​​Helsinki Festival to deliver a thousand Art Gifts around the city

Last summer’s hugely popular Art Gifts will bring even greater joy this year, with a total of 1,000 free art performances being delivered over three weekends during the Helsinki Festival. Online bookings for Art Gifts will start on Monday 16 August.

Art may also surprise people at home during the Helsinki Festival, 19 August to 5 September, since hundreds of Art Gifts will be delivered around the city in cooperation with OP Bank. The Art Gifts will be provided by a number of prominent Finnish artists ranging from musicians to dancers, circus performers and poets. The content of each gift will be a surprise to the person booking it and to the recipient alike, and the performer will be unknown until they arrive. Performances last 5-10 minutes and will be delivered in the recipient’s yard or under their balcony, for example.

Art Gifts mean anyone can book a unique art experience for a friend or loved one living in Helsinki. The first Art Gifts for delivery during the opening weekend, 21-22 August, of the Helsinki Festival can be booked online starting at 12 midday on Monday 16 August at taidelahja.helsinkifestival.fi. Art Gifts can then be booked each week for the following Helsinki Festival weekend, with online bookings starting on 23 August for the second weekend and on 30 August for the third and final weekend.

Art Gifts are booked through an app developed by Helsinki Festival and Counterpoint. Created as open source software and made available to festivals around the world, the app allows the booking, management and routing of Art Gifts, and makes it much easier to implement the gifts. Besides Helsinki, the app has already been used to convey Art Gifts in Reykjavik, Bergen, Cork and Vantaa.

Photo: Saara Autere