Jussi Hellsten / Flow Festival

“How was your summer?”…oh that dreaded question. No doubt most of us have returned to work and the golden days of heat and light seem far, far away. But let’s cast our memories back to the not so distant past and recall – but not quite put a cap on – Helsinki, Summer Edition v.2014.

Revealing the first rays of summer festivities, the inaugural Streat Food Festival saw street eats land in a big way in Helsinki. Held on 22 March in the Tori Kortelli block, it was from here that street food scene really took off this year. Some of the most popular food trucks – B Smokery, Texan BBQ, Soul Mama’s Kitchen & Salt – sold out quickly while others had ferocious queues that snaked around the crowds of people. Seems like the good folks of Helsinki didn’t mind the wait, either. On offer was an eclectic mix of porcine delight (BBQ), tasty treats South of the Border (Mexican), fresh sweet oysters shucked while you wait (delish!) and the overly hyped but still popular cupcakes, cake pops and waffles. All this and more soon spilled over to the wider consciousness, as street food became the norm at festivals and street corners around the country during the warmer months.

Next on the list of significant goings-on to catch our eye was Kallio’s Block Party. After last year’s event that saw the closing of one street to accommodate revellers, music acts and more, this year the organisers thought big. Held on the 2 August, the party took over all of Helsinginkatu and music acts performed on street corners, rooftops, out of balconies and featured everything from well-known musicians, to balladeers and DJs spinning tunes. It was grand to see the likes of kids out with their folks, rollerbladers with mohawks cruising along and people chatting to the mounted police unit that came on their horses to oversee the goings on. The overall mood was chill and after the event, while there was a mess left behind, not a single incident of violence or a fight breaking out was reported. Now there’s something to celebrate!

Last but not least was the ever popular, ever expensive extravaganza that arrived in the shape of Flow Festival. This year’s crowd swelled to a 57,500 party-goers and those much sought after three-day bands sold out pretty quick. With an eclectic line up that boasted OutKast, the National, Bonobo, Pusha T, Skrillex and Little Dragon – just to name a few – its almost a shame if you didn’t shell out the 159 euros to make it to the most happening out-happened event of the festival scene. Home of the hipsters and fairy light lit buildings, it is quite the spectacle. But like all spectacles, if you’ve seen it once, haven’t you seen it all? Well, in this case, maybe not, as this year’s edition coughed up some stellar moments, Bill Callaghan and Tinariwen among them.

After a brilliant burst of muggy weather, with helle days front and centre for weeks on end, now that the heat has gone, don’t fret darlings. Although the skies may be cloudier, the festive feeling goes on, with lots of happenings stretching well into late autumn.

Keep an eye out for the likes of Love & Anarchy film Festival, Clean Up Day and Helsinki Design Week, among others, coming your way soon.

See you there!

Tania Nathan