Flow Festival sets a new record for attendance
Flow Festival gathered both domestic and international top artists to Suvilahti, Helsinki. In addition to its exciting and topical music, the festival received praise for its quality and more sustainable food selection and high-quality art program. The sold-out festival gathered a record-breaking 90,000 attendees to enjoy the unique atmosphere during the three festival days.
During the weekend, the Flow Main Stage hosted brilliant performances by artists such as afropop superstar Burna Boy, the virtual group Gorillaz with their first ever performance in Finland, the ravishing Florence + The Machine, as well as domestic favorites Vesala and Vesta. On Flow Festival’s Sunday, the Main Stage saw the phenomenal Michael Kiwanuka and the charismatic Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds with their two-hour set charm the audience.
Red Arena by Lapin Kulta Pure hosted the long-awaited performance by legendary punk band Bikini Kill, the amazing show by anarchist popstar MØ, and the spectacular Fred Again.., who led the audience from wild dances to vulnerable moments. At the FREE.fi Black Tent Arppa, Yeboyah, Fontaines D.C., and Holly Humberstone were among the crowd favorites. Acid Arab finished off the venue with their thumping live set.
The other venues of Flow Festival offered unforgettable experiences to visitors as well. At The Other Sound x Sun Effects, Huoratron Deconstructed and Ánnámáret gathered the venue to its maximum capacity. At the magical ambiance of Balloon 360°, spectacular Linda Fredriksson Juniper, dazzling Lxandra, and virtuosic Mdou Moctar played for the enchanted audience. DJ and club music enthusiasts enjoyed sets by world-class spinners such as DJ Koze, Uncle Waffles, Giant Swan, Antal, and Jayda G at Resident Advisor Front Yard, Backyard, and Red Garden.
Art was yet again an essential part of the Flow experience. The astonishing Tiilikello x Polestar art space opened the doors to the public to Suvilahti's recently renovated old gasometer. Hanna Vihriälä’s impressive installation, The Blowing Flower, and Antti Tolvi’s meditative sound and light work Butterfly Effect invited the visitors to pause amidst the festival buzz. Adel Abidin’s thought-provoking video installation Musical Manifest attracted people to immerse in the work throughout the festival weekend.
Flow Festival’s multifaceted food selection included fine dining restaurants, street food inspired by countries worldwide, and guaranteed festival favorites. This year, Flow continued its trail-blazing work toward a more sustainable festival production by cutting red meat and poultry off the menus. Additionally, the drink selection focused on quality wines, small brewery products, and versatile options in non-alcoholic drinks.
This year, the festival also compiled the Flow Talks program. On Friday, Flow hosted a panel discussion arranged with Music Finland and six other music industry organizations on advancing a more vigorous and international music industry. The panelists included Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Maria Ohisalo, and chair of the Parliamentary Group of the National Coalition Party Kai Mykkänen, among others. Additionally, on Sunday, Flow arranged the Sustainable Meal panel, in which a jury selected the most sustainable and delicious dish of Flow’s restaurants. The crowd’s favorite Sustainable Meal was also chosen by popular vote. The jury selected as their winner LoiLoi’s Tofu Okonomiyaki, and the crowd favorite was The Glass’ dish Common Roach & Potatoes. The jury of the Sustainable Meal panel consisted of member of parliament Emma Kari, food author and chef Meri-Tuuli Väntsi, and the Head Chef of restaurant Grön Janne Keskevaari.
The Finnish public service broadcasting company Yle and the French-German public service broadcasting company Arte have recorded shows and atmosphere at Flow during the weekend. Part of the recordings have been live streams, but some of them can be viewed in Yle Areena. Recordings of Gorillaz, Burna Boy, UMO & Jimi Tenor, Kit Sebastian, Vesta, Freddie Gibbs, Sigrid, and pehmoaino can be watched here.
Altogether Flow Festival hosted over 160 performing artists and groups, such as Gorillaz, Burna Boy, Florence + The Machine, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Jamie xx, Princess Nokia, MØ, Michael Kiwanuka, and Bikini Kill. See the full list of artists here.
Flow Festival takes place in Suvilahti, Helsinki, on the 11th–13th of August, 2023. A limited edition of Super Early Bird tickets for 2023 will go on sale on Monday the 15th of August at 9 am.