Feel Helsinki to be organised online 18 May – 13 June: the festival’s art ranges from bedtime stories to a singalong concert

Finland’s biggest arts festival in this time of social distancing offers the chance to visit an art exhibition in virtual reality and train singing with vocal teachers of Uniarts Helsinki’s Sibelius Academy.

This year, Uniarts Helsinki’s teachers and students get to showcase their art in an entirely digital edition of the Feel Helsinki festival. The festival performances are available at feelhelsinki.info, which will serve as the hub of fascinating art starting from Monday, 18 May.

The website will present over 20 art experiences for people to enjoy directly from their couch free of charge. The festival has art for people of all ages, and the programme features a wide selection of concerts, video and sound art, live reading of bedtime stories, as well as performance and visual art. Some of the performances will be streamed live and stay available for later viewing on the website, while the rest of the programme can be experienced online at any time.

The festival programme has been put together with the help of proposals submitted by Uniarts Helsinki’s students. Feel Helsinki was originally scheduled to take place at the Helsinki Music Centre on 13 June, but the event was moved online due to the coronavirus pandemic. Many students viewed the situation as an opportunity to try out something new.

– Uniarts Helsinki is one of the biggest communities of creative minds in Finland, so it felt natural to experiment with new ways of bringing art closer to people. We need art more than ever before in this time of uncertainty and change, Uniarts Helsinki’s Rector Jari Perkiömäki says.

The time spent in social isolation has served as an inspiration for the students’ work. For example, the concert When Will I Get to See You Again? by Opera Training students and alumni will portray the urgent need for human contact and the anxiety created by isolation.

On Helsinki Day on 12 June, the public is treated to a singalong concert titled Song of the Persistent. Before the concert, everyone is offered the unique chance to practise the featured songs via Zoom in lessons led by Aija Puurtinen, Sirkka Parviainen and Anna-Kaisa Liedes, vocal teachers of Uniarts Helsinki’s Sibelius Academy, as well as by an ensemble consisting of members of the Haloa choir. The songs will be performed live in the concert, and everyone is welcomed to sing along at home.

On 13 June, the festival’s website will present the exhibition Invisible Forces by students and teachers of fine arts. The artworks are set in a 3D model of a virtual space that is not yet accessible in our physical reality: the new facilities that will be the home of Uniarts Helsinki’s Academy of Fine Arts in 2021. The public can get a 360 experience of the exhibition by watching a video tour or by using a VR headset if one is available. This way, the exhibition also serves as an exclusive sneak peek of Uniarts Helsinki’s future campus.

The Feel Helsinki event was organised at the Helsinki Music Centre for the first time in June 2019. The new urban festival attracted over 5,500 visitors.

See more information and the festival programme