Where and when? Suvilahti, Helsinki. From Friday ’til Sunday, 10.-12.8.2018
Visitors: 84 000
Stages: 10
Artists: 144
Highlights: Kendrick Lamar’s captivating show closing the Sunday, Arctic Monkeys’ first-ever concert in Finland on Saturday
Website: http://archive.flowfestival.com/2018/en/ (Please note that some imagery or links might not work correctly on the archived site.)

Flow Festival 2018 took place in Suvilahti from the 10th to 12th of August, gathering a record number of visitors: 84 000. The sold-out festival presented a lineup beyond your wildest dreams. The main stage was graced by, e.g. the vastly famous, Pulitzer-winning rap artist Kendrick Lamar, the Brit rock dinosaurs Arctic Monkeys, the neo-soul pioneer and rap artist Ms. Lauryn Hill as well as the genuinely iconic singer-songwriter, author and poet Patti Smith.

D.R.E.A.M.G.I.R.L.S a collective formed for the purpose of performing at Flow Festival, charmed the crowds with their contagious rap spectacle brimming femme energy, as did the US collective Brockhampton on their first-ever Finland gig. The intimate, dimming August evening atmosphere provided the perfect backdrop to Kamasi Washington’s two sets on the Balloon 360° stage. Moses Sumney painted exquisite soundscapes on the same stage to a captivated audience. Other highlights in the 144-strong lineup were, e.g. Lykke Li, Grizzly Bear, Fleet Foxes, St. Vincent, Bonobo, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Fever Ray, Anna Puu, Imatran Voima and Pyhimys.

One of the new additions in 2018 was a pop-up cinema by Finnkino, which hosted pre-screenings of upcoming movies, true classics and films by Aalto University students. As part of Flow’s arts program, Aalto University built an architectural student masterpiece on the site: a 232-sqm wooden construction called Aika-lava, which functioned as a Trojan horse for more artwork. Also, Aalto students created a vast mural and video art for the program. Tiina Pyykkinen, “the 2017 Visual Artist of the Year”, delighted the festival area with her custom-made piece called Transmission. On offer were also a selection of topical video and light art, and The Other Light artwork entity by light art collective and production house Sun Effects were also exhibited. Make Your Mark Gallery displayed comic and graffiti artist Mark Bodē’s work. A new wooden information stand served the festival-goers nearby the main entrance.

Grön, Shelter and Pobre were just a few of the 40 popular restaurants catering for the crowds over the sunny weekend. For years Flow has served a diverse selection of plant-based and sustainable dishes and gave the vendors training in the festival’s sustainability goals – plus, every vendor was required to have a special “Sustainable meal” dish on their menu. The Sustainable Meal award went to Shelter, whose Flatbread dish won over the panel, including the Minister of the Environment, Energy and Housing Kimmo Tiilikainen, a registered dietitian, author and columnist Leena Putkonen and artist Onni Boi, who also performed at the festival.

Flatbread meal by restaurant Shelter
Restaurant Shelter’s ‘Flatbread’ dish won the Sustainable Meal award for its sustainability and culinary credentials. Photo: © Andrew Taylor

Flow’s new visual identity celebrated the colour yellow, a variety of dingbats and fresh, vivid fonts. The identity was created by Tsto and the fonts revived by the award-winning designer duo Schick Toikka. The new identity spread from the festival site to the streets, billboards, magazines and social media. For example, Flow released 50 different GIFs on Instagram, which reached over 18M people on the platform in just two months. Flow Festival and Flow’s CEO Suvi Kallio were awarded Client of the Year accolade in the creative industry awards “Vuoden Huiput”.

In November, Flow Festival entered into an investment and partnership agreement with Superstruct Entertainment, the live entertainment platform backed by Providence Equity Partners, a premier global private equity firm. In its growing roster of event brands are, e.g. Budapest’s long-standing Sziget, Barcelona’s Sónar as well as Oslo’s Øyafestivalen, Flow’s close festival partner throughout the years.

Said about Flow:

«Flow brings world-class international acts to a Finnish audience fiercely loyal to homegrown talent. On the European festival circuit it stands out for its commitment to diversity: only one of the headline acts this year is white and male (Arctic Monkeys), while lower down the bill young, female artists and artists of colour abound.»
– Independent


«The latest installment of Helsinki’s big climactic summer event proved that it’s one of the coolest festivals around, a perfect answer to the waning days of the season.»
– Stereogum

Photos: Konstantin Kondrukhov, Riikka Vaahtera, Samuli Pentti, Hayley Le, Petri Anttila, KopterCam, Miia Närkki & Andrew Taylor.

Continue your trip down memory lane:

Watch photos: See all Flow Festival 2018 photos on Flickr
Check out videos: Official Flow Festival 2018 YouTube playlist
Read the magazine: Browse the 2018 Flow magazine
Photo Book: Browse the Flow Festival 2018 Photo Book

Browse the archived website:
Please note that some imagery or links might not work correctly on the archived site.

Listen to the official Flow Festival 2018 playlist on Spotify:

Flow Festival 2018 artists in alphabetical order:
3Tm In 3D
Aake Kivalo
Abul Mogard
Anna Of The North
Anna Puu: The Intergalactic Love Odyssey
Antti Tolvi
Arctic Monkeys
Balearic Man
Broken English Club (Live)
Charlotte Gainsbourg
Chee Shimizu
Cinema Royale
Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy
Cute Cumber
Daniel Kayrouz & Justus Valtanen
Denzel & J.Lindroos
Detroit In Effect
Dj Ibusal
Dj Lifegoals (Live)
Dj Marcelle
Dj Ramazotti
Donna Leake
Eric Filipus & Imaginary_Frnd_
Esko Routamaa
Fever Ray
Fleet Foxes
Fred Ventura
Gerd Janson
Gigi Masin (Live)
Grizzly Bear
Handshaking (Live)
Hanna Ojanen
Hebo: Aapo Häkkinen & Dimitre Marinkev
Heikka Rissanen, Irene Kostas & Fummer
Helena Hauff
Imatran Voima (Live)
Jamie Tiller (Dj Set)
Jamie Tiller B2B Tako
Jen Ferrer
Joe Claussell
Joensuu 1685
Jonny Nash (Live)
Jorja Smith
Jukka Eskola & Umo
Jukka Nousiainen & Kumpp.
Kakka-Hätä 77
Kamasi Washington
Kedr Livanskiy
Kendrick Lamar
Kevin Morby
Krash Bandicute
Kristiina Männikkö
Kube X Eevil Stöö
Lake Jons
Lau Nau & Poseidon
Lauren Hansom
Lauri Soini
Lena Platonos
Lena Popova
Lil Tony
Lubomyr Melnyk
Lykke Li
Mad Miran
Malin Nyqvist
Marc Fred & Olli Koponen
Meriheini Luoto & Mi-Rage
Michal Turtle (Live)
Mikko Mattlar
Miska Tuisku
Moses Sumney
Ms. Lauryn Hill
Mura Masa
Niko Hallikainen: Blue Exhaust (Live)
NYKY Ensemble
Olavi Uusivirta
Olli Aarni
Olli Ahvenlahti New Quartet
Onni Boi
Orlando Julius & The Heliocentrics
Paperi T
Patti Smith
Peggy Gou
Pekka Airaxin (Live)
Peu (Live)
Sadar Bahar B2B Lee Collins
Sammy Dee B2B Zip
Sansibar (Live)
Skidit Mega Disko
Sonja Moonear
St. Vincent
Stig Dogg + Special Guests
Suso Saiz (Live)
Suzanne Ciani
Tako (Dj Set)
Tangerine Dream
Terry Riley & Gyan Riley
The Egyptian Lover (Live)
The Limiñanas
Töölön Ketterä
Valley Girl
Veronica Vasicka
Volition Immanent (Live)
Yaeji (Live)
Yona & Lumos
Young Marco
Yu Chuan