THE end of the 2014 is nigh, and what to do? Head out and get drunk? Stay in and get drunk? Muse upon the regrets and notable achievements of the year? How about just sticking with tradition, and heading to Helsinki’s Tavastia for the last three nights of the year to enjoy some of the finest bands in the country.

Last seen here in 2012, British singer Marianne Faithfull returns to Helsinki for a performance at Helsinki’s Musiikkitalo on Sunday 9 November.

Her distinctively smoky voice has endured and endeared for five decades, having first emerging when she covered the Rolling Stones’ As Tears Go By with great success in the ‘60s. With her career and personal life collapsing under the weight of drug dependency in the years that followed, she returned to prominence at the end of the ‘70s with her landmark release Broken English.

NEW productions and international guests are set to be the main focus this year at the Baltic Circle International Theatre Festival. Held from 9 to 16 November, the lion’s share of events over the eight days are being held in the vicinity of Helsinki’s downtown region.

THINGS are about to get political in Helsinki from 20-23 November, with another edition of the annual Lens Politica Film and Media Art Festival. Utilising a variety of media to generate both thought and discussion concerning current political issues, the festival includes the premiere of the domestic short film Säälistäjät (Mercy All the Way), a half-hour comedy satire scripted by Hannaleena Hauru and Tanja Heinänen.

THINGS are getting jazzy once again in the city surrounded by lakes, as the 33rd annual Tampere Jazz Happening rolls into town. Held between Thursday 30 October and Sunday 2 November, once again a range of interesting musicians are on offer.