My Oulu: The Irish Festival of Oulu celebrates its 15th anniversary with Sámi, Finnish folk music and shamanism

Vildá will be playing at Irish Festival.


Julkaistu: Kirjoittaja: Anne Maarit Laurila

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The festival’s artistic director , Brent Cassidy, is proud of this year’s music programme.

”It’s high-quality and versatile. The main concert on Sunday, October 16 at Valvesal will feature violin virtuoso Cathal Hayden, legendary bagpipe player Paddy Keenan and guitarist and vocalist Alan Burke,” he says.

”Of course, the festival presents the best traditional Irish music and culture, but takes our festival in a new direction through Nordic folk music and culture. On the opening day, we will first have Sámi storytelling on offer: Joiku – stories from the north, where Hildá Länsman from the band Vildá  tells stories about the life, culture and yoik tradition of the Sámi people, accompanied  by Viivi Maria Saarenkylä on the accordion,” Cassidy adds.

After the storytelling, there is a presentation in which Milja Guttorm talks about Sámi culture in an urban environment and how she cherishes Sámi culture when it is not visible in everyday life. In the afternoon presentation, Richard Taylor talks about shamanism as part of global culture. This presentation and debate will be in English.

International attention

Groups arriving as audiences are coming from the UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Sweden and all over Finland. The aim of the jubilee year is to bring people together through top-notch international Irish music and culture.

”The Irish Festival of Oulu also brings a lot of international attention to the City of Oulu from all over Europe and the Nordic countries,” says Cassidy.

The Irish Festival of Oulu has also been selected for the Irish Nordic strategy.

”Ireland has published its first co-operation strategy with the Nordic countries. It presents Ireland’s vision of increased cooperation with Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Iceland until 2025. Cultural cooperation is an important part of the strategy. The Irish Festival of Oulu was highlighted as a case study and a living example, as the festival presents Irish culture successfully and diversely in Finland,” said Irish Ambassador Ruth Parkin earlier.

He hoped that the Irish people could continue to build cooperation with The Irish Festival of Oulu and its hometown Oulu.

The full programme of the festival can be found from this link