Ilosaarirock Kimmo Kirves


There's always something happening in Joensuu

Like Finland in general, things happen most in Joensuu in summer. The largest happening in town is the annual laid-back Ilosaarirock music festival in early July attracting more than 20 000 people. The same weekend hosts Ilovaarirock, for the formerly young, and a children's music event, Vekararock. Pop Street, brings all of Rock Week together into an urban festival.

The Joensuu Literary Happening, which concentrates on conversation rather than marketing, has solidified its place on the calendar. Parafest (celebrating the differently able) is a newcomer to the list that has in a few short years championed the idea that culture belongs to all. Every spring science becomes experience as schoolchildren make their way to Scifest at the Joensuu Areena. Finns of all ages are affected by the hymn "Now the time of blossoming arrives" sung by thousands of children at the Joensuu Bowl at the close of the school year and at the same time proclaiming the start of summer.

Fixtures on the events calendar toward the end of the year are Rokumentti and Joensuu Day. Rokumentti is rock-oriented film festival and Joensuu Day celebrates the city's birth with awards given to the deserving.

For more information about these and numerous other events in Joensuu, see