10 festivals that make Finland a great summer destination in 2023

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For those who don't realize this yet, Finland is a great country to visit with gorgeous nature, plenty of beautiful lakes, and friendly people. And of course there is a great heavy metal and rock culture to be found everywhere. And if that is not enough to convince you of the need to catch a plane, boat, or train and head towards this country, every summer they have some of the best and most unique festivals around, with often a really healthy amount of attention for bands from their own fertile soil. Which makes these fests an ideal opportunity if you want to catch your favorite Finnish bands. These are the festivals that you need to come to Finland for:


(02/06 - 03/06 @ On The Rocks)

Last year a new festival called Hellsinki Metal Horizons got its first edition, bringing am eclectic collection of metal bands ranging from proggy all the way to extreme deathcore, and everything in between. This was clearly a successful experiment to widen metal fan’s musical horizons, so much so, that this year they are back with another edition. Under a slightly different name (probably to avoid confusion with another festival), and a different location with the city center venue On The Rocks, #Horizon23 is a smallish indoor festival that is definitely worth your attention with its impressive, and diverse lineup yet again.

This time they opted for a more thoroughly extreme line-up, featuring black, death and a bit of grindcore. But they haven’t shied away from bringing something weird and different if you look at bands like the Belgian black metal band Wiegedood that released a ridiculously oppressive and uncomfortable album last year, and the mysterious Danish black metal duo Angstskríg that very much brings their own take on the genre, even incorporating rap on one of their tracks… Yes, you heard that right: rap in a black metal song! Add to that absolute live legends like Finland’s own Rotten Sound and Marianas Rest, or the Danish death metal beasts of Baest among quite a few more, and you simply can’t miss out on this!

Find tickets still here.


(08/06 - 10/06 @ Hyvinkää)

If you’re looking to go to something of a bigger scale with some of the biggest names in the metal and rock scene overall, while still having a somewhat cosy atmosphere, Rockfest in Hyvinkää might be your destination this summer. They advertise themselves as being “The Biggest Rock Festival in Finland”, and from experiencing it in the past, that is a very accurate description, and will completely take over the city of Hyvinkää for a couple of days.

Also this year it’s pretty massive with some massive bands booked for the mainstage again with the Thursday headliner being Pantera, Friday bolstering the rocking combo of Mötley Crüe and Def Leppard, and on Saturday the glorious return to Finland of Volbeat after a massive show in Tampere last year (find the report here and pictures here). But that is not all, joining the already impressive mainstage bill are the Finnish monsters of Lordi, punkers Rancid, Helsinki vampires The 69 Eyes, symphonic metal legends Stratovarius, Finnish rock legends Popeda and Michael Monroe, and the legendary prince of doom Danzig.

Rockfest is not called the biggest rock festival in Finland for nothing, you’ll find 2 more stages with bands to fill your time while you wait for the next act on the mainstage. And again you’ll find a healthy combination of both Finnish acts with VV, Battle Beast, Von Hertzen Brothers, Stam1na, Santa Cruz, Swallow The Sun, Steve’n Seagulls, Turmion Kätilöt, Beast In Black, Block of Flats, Xysma, and Rotten Sound, and international acts with Sick Of It All, Monster Magnet, Escape The Fate, Testament, Crashdïet, Cleopatrick, Igorrr, The Hellacopters, and Nestor. We want to bet there are at least some bands that will appeal to you!

Get your tickets still here.

Tuhdimmat Tahdit

(16/06 - 17/06 @ Ratinanniemi, Tampere)

While Tuhdimmat Tahdit seems like a pretty new festival, but is actually an event that made its glorious return to Nokia last year after a 9-year hiatus. After last year’s successful comeback, it had to find a new location after the original spot in Nokia became unavailable. Luckily, it found a new home in Tampere, one of Finland’s prettiest cities. We didn’t manage to check out the festival ourselves before, but if the club shows they organize during the year – like Battle Beast in Nokia earlier this year (find the pictures here) – is any indication on how the festival will be organized, then we’re sure this will be a complete success. And of course, now that the festival is located right in the center of Tampere, it will be even easier to attend.

The festival brings a wide variety of well known Finnish acts like Swallow the Sun, Beast in Black, Ensiferum, Diablo, Bloodred Hourglass, Mors Subita, Turmion Kätilöt, Wolfheart, Brymir, Lordi, and more. Spruced up with some nice treats from Sweden like Dead By April, Dynazty, and Metalite. What a way to begin the festival season!

Get your tickets here.


(21/06 - 24/06 @ Nummijärvi, Kauhajoki)

Nummirock has gotten somewhat of a legendary status among people in Finland, and we believe this charming festival in the middle of the forest is an absolute must if you’re looking for an event to celebrate midsummer with some good music and never-ending parties. It helps of course that the lineup is yet again really awesome, with some killer international acts like Behemoth, Asking Alexandria, Vader, Bloodywood, Born Of Osiris, Elvenking, Enemy Inside, Misþyrming, Gutalax, Aborted, Blood Red Throne,… And of course there’s also a damn solid selection of excellent Finnish bands with Beast In Black, Stam1na, Stratovarius, Turmion Kätilöt, Maj Karma, Kalmah, Viikate, Finntroll, Bloodred Hourglass, Before The Dawn, I Am The Night, Brymir, Vorna, Ruoska, One Morning Left, Mors Subita, King Satan, and much, much more. This really seems too good to have to miss out on, so get your camping gear ready!

Get your tickets here still.


(30/06 - 02/07 @ Suvilahti, Helsinki)

One of Finland’s longest running city metalfests has been a permanent fixture in our yearly event calendar for the past over half a decade. Tuska knows how to put together a fun and exciting lineup year after year, a combination of widely appealing bands with still room for some experimentation and different choices than what you’d expect at a metal festival. They seem to have a talent to see the potential in bands, placing acts as headliner before they are such anywhere else, or bringing up-and-coming bands to the Finnish shores for them to showcase their skills. This year we get the headliners Ghost, Gojira and VV on the main stage, but also popular acts like Arch Enemy, In Flames, The Hu, Electric Callboy, Motionless In White, Lorna Shore, Jinjer, Avatar, Spiritbox and much more.

Additional to that, Finland is of course well represented with for instance Marko Hietala, Turmion Kätilöt, Mokoma, Lost Society, Swallow The Sun, Fintroll and so on. But what about the left field choices for this year’s lineup? Check out the synthwave act Dance With The Dead, or the avant-garde black/death band Imperial Triumphant, singer-songwriter A.A. Williams, or dark electro duo Miseria Ultima. And the fact that it’s conveniently located at Suvilahti, an event area 10 minutes away from Helsinki center by public transport, makes it all the more appealing to spend 3 epic days this Summer!

Get your tickets here.

John Smith Festival

(20/07 - 22/07 @ Peurunka, Laukaa)

John Smith Rock Festival is another one of those festivals people always speak highly of due to its great lineup and stellar location. It advertises itself as “The Best Rock Festival in Finland”, and from what we’ve heard and seen that seems quite accurate. Located at a quite idyllic environment relatively close to Jyväskylä at one of the lakes there, the atmosphere is something special. And the line-up is year after year, an impressive collection of quality Finnish and international bands with always some rare sightings.

For 2023, you can get the set of headliners made from the extreme metal legends Cradle of Filth, the rockers of D-A-D and one of Finland’s most popular bands with Amorphis. If those are not enough, you’ll find appearances from Soilwork, Beast In Black, The Halo Effect, Danko Jones, Sonata Arctica, Perturbator, Rotting Christ, Sólstafir, Vola, Lord Of The Lost, Scar Symmetry, Before The Dawn, Equilibrium, Omnium Gatherum, Freedom Call and so on. While we were going through this line-up, we got excited about every entry, and we’re sure that many of you will have the same feeling!

Get your tickets here.


(04/08 - 05/08 @ Viikinsaari, Tampere)

A festival in Tampere, one of Finland’s nicest cities, on an island in the middle of the big lake the city right in its center, with a lineup that mostly heralds Finnish bands but with every edition a nice and interesting selection of foreign acts, aptly named SaariHelvetti (Island of Hell). What more could you wish for as a metalhead? The line-up definitely won’t turn you away, knowing that you’ll find Turmion Kätilöt, Moonspell, Decapitated, Diablo Swing Orchestra, Harakiri For The Sky, Rotting Christ, Lost Society, Kalmah, Rotten Sound, Lähiöbotox, Fear Of Domination, One Morning Left and many more spread over the 2 days that is the festival. You won’t even have to miss out on any of the bands if you don’t want to, because the performances alternate between the 2 stages there without any overlaps. But if you want to skip an artist, you’ll find plenty of other things to occupy yourself with for instance the yearly “Speed dating in Hell”, and the shows from Tampere Burlesque‘s finest. So get your tickets, and catch yourself a boat to the best island in Finland!

Get your tickets here.

Dark River Festival

(10/08 - 12/08 @ Honkala, Kotka)

Dark River Festival has been around for a moment and has grown to be known as one of the nicest and friendliest festivals every festival summer in Finland. Their mission is to offer everyone that takes part in the festival a comfortable and safe experience and a positive atmosphere. And they take that indeed very much to heart, with even the press and photographers coming to cover the event being treated as I’ve never seen or heard of before! For that reason alone, we highly recommend to try and visit this festival at least once in your lifetime. So why not this summer? Because the atmosphere is of course not where it ends, with yet again a pretty impressive line-up consisting of stellar acts like Insomnium, …and Oceans, Psychework, Balance Breach, Stam1na, Turmion Kätilöt, Omnium Gatherum, Rotten Sound, Saor, I Am The Night, Fear Of Domination, Vorna, Battlelore, Dark Tranquillity, The Haunted, Belakor, Machinae Supremacy, Shade Empire, Verikalpa, Vermilia, One Morning Left, Demonic Death Judge, and more to be announced still at this point!

Get your tickets here.

Hellsinki Metal Festival

(11/08 - 12/08 @ Jäähalli Helsinki)

A brand-new festival near the center of Helsinki has sprouted from these fertile grounds, and immediately comes with a lineup that can’t be seen as anything else but impressive. Hellsinki Metal Festival will take place in and around Jäähalli, the ice hockey hall that features many of Helsinki’s biggest concerts throughout the year. And with a line-up that brings us significantly more international bands than Finnish bands compared to most events, it has become an absolutely stacked bill, especially for a first edition! And the wide variety of genres featured in it, is all the more reason for us to want to attend!

Blind Guardian, Emperor, Leprous, Stratovarius, Watain, Clawfinger, Voivod, Sodom, I Am Morbid, Bury Tomorrow, Bloodred Hourglass, Asagraum, Batushka, Before The Dawn, Benighted, Burst, Chamber Of Unlight, Déluge, Fit For An Autopsy, Impaled Nazarene, Landmvrks, Pentagram, Priest, Samael, Scar Symmetry, Suicidal Angels, Vomitory, White Ward,… brings the top of the crop in power metal, black metal, prog metal, death metal, death- and metalcore, and beyond!

Get your tickets here.

Flow Festival

(11/08 - 13/08 @ Suvilahti, Helsinki)

Compared to the other festivals in this list, Flow Festival is something quite different. For the more pure metalhead, this might be a festival they don’t even want to look twice at, especially with the other options that are available the same weekend. However, if you are as adventurous of a music fan as some of us are, this could very well be the place to be for you! The festival has been praised internationally as a unique experience where a lot of effort is put in the overall atmosphere. It’s more than just a music festival, it’s almost like a huge performance art piece. And the program features a combination of the brightest stars in pop and indie music, the biggest names in DJ and club music, and a lovely collection of experimental arts and music. While the majority of the bill won’t really appeal all that much to people who love their rock music, there are at least a couple of gems to be found like Suede, Devo, Amyl and the Sniffers, Kissa, and Blur. If you feel like experimenting and discovering, this really is THE event to be at!

Get your tickets here.

There are probably some more fests that we overlooked, there is definitely plenty to do during the festival summer in Finland!
We hope to see you at one of these events!

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