WITH subzero temperatures and the high cost of, well, everything, Oslo may not feel like the most hospitable place for a winter music festival. But with all of the gigs taking place in venues within walking distance of each other, and the number of up and coming artists waiting to be discovered, this is most definitely the place to be if you’re into music.

Day 1

The party has already started when I arrived in Oslo on Thursday evening. Streets are filled with people heading to gigs or just taking in the atmosphere of the Nordic capital of music in which the city has turned into – at least for the duration of by:Larm.

IN MAY the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) took place in Los Angeles. This is the gaming industry’s yearly major blowout, and for those anticipating a slew of major announcements there was plenty to whet your appetite for the coming 12 months. As usual, every major studio, manufacturer and developer was represented, and, with gaming becoming an ever more widespread entertainment phenomenon, there is some serious money riding on their successes and failures.


THE SLOGAN of this year’s Faces festival, “We shall overcome,” refers to the current negative attitude in the media and society against immigrants and multiculturalism. Elina Yamano from the festival organisation points out that it is a positive message which takes a stand against this atmosphere.

The idea is directly connected to the original roots of the festival that was organised in 1998 for the first time by Börje Matson and Holger Wickström. The goal was to give different ethnic groups a chance to present themselves and create a meeting place for different cultures and Finns.

PICTURE yourself at the centre of cosmos, spiritual cultivation and money; cultural enjoyment and reasoning; hedonism, fame and mystery. According to a curious piece of graphic on the website, you have reached the essence of Turku Modern, a music festival organised for the second consecutive time in July in Turku.

“The festival presents an array of artists from house and techno, on one hand, to hip hop and Jamaican music on the other,” says Sampo Axelsson, one of the individuals behind Turku Modern.

THE ESPOO Ciné film festival gets underway 20 August, offering cinema lovers the opportunity to sample some of the best films from around the world. Opening with Fatih Akin’s latest film Soul Kitchen, a music-driven comedy about a Greek restaurateur taking place in the director’s hometown of Hamburg, the festival will run for ten days.

After extending to its current length last year, 2010 sees approximately 100 feature films screening at the newly-renovated Kino Tapiola, as well as at the Espoo Cultural Centre and the Bio Rex Sello in Leppävaara.