The first ever whole-weekend Maakinen Martinniemi (the Magical Martinniemi) festival took place this June. The event’s host, Jukka Takalo, says that a multi-artistic community event is extremely important for the entire region. The event was first launched in 2009 when Takalo and J.A. Mäki came up with the idea of staging a cultural event in the controversial Kurtinhauta seaside area.
“The locals warmly welcomed the event and this year the organisation of the village fête involved more than 260 volunteers together with local businesses and associations. It’s amazing what you can accomplish by pulling together,” says Takalo.
Part of the Oulu2026 programme
Maakinen Marinniemi is also part of the Oulu2026 programme and the Delta Life project, the creative concept of which was developed, again, by Takalo. The project is part of the Art Takeover! programme line, in which art can be encountered at unforgettable cultural events as well as in surprising daily contexts such as supermarkets.
“Last summer’s Matka Maakiseen Martinniemeen (Journey to the Magical Martinniemi) was the first concrete step towards the Oulu Capital of Culture Year, and in 2026 we will certainly be there as well,” says Takalo.
The Art Takeover! programme line falls under the Oulu2026 Wild City theme, the aim of which is to bring the wilderness into the city by injecting new life in the areas near Oulu. We will turn Oulu into a city that attracts more visitors and young people with its unique urban vibe and interesting events. Maakinen Martinniemi is an excellent addition to the Wild City theme with its community atmosphere, unique milieu and cultural programme.Closer to 2026, the Oulu2026 cultural programme will also invite applications specifically from local and community-based art and culture.
“The open horizon over the sea created a magnificent backdrop for performances ranging from dance and a cultural trail to music,” describes Takalo.
A magical event open to all
The event lasting the entire weekend had a programme for visitors of all ages. The more than a century-old Kerhola clubhouse in Martinniemi and the marquee erected on its courtyard hosted a programme full of dance as the audiences enjoyed live music and performances. Children were guests of honour and also participated in the producing programme.
“It is wonderful how young people have also discovered the event and participated in the organisation. We welcome new ideas from young people in particular, and everyone interested can get involved,” says Takalo.
The traditional seaside picnic was cancelled due to poor weather, but otherwise the atmosphere could not be dampened by the odd shower. The authentic village atmosphere resonated with everyone and great fun was had by all. Takalo does not know the exact number of visitors, as it was free for everyone to enter the event area.
“Free entry is a conscious choice, because it is important to be open to all. The Martinniemi village community has such a strong identity and long traditions and we want to share them with everyone,” says Takalo.
The event featured several bands and singer songwriters, including Kuun Pimeä Puoli, which has recently released its second album, the young Oulu-based guitar pop band The Southgates, the local Duo Rämemajavat and the local legends Noppasoppa and J.A.Mäki & Tutut, as well as Nanna Louhela, Janina Tihinen and many more.
“A noisy village is a living village,” concludes Takalo.