Kotka Maritime Festival 2016
Annual Kotka Maritime festival is a city-wide festival that encompasses arts, music, sport and whole family fun. It attracts around 200 000 visitors to hundreds of events around Kotka main island and nearly islands. The festival is over 50 years old and rooted in the sea and harbor culture. These days it offers a variety of activities and attracts families with children and people with roots and affiliation to Kotka and a huge crowd from Kymenlaakso and Uusimaa and greater Helsinki area.
One of most popular activities is the parade that reminds a visitor of a carnival. In 2016 we have over 60 groups performing and presenting their talent. The parade is also the most popular feature of the festival and it marks the beginning of the event. Typically the parade is followed by around 20 000 people that gather among the streets and Kotka market place to cheer for their favorite performers.
Music is of course a large part of the festival and the biggest individual offer comes from Arena, where in 2016 there are bands playing on Friday and Saturday. Both days offer bands that are currently topping the charts in finnish rock and popular music. Friday is perhaps slightly more ‘adult’ pop and rock oriented bill followed on Saturday by huge shows from top pop entertainers that appeal to younger and young adult generations.
Kotka is also the home and birth place for perhaps the best known Finnish song-lyrics author, Juha ‘Junnu’ Vainio. To pay respects for his musical heritage the Maritime festival organises ‘Yleisessä saunassa’ - a concert with probably the best house band in Finland, led by drummer Kalle Torniainen. Band then invites three singers to perform songs from Junnu Vainio’s portfolio. These three concerts sold out in 2015 and they remain very popular in 2016 too.
One more highlight from 2016 is the Tube event where the top Youtube stars are meeting their fans and taking part in the Tube show at the Kotka concert house. This event is targeted specifically for a growing number of people producing Youtube materials and engaging with regular presenters.