The search for artists for the Oulu2026 stage at the Qstock festival has started

The Oulu2026 stage, which highlights artists and bands from the Oulu region, returns to the Qstock festival programme. The search is now open for stage performers for the free-admission area of Linnansaari, near the centre of Oulu.

Kos Mos performed at the Oulu2026 stage in Qstock in the summer of 2023. Photo: Topi Paananen


We are looking for fresh, diverse and forward-thinking artists from the Oulu region for the Oulu2026 stage. The application period ends on 1 March, after which the selections will be made by the artists’ working group assembled by Oulu2026. The application form is available on the Oulu2026 website. The Oulu2026 stage will feature about a dozen performances over two days. Last year, we had a total of 80 applicants.

“Linnansaari is a fantastic place for the Oulu2026 stage, and last year showed that it is a great way to introduce local music to the Qstock audience. We are hoping for a wide range of applications from artists in the region,” says Henri Turunen, executive producer at Oulu2026.

Turunen adds that the stage programme is part of Qstock’s full festival programme, even though the stage will feature up-and-coming stars free of charge. Performing on the stage is therefore a great opportunity to showcase the diverse musical expertise of the Oulu region to the festival audience as well as other locals and visitors.

Qstock will take place on 26–27 July in the Kuusisaari, Raati and Linnansaari areas. The festival is once again expected to attract around 40,000 visitors over the course of two days. The Oulu2026 stage is part of Oulu’s journey to becoming the European Capital of Culture in 2026. Radio Kaleva will also be present in Linnansaari this year, so the weekend’s festivities can also be followed on the radio.

The application form for artists can be found at this link: Link to form.

Oulu2026 lounge offers free multicultural performances and live music during Qstock festival weekend

banner for oulu2026 park that is open for public 28-30 july

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.

View the full programme!

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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!

Oulu2026XQstock – Oulu2026

Music, participatory art and delicious food – Oulu2026 park opens in Linnansaari during Qstock weekend

banner for oulu2026 park that is open for public 28-30 julyOulu was recently elected the European Capital of Culture, which will give us the opportunity to enjoy its growing and enhanced cultural offerings. The European Capital of Culture programme can also be seen in the production of the largest music festival in Northern Finland, as Oulu2026 and Qstock will start a partnership that will expand even beyond the festival area and reach all the way to Linnansaari.

The collaboration between Qstock and Oulu2026 allows us to enjoy an atmospheric Oulu2026 park, where visitors can taste local Arctic Food Lab food, and enjoy free cultural programme during the Qstock weekend in Oulu. This partnership can also be seen in the festival area: the traditional Oulu stage will be called Oulu2026 stage.

Relaxation in the Oulu2026 park 

This July, the Qstock festivities can start before the festival gates open, when the atmospheric Oulu2026 park opens its doors to the public in Linnansaari on Thursday 28 July. The park is a perfect spot for visitors to sit down, take a break and enjoy the local delicacies made of Arctic Food Lab products.. The trademark, Arctic Food Lab, brings together those operating in gastronomy and food culture in the Oulu region, and celebrates Northern cuisine and gastronomy.

“The Oulu2026 park is open to all without an entrance fee, and no festival ticket or any other entrance ticket is required. The park is a lounge-type area where people can come and take a break from the bustle of the festival at any time. The park opening ceremony will be held on Thursday 28th at 18:00 before the festival weekend. In addition to varied food and beverage offerings, the Linnansaari area will also feature participatory art and live music,” says producer Heikki Myllylahti.

Apart from the lounge area, the Oulu2026 will be visible inside the Qstock festival area, as the traditional Oulu stage will be transformed into an Oulu2026 stage. According to Myllylahti, the idea behind the stage programme is to highlight local talents, but the repertoire can also be taken in a more international direction in the future. This year’s performers on the Oulu2026 stage include names such as Hegemonia, Survive the Silence, The Southgates, Sky Fighters, Fatal Effect, Good Luck Million, Kas Kan, Moskah and Aamun Kuningatar.

“The European Capital of Culture initiative is especially well known for the various events offered, but it is fantastic that this partnership also allows the wider public to sample the offerings of the Arctic Food Lab, for example. We want to offer both locals and international visitors experiences of Northern Finland that cannot be experienced anywhere else,” Myllylahti says.

Author: Iina Tauriainen

The article was originally published on Qstock’s website in Finnish on 19 May. Music, participatory art and delicious food – atmospheric Oulu2026 park to open in Linnansaari during the Qstock week