The traditional Qstock Festival takes place in late July, but this year the festival features also free-entry Oulu2026 park in Linnansaari from Thursday 28th to Saturday 30th July. The park is located near the Qstock festival area offering visitors a relaxing place to enjoy festival and culture atmosphere free of charge.
Oulu2026 Producer Heikki Myllylahti tells us that the Oulu2026 programme for the park is now ready for publication!
“We want to offer programme open to all while highlighting local culture. The stage is transported to the site from Heinäpää park and the park will also feature art installations, seating areas, an Arctic Food Lab café, and a participatory programme such as workshops and a place to take photos for social media”, says Myllylahti
No timetable – going with the flow
The opening of Oulu2026 lounge takes place on Thursday 28 July from 6pm to 9 pm. The opening party has live music and various performances like the Afro-fusion band Group Calabasse, which brings together West African rhythms and Finnish folk music, and the California-born musician and long-time Oulu resident Sophia Mitiku. The norther trailblazer of Finnish rap, Stepa will be interviewed on stage.
“The opening Thursday is the only day with a fixed programme. Otherwise, the weekend is all about a relaxed and sometimes more lively flow”
The Oulu2026 park is open on Friday and Saturday from 2 pm to 10 pm. The stage show features by Cultish Collective, which will create an all-embracing audio-visual experience, and the Barbie house collective.
“We wanted to have continuous music, so both collectives are providing four-hour sets during the day. The programme is multi-artistic, including music played by a DJ and a visual element”
Oulun Katutaide ry (Oulu Street Art Association) organises participatory street art workshops in the area and the Oulu2026 park will also feature numerous installations and performances. On the Saturday, the stage will be taken over by the cultural radio station Oulun Kulttuuriradio, who will set up its studio in the Oulu2026 park for the day.
“The station will broadcast live from the park, with a programme of music, discussions and artist interviews.
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Oulu2026 park highlights local culture and creators
Myllylahti emphasises the importance of giving young artists opportunities and spaces to perform. As a producer, he is passionate about urban culture and is eager to see how the audiences find the concept of the Oulu2026 lounge. He is also proud of the diversity of the programme.
“The point is not to replicate what Qstock is already doing quite well. Our role is to add to it with a multi-artistic cultural offering on a smaller scale next to a major festival. We understand culture in its widest sense, and we have included different types of productions to be as inclusive of all target groups as possible.”
The goal of the park is to inspire young people to participate and spread the word about the upcoming Capital of Culture year 2026. Myllylahti says that the event is accessible as its free of charge, and the performers do not need a major record label to be represented. The park remains open for everyone during the weekend.
Food for thought and stomach
Besides music and culture, the park also has a food stall offering Arctic Food Lab festival delicacies created by Juhula Catering , prepared from locally produced ingredients. The area also has a fully licenced bar with entry limited to over -18s.
The Oulu2026 park would not be possible without the network of a number of actors. Myllylahti says that the close cooperation with Qstock as well as other cultural actors and associations is essential. Myllylahti adds that the purpose of Oulu2026 is to bring creators and actors of all walks of life together, so when Oulu2026 does something, the idea is to involve as many parties as possible in the collaboration. Another element marking the collaboration is the renaming of the traditional Qstock ‘Oulu stage’ as the Oulu2026 stage.
“The focus of the stage will increasingly be on rising, local artists. It would be great if, in the future, the stage could also feature European artists in addition to local ones through, for example, an exchange scheme.”
Bring your friends and drop by the Oulu2026 park to enjoy art, culture and a relaxed festival ambiance with great food and drink.
See you at the park!