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Musicians in the city centre

Urban Festival Oulu Days

Oulu Days is an urban festival with long-standing traditions – it has been organised since 1962. Oulu Days is a festival which welcomes everyone to arrange an event by offering it to be included in the Oulu Days programme. The festival takes place on the first weekend of September from Friday until Sunday. The concept of Oulu Days is to be a communal event entity in which a range of different communities creates the programme together. The organisers of Oulu Days events includes companies, associations, public sector operators and even private persons. The festival supports new urban culture without forgetting the long traditions.

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90100, Oulu
Louise Bourgeois: Triptych for the Red Room (3)

Dance! Movement in the Visual Arts 1880–2020

Can dance be captured in an artwork? Can bodies in motion be frozen as images?

Dance! invites you to experience a meeting of two art forms: dance and visual art. The works featured convey the spectrum of affect that can be expressed through dance: from passion, bliss and joie de vivre to wistfulness, sorrow and vulnerability. Bodies in motion radiate with life and energy, but they also carry a reminder of our lack of defence to fatigue, illness, and the inexorability of death.

At the heart of the exhibition are collections of Finnish art museums from the 20th century, and how the works in the collections reflect embodiment and motion but also currents in the history of art and culture at large – while at the same time touching on broader social questions. On one hand, dance is associated with the idea of liberating and revolutionary joy, but, on the other hand, with the precise and focused practice of choreographed movement. The exhibition explores how aestheticized movement has been represented in the visual arts as two-dimensional images and three-dimensional forms, and how the moving body has embodied different identities, gender roles and cultural ideals.

The exhibition is based on the original concept of the HAM Helsinki Art Museum, curated by art and cultural historian Hanna-Reetta Schreck and exhibition curator Merimaa. Schreck and chef curator Elina Vieru are responsible for the updated version of the exhibition presented in Oulu and the new selection of works.

Kasarmintie 9
90100, Oulu
Oil painting from 1896.

De Urbe Uloa – Paintings of Oulu

De Urbe Uloa – Paintings of Oulu showcases paintings from the collections of the Northern Ostrobothnia Museum. Most of the approximately 30 works have never been exhibited before.

The selection features oils, watercolours and gouaches of downtown Oulu streets and buildings, some of them still in existence, some of them gone. The paintings have been received to the museum’s collections as part of donations.

Ainolanpolku 1
90130, Oulu
A happy girl is playing that she is fishing.

Playroom Leikkilä

In the playroom called Leikkilä, children can experience what it felt like to be a child more than 100 years ago. Imagine yourself to the role of a market seller, fisher or the child of a merchant family.

The Northern Ostrobothnia Museum has opened a playroom of approximately 30 square meters decorated and furnished in the style of Oulu at the turn of the 19th and the 20th centuries. The exhibition is hands-on and action-based with numerous historical toys.

The exhibition is accompanied by a newspaper that showcases the topical concerns, talking points, travel destinations and – of course – toys of the day.

The playroom has been designed following the principles of sustainable development. Many recycled materials are used, and a number of favourite items from past exhibition have been brought back.

Ainolanpolku 1
90130, Oulu
Orchestra playing in the Rotuaari

Urban Festival Oulu Days

Oulu Days is an urban festival with long-standing traditions – it has been organised since 1962. Oulu Days is a festival which welcomes everyone to arrange an event by offering it to be included in the Oulu Days programme. The festival takes place on the first weekend of September from Friday until Sunday. The concept of Oulu Days is to be a communal event entity in which a range of different communities creates the programme together. The organisers of Oulu Days events includes companies, associations, public sector operators and even private persons. The festival supports new urban culture without forgetting the long traditions.

Hallituskatu 5
90100, Oulu

Oulu Music Video Festival

Oulu Music Video Festival is a four-day spectacle of music and moving pictures that brings together young and youthful people, both music and film professionals, enthusiasts and consumers on the last warm evenings of the summer.

The Festival presents hundreds of music videos, movies, documentaries and special screenings. In addition, the authors of the videos express their own views from different perspectives in some of the screenings. The best Finnish music videos and video makers are rewarded at the prestigious Pumpeli Gala.

The festival organizes also live clubs and other music video related activities in local bars.

The artistic director of the festival is Anna-Mari Nousiainen. The event is produced by the Oulu Music Video Festivals Association.

Hallituskatu 7
90100, Oulu

Oulu Arts Night

Oulu Arts Night is a magical night full of culture!

Oulu Arts Night lets musicians, actors, dancers, writers, and artists take over the streets and parks and offer unique experiences for everyone. The festival lasts for only one night but the number of visitors takes up to 30 000!

The goal is to make arts and culture easy to reach and thus most of the events and performances are free of charge. Professionals and amateurs alike can bring their performances to the Arts Night.

Hallituskatu 7
90100, Oulu

Literary Art Festival Muusajuhlat

Literary Art Festival Muusajuhlat (Muse Festival) is the most notable literary happening in Oulu area. The festival brings together poets, writers, musicians, and artists from all around Finland. The versatile programme offers something for literary enthusiasts of all ages.

The programme is mostly in Finnish but there are also events that include multiple art forms and are suitable for non-Finnish speakers.

The events take place in restaurants, libraries and nearby municipalities in Oulu. Most events are free of charge.

The nine poems or muses of antiquity have inspired humanity since ancient times. Now the muses are calling us to the world of reading and writing once again. The books delight, enchant and captivate. When reading them you can empathize, be charmed, reminisce, stray and linger – the books have all our stories and countless worlds.

The festival is produced by Huutomerkki ry.

Kaarlenväylä 3
90100, Oulu

Air Gui­tar World Cham­pions­hips

Incredible performances, international love and big emotions – welcome to the airiest competition in the world!

The Air Guitar World Championships is a celebration of love and peace. Since 1996, the semi absurd performance art has grown into a favourite of international audiences and media, spreading its message around the world.

The year of air guitar culminates in August in Oulu, where national champions and black horses arrive to compete for the world championship title. The official Air Guitar World Championships network includes over 10 countries from almost all continents.

The AGWC Finals offers performances from the world’s best air guitarists and a magnificent show for old and new friends of air guitar. In the Black Horses Qualifying Round the night before, the prize is an instant place to the world finals. In addition to the contest events, Air Guitar World Championships offer air guitar-themed events for tourists.

The next Air Guitar World Championship competition takes place 23–25 August 2023. The Air Guitar World Championships are organized by Airnest Productions Oy.

Kirkkokatu 17
90100, Oulu
tyttö soittaa viulua, taustalla taulu

Ou­lun­sa­lo Soi Cham­ber Music Fes­ti­val

Oulunsalo Soi is a versatile, intimate and high-class chamber music festival that brings great pieces, premieres and musical delights to the Oulu region. The festival’s concerts and events are surprising, touching, and sometimes a bit whimsical too.

Oulunsalo Soi presents both international and domestic top names and rising stars. The concerts invite you to more traditional concert halls as well as new venues.

The artistic director of the festival is pianist Mika Rännäli. The festival is produced by the Oulu Cultural Events Association.

Hallituskatu 7
90100, Oulu

Elojazz

Elojazz is an intimate jazz and rhythm music festival in the heart of Oulu. The sweet melodies of Elojazz have been heard in Oulu for more than three decades. The festival takes place on the first weekend of August and includes main concerts as well free club gigs.

The artistic director of Elojazz is Jukka Eskola, one of the most recognized jazz musicians in Finland. The festival is produced by Jazz-20 Association.

Kasarmintie 13
90100, Oulu
Ilmakitaransoiton MM-kisat

Oulu August Festival

Oulu August Festival is an event entity of six festivals and additional program, which attracts approximately 60,000 visitors annually. A month-long celebration of culture features hundreds of events in the city of Oulu and its surroundings, ranging from music and cinema to literature and performance arts.

The members of Oulu August Festival are Elojazz, Oulunsalo Soi Chamber Music Festival, Literary Art Festival Muusajuhlat, Oulu Arts Night, Oulu Music Video Festival, Air Guitar World Championships and Flow Productions. The members organize high-quality cultural events in August.

Oulu August Festival also offers other events, such as macro concerts, Oulu August Festival Presents event series (rotating every other year), Choir Day and silent films.

Oulu August Festival has the EcoCompass environmental certificate.

Hallituskatu 7
90100, Oulu