherman, and DJ Heartstring, ensuring a vibrant and energetic atmosphere.

The festival's commitment to sustainability was evident not only in its diverse food offerings but also in the Sustainable Meal panel. The winner, Loi Loi's Mapu Tofu Loaded Nuggets, highlighted the balance between taste and responsibility. The Flow Talks program concluded with a focus on sustainability, delving into the role of individuals, communities, and corporations in fostering a more sustainable future.

As Flow Festival 2023 drew to a close, the anticipation for next year's event began to build. Flow Festival 2024 is set to take place at Suvilahti on August 9–11, 2024, with Super Early Bird tickets available from Monday, August 14, 2023.

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