Black background, colourful steps. Picture: City of Helsinki.

Helsingin elävät kadut (Helsinki living streets) will take culture to the streets and invite city residents to enjoy encounters and spending time together in the city centre

The Helsingin elävät kadut (Helsinki Living Streets) event series is produced by separate funding granted for recovery from the pandemic, and its purpose is to inspire the residents to find the city centre of Helsinki again. The curation of the programme has focused as much as possible on employing freelancers in various fields of art. The pandemic silenced the city centre, but this summer the city will come back to life and invite people to enjoy the summer spirit of Helsinki with the whole family.

You can find Helsingin elävät kadut (Helsinki Living Streets) at the Helsinki Biennial Pavilion on the Market Square, in the Makasiinipuisto Park in the Töölönlahti area, in the National Museum’s summer courtyard, on the Espa Stage and on the city’s Summer Streets in front of the Design Museum. There will be a touring programme for all ages every Thursday and on several weekends.


From daredevil circus artists to Pentti Saarikoski’s poems accompanied by brass music

The programme is a comprehensive mix of various types of performing arts. On Thursday, 16 June, the Secret Cartoonists will appear at the Helsinki Biennial Pavilion, in Esplanade Park and on the Summer Streets to draw “secret portraits” of city residents, who can keep the portraits as mementoes. Street musicians will also be heard.

On the Thursday before Midsummer, 23 June, the Summer Streets and the Helsinki Biennial Pavilion will see performances by artists like Compañía Kaari & Roni Martin Goes ROOTS, who combine flamenco and Balkan spirit with poetry by Pentti Saarikoski, and the contemporary circus group Blind Gut Company with their performance for the whole family, “Kuin kala puussa” (“Like a fish in a tree”). On 7 July at the Helsinki Biennial Pavilion, street dance and ritualistic movements will meet in the dance performance X∙over created by dancer-choreographer Ben Fury for Helsinki in the summer.

There will be workshops for children and adults on Sunday, 26 June, for example: in the summer courtyard of the National Museum, Hupsansaa association’s summery floral workshop will create enchanting floral ornaments and small bouquets with real flowers. On Pride Sunday, 3 July, in the Makasiinipuisto Park in the Töölönlahti area, you can take part in a drama game workshop or finger-painting workshop, and the Drag story time will feature stories suitable for the whole family.

In July, Helsingin elävät kadut (Helsinki Living Streets) will take over the Espa Stage by bringing a whole new kind of programme to the park. Run by Jamie MacDonald and Aatu Raitala in Kallio’s Mascot Bar, the Aatu & Jamie’s stand-up summer club will bring stand-up comedy to Espa for the first time. There will also be dance and improv theatre on the stage.

All these summer events have free admission and do not require advance registration.

The Summer Streets, i.e. Kasarmikatu, Pieni Roobertinkatu, Korkeavuorenkatu and Erottajankatu, together form an urban walking network in Helsinki where, in addition to the art programme, the streets have been made more comfortable by adding plants, resting places and children’s playgrounds as well as by restricting motor traffic.

The full programme for Helsingin elävät kadut (Helsinki Living Streets) can be found on the tapahtumat.hel.fi website. Let your feet take you to great art experiences!