This year’s mural will be located in Tuira

The residents of Oulu have voted for Tuira as the location for the Oulu2026 mural. The artist selection and the exact location of the artwork will be announced in August.

The public vote for this year’s Oulu2026 mural has concluded. A total of 1521 votes were cast, and Tuira emerged as the winner with approximately 25 percent of the votes. Ritaharju received the second highest number of votes, followed by Toppila. In 2022, Rajakylä won the vote with Tuira coming in second place.

The mural will be realized in Tuira in early autumn as part of the Oulu2026 cultural program. A panel of public art professionals will choose the mural artist from the portfolios submitted in last year’s global open call for artists. The selected artist and the specific location of the mural in Tuira will be announced in August.

The locations for the Oulu2026 murals are selected through annual neighborhood voting, which is open to all city residents. Participants in the public vote have the opportunity to share memories and stories related to their chosen neighborhood, which the invited artist can use as inspiration for their artwork. The neighborhood voting for the 2024 mural will open in the autumn of 2023.

During the European Capital of Culture year 2026, the mural will be created in the city center. Various activities, such as art tours and competitions, will be organized around all the artworks.

Rajakylän muraali

Year 2022 mural in Rajakylä

+358 50468 6521


Programme Peek: AaltoSiilo

The Program Peek is an article series where, as the name suggests, we take a sneak peek into the cultural programme of Oulu2026, the European Capital of Culture. The series provides small glimpses of what’s to come and highlights interesting aspects.

Kuvassa Valentino Tignanelli

As the year 2026 approaches the former wood chip silo located in Meri-Toppila is being revived through a project led by the Factum Foundation. The aim of the project is to restore the building into a world-class multipurpose space for various exhibitions and public events. With the AaltoSiilo project, the cathedral-like concrete structure will transform into a center for science and culture, combining Alvar Aalto’s iconic architecture with 3D technology, creating a unique entity in the area.

The project manager Valentino Tignanelli explains that the silo will actively host events annually even before the actual year as the Capital of Culture.

“The first event we organized in the silo was Farewell to the hoppers, where the Transistori collective used the elements within the building’s interior as instruments, turning the space into its own instrument. The latest event, Screaming Duende, combined flamenco master Israel Galván and Huutajat (Screaming Men) choir. We appreciate the interaction between artists and the building, and we hope that the silo will always be the main star of the events held there,” describes Tignanelli.

How does AaltoSiilo connect to the Oulu2026 theme of “Wild City”?

“We see the wildness as a symbol – it is something that has disappeared and needs to be created again. Wild city in this Oulu2026 program needs to be this new relation to what we consider wild and nature. AaltoSiilo reflects cultural climate change by being part of that.”

How does AaltoSiilo promote cultural climate change in the area?

“From an architectural perspective, it is important how the restoration of a concrete building like the silo saves an equivalent amount of emissions that would be generated by constructing a new series of apartment buildings. Oulu is full of concrete buildings, and through our work, we aim to set an example for the use of similar structures by preserving and refurbishing this culturally significant silo.”

What can we expect from AaltoSiilo in the upcoming years?

“We are planning a public space to the lower floor of the silo intended for 200 people. There will also be a vertically arranged audiovisual cabinet of curiosity from the lowest floor towards the building’s highest peak. Silo is an iconic landmark of its era, where we hope to welcome both exhibitions and live performers.”

How would you like the northern region to look like in 2026?

“I truly hope that the Capital of Culture year leaves something visibly tangible in the city – such as this silo, for example. I hope that the initiatives and organizations launched during the Capital of Culture year will continue their activities even after the important celebratory year. I believe that the cultural landscape of Oulu will undergo significant changes as a result of the year 2026.”

Follow the project:

The district vote on this year’s mural is underway

Upeart, a Finnish public art professional, is involved in our cultural program with the “Joy from Urban contemporary art” -project, which produces mural artworks around the Oulu area. Voting is open for the location of this year’s Oulu2026-mural!

The residents of Oulu get to propose and come up with an idea for the location of the Oulu2026mural, as well as tell memories and stories related to the residential area in question, which the artist can later use as a basis for the design of the work. Last year’s district vote was won by Rajakylä, where British artist Eloise Gillow realized the work “Turning Point”.

Voting is open until 25th of June. Vote here: Oulu2026 mural 2023

In the European capital of culture year 2026, the mural will be realized in the area of the center of Oulu. Various activities, such as art tours and competitions, will be announced for the year 2026 around the created artworks. After completion, the artworks will be transferred to the collections of the Oulu Art Museum.

Screaming Duende at the AaltoSiilo June 3rd

The Factum Foundation and AaltoSiilo are organizing the Screaming Duende event in Meri-Toppila, Oulu on June 3rd. The event is a world premiere of pairing the radical flamenco master Israel Galván and Huutajat (Screaming Men) Choir. The event is a central part of the AaltoSiilo project, which uses art and industrial cultural heritage to develop this unique silo.



There will also be performances by vinyl DJs Malsson, Tenko, and Matti Aikio and an audiovisual concert by Veera Neva & Arttu Nieminen. The event is free and will be live streamed and projected outside the Silo itself. The event can also be followed on Twitch (from 4 pm) and Oulu2026’s Facebook page (from 7 pm).

At AaltoSiilo Israel Galván will meet the world-famous Huutajat Choir in the spirit of Federico García Lorca’s concept of duende. García Lorca describes duende as a tragedy-inspired ecstasy, a poetic, and uncontrollable emotional state. “El duende, then, is a power, not a work. It is a struggle, not a thought.”

Oulu is the European Capital of Culture for 2026. Screaming Duende is part of the Oulu2026 culture program and the cultural climate change. The event follows last year’s event, where Transistori band played the silo building as a large-scale urban instrument.

Alvar Aallon katu 5, Oulu
June 3, 2023, from 4 pm to 9 pm

4:00 pm DJ Malsson
5:00 pm DJ Tenko
6:00 pm DJ Matti Aikio
7:00 pm Veera Neva & Arttu Nieminen
8:00 pm Israel Galván & Screaming Men’s Choir

A unique place gets a new form

The Factum Foundation and the award-winning architecture firm Skene Catling de la Peña bought the long-unused silo in 2020. Through events, the owners are exploring and developing AaltoSiilo into a versatile performance and exhibition space and research center.

Read more on the AaltoSiilo website.

Producer Valti Tignatelli, valti.tigna@factum-arte.com, +358 45 806 3171
Giulia Fornaciari, Factum Foundation / AaltoSiilo, giulia.fornaciari@factum-arte.com
Nicolas Beliard, Factum Foundation / AaltoSiilo, nicolas.beliard@factum-arte.com
Dan Barrett, Skene Catling de la Peña architects, dan@scdlp.net

More info

Brutally icy atmosphere at Nallikari – Frozen People festival serves art, music and local food


Valoteos Nallikarissa

Frozen People, a festival of electronic music and northern art and style, takes over Oulu’s iconic Nallikari in early March. Braving the elements, the unique winter festival will be staged on sea ice. Taking place on 4th March, the festival features a headline act from Tarto, a 2024 European Capital of Culture. In the future, the call for the festival’s artistic programme will be extended internationally and feature even more international top names of electronic music.

The festival is inspired by the Burning Man Festival held in the Nevada Desert in the US.

“Like the Burning Man, Frozen People will be held at a surprising location braving the elements. The event brings together free-thinking artists and trendy revellers to celebrate art, creativity and self-expression,” says Heikki Myllylahti.

The event organisers have their eye on the European Capital of Culture year 2026

The Frozen People is now organised for the second time: organised at a challenging location, it takes long-term planning, experimenting and learning to make it work. The event will be further perfected in 2024 and 2025, leading up to March 2026, when the festival will be one of the key events in the Oulu 2026 programme. In 2026, Oulu’s Nallikari and the frozen seafront will be transformed into a gigantic stage for art and music.

“We have seen how Finns have embraced the various light festivals and how they have changed our view of culture and art in the middle of the dark winter. The role of Oulu Urban Culture and the Frozen People festival is to do the same and create a new Arctic art and culture identity for Oulu,” says Myllylahti.

This year’s festival programme is a versatile feast of electronic music. During the day, audiences can enjoy more light-hearted house rhythms, and at dusk the mood will turn more magical with some live performance, until the darkness descends and the more intense techno beat takes over. The festival will feature both new and familiar names from Oulu together with guest acts from Helsinki, Turku, and Estonia.

In addition to music, the festival site features several art works. The frozen Nallikari landscape will serve as a backdrop for inviting installations and performance art, soft spaces, encounters and interactive light art.

The event is produced by an extensive collaborative network. The food and drink will be provided the Oulu2026 Arctic Food Lab, the LUMO light festival produces Niko Tiainen’s light installation and the Estonian Merimelli act is generously sponsored by the Tartu2024 European Capital of Culture organisation. The event is also sponsored by Nallikari Holiday Village, Oulun Energia, and Hongisto Oy.

The admission-free festival is part of the Oulu2026 cultural programme and cultural climate change. The festival is organised by Oulu Urban Culture ry.


Program 2023 –> Frozen People 2022 – program | Oulu Urban Culture

University Campuses will be filled with culture in 2026 – program proposals are being accepted now!

yellow wall from university of oulu
Have you dreamed of a more lively university campus? Would you like to be able to enjoy the cultural activities also during the working day, for example during the lunch hour? Could the campuses of the University of Oulu offer an attractive cultural program in the evenings, which would encourage the members of our community to come to the campuses even after studying and working?

Creative Campus project is now looking for imaginative event ideas and enthusiastic cultural creators, with which we can together enliven our university in the European Capital of Culture year 2026.

Send your ideas by filling out the attached questionnaire: https://link.webropol.com/s/Oulu2026CampusAsAStage.

Event ideas are accepted until 31 March 2023. Uniresta’s coffee tickets will be drawn among the respondents.

The University of Oulu and OYY participate in the Oulu Capital of Culture Year program with their joint Creative Campus project, whose events consist not only of established events but also of new event concepts. One of the event concepts to be published in 2026 will be the Campus as a Stage event series. The aim of this event series is to open the community and interaction spaces of the University of Oulu’s campuses to the use of cultural actors for, among other things, concerts, performances and art exhibitions. The purpose of Campus as a Stage events is to strengthen community and well-being, and to bring culture closer to the everyday life of our university community.