Åland music festivals you won’t want to miss in 2019
Music is an important part of the summer in Åland and Åland’s festivals provide a mix of current party songs, traditional songs, chamber music, rock and organ music. Here there really is something for everyone.
Down by the Sauna 28–29 June
In recent years, the Träffpunkt Ungdom (Meeting Point for Youth) association organised an alternative music festival at the Pub Bastun in the Badhusparken in Mariehamn. The event quickly became incredibly popular and here it is the music scene in Åland and its highlights that are in the spotlight. In addition, there are always a couple of slightly bigger performers who make guest appearances at the event.
During Down by the Sauna there was heat, love and dance on offer – and above all excellent music!
Åland’s Organ Festival 23–28 June
This summer sees the 45th edition of Åland’s Organ Festival being held. Here it is top-class music that is on offer in Åland’s churches. This music festival is highly rated and involves several concerts featuring famous performers, both national and international. This year’s organists include Mari Fukumoto from Japan, Ferruccio Bartoletti from Italy and Kåre Nordstoga from Norway. An Åland Concert will be held in midweek, at which the soprano Therese Karlsson will appear, accompanied by the organist Kaj-Gustav Sandholm.
Visor så in i Norden 5–7 July
Every summer, the archipelago municipality of Kumlinge hosts a highly popular festival of traditional songs, and this year is no different. Performers from far and wide will be coming to Åland to take part in the festival and, in addition, the programme will include local performers from Åland. The concerts are held in the lovely church in Kumlinge and on the naturally beautiful Västra Bergen, right by the sea. Here the music will be accompanied by the lapping of the waves!
Åland Sea Days 17–21 July
Culture, tradition, entertainment and the smell of tar share the space when the free Åland Sea Days event is held in Mariehamn. This is one of the summer’s most popular cultural events – it gets about 20,000 visitors and the atmosphere is folksy and relaxed. Small cargo boats, craftsmen and performers from all the corners of the world contribute to its success, and folk music has its own special day.
Rockoff 19–27 July
When Rockoff kicks off in the square in Mariehamn, the festive atmosphere has usually reached a high point. Many Ålanders are on holiday and they and their friends join the crowds of tourists at the same time as well-known performers provide entertainment on stage for nine days in a row!
Do you want to experience the concerts from the festival’s best spots? The thing to do, then, is to make a reservation for dinner on the VIP stand. The restaurant stand in the Rockoff area is two levels high and is located right in front of the big stage. This is where you’ll get the best view of the festival at the same time as enjoying a three-course evening meal of the highest quality.
When the festival area closes, there is an official after-party at the KINO Nightclub. Here you’ll get anything from classic house fist-pumping to singalongs to the best party songs and socialising to fantastic downtempo music styles. A Rockoff nine-day festival pass gives you free entry to the after-party, and you’re highly likely to run into a Rockoff performer on the dance floor.
Katrina Chamber Music Festival 6–10 August
Hits and chamber music are not normally words to be found in the same sentence. This is going to change when the 20th edition of Katrina Chamber Music Festival is put on in the summer. This year’s festival will showcase all-time favourites – from madrigals and opera evergreens to modern Eurovision.
Lill Lindfors has both a connection to Åland and a successful background of popular hits. She’ll be performing her own hit songs and those of others with guitarist Mats Bergström at the festival. Åland-born soprano Sofie Asplund is another prima donna who will be appearing. In the spring of 2019, she was involved in Dialogues of the Carmelites and Don Giovanni at the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm. Another highlight is a totally new hit, which collaborating pianist and composer Johan Ullén promised to compose especially for the Katrina Festival.
Culture Night in Mariehamn 9 August
Late summer mood, bustle of people and plenty of culture. The Culture Night is held in the middle of August in Mariehamn – you can enjoy music, dance and art all around the town. There are activities and entertainment to suit both adults and children.
Åland Pride 26 August–1 September
Summer in Åland is rounded off with a Pride Week. The event is not a dedicated music festival, but song, music and dance still have a huge role to play in this rainbow festival. This is especially true on Saturday 31 August when the traditional Pride Parade takes place. That’ll be when hundreds of participants will dance along the streets of Mariehamn.
Find more festivals and other events at out Event Calendar.