ILMIÖ: By the People, For the People

Words by Roos Hekkens

ILMIÖ is on Saturday 29th July
Doors at 14.00, bands from 14.15
Tickets available now

For more information, go to:

To check out ILMIÖ from previous years, go to:

On the 29th of July ILMIÖ festival will take place for the sixth time at the beautiful Uittamo dance pavilion. For the past three years ILMIÖ has been put on hold in favour of the H2Ö festival, which is organised by the same people. This year it makes its comeback and we will be able to enjoy the easygoing one-day festival again.

The ILMIÖ organisation is built around a group of friends who, in the spring of 2009, recognised the potential and convenience of the old-school dance floor at Uittamo. They decided to create a music festival that same summer, even at such short notice. Using the location as an inspirational starting point, they wanted to create an affordable event for everybody. The tickets were cheap and they had to create everything with a do-it-yourself spirit on a small budget, because it was not their intention to start a business but rather to simply throw a good party. And it was! The first ILMIÖ was a success and gave the organisation the confidence to do it again.

Soon a tradition was born, and the festival grew bigger over the course of five years. Their line-up increased exponentially, from 10 bands in 2009 to over 50 artists in the 2013 edition. Besides this, the programme began to include more than just music, with different artistic performances and installations becoming part of ILMIÖ’s hallmark.

Since the beginning there have also been activities happening at the little beach just outside the festival area. This entertainment is free for everybody, so people without a festival ticket can also join the party. This aspect of the festival is especially at the mercy of the Finnish weather, but even when a summer rainstorm washed away all the people from the beach and there was a power outage in 2011, the festivities continued. One artist even played acoustically, cramped together with the audience under the tiny canopy. Whatever happens, the party will go on!

After organising the bigger two-day festival, H2Ö, from 2014 to 2016, the organisation felt like going back to their roots. People had been asking, and so this summer ILMIÖ is back by popular demand. While the festival will be held at the same location as always, the area will be slightly bigger. For the first time there will also be an art stage, especially for performance art, along with the six stages that were there previously. There will also be improvements in the logistics of bars, food and toilets, but most importantly the atmosphere will remain the same.

Over the years the organisation has gained experience through doing, and they have proven themselves to be part of the cultural scene in Turku. The do-it-yourself spirit has been kept alive through the friendship of the core people in the organisation, and new people have come along and joined the group to make these events happen. Without the people who are willing to help, this festival would not be possible. And without the people that come and attend the festival on the 29th of July there wouldn’t be a party, so see you there!

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