The new international festival, inspired by the philosophy of Tove Jansson’s Moomin books, will bring new Midsummer traditions in the urban Helsinki style. The event’s main element is a 16m large floating stage, inspired by Tove Jansson’s illustration for Moominsummer Madness book, published in 1954.
Midsummer Madness, a new event with no age limit or entrance fee, offers music and performing arts from Midsummer Eve until the following morning (19.–20.6.2020). The center of the celebration will be a floating stage built on Töölö Bay, Helsinki, next to Finlandia Hall. The new international festival, inspired by the philosophy of Tove Jansson’s Moomin books, will bring new Midsummer traditions in the urban Helsinki style. The main partners of the event are Moomin Characters and Helsinki City.
Midsummer Madness’ co-founders, Jeroen Sebrechts and Claire Delhom, got the idea for the event while studying at Sibelius Academy. This was followed by years of preparation.
“The illustration of Tove Jansson’s Moominsummer Madness book inspired us to plan a whole new Midsummer celebration at the Töölö Bay, centered around a floating stage. It’s unbelievable that no one had ever thought of creating such an event. Or then maybe no one was crazy enough, says Sebrechts.
Midsummer Madness brings together urban Helsinki, the spirit of adventures of the Moomin tales and Finnish Midsummer traditions. The duo introduced their idea to the owners of the Moomin brand, Moomin Characters, who were enthusiastic about it.
“The essential Finnish values of freedom, courage, responsibility, respect for nature and tolerance are at the core of Tove’s lifework. Midsummer Madness is about all of these values. It’s a value-driven smart festival for modern Helsinki locals, Finns and world citizens visiting Finland”, describes Roleff Kråkström, CEO of Moomin Characters,.
Moominous program fills the Töölö Bay
Starting off with programme for the whole family in the afternoon of Midsummer Eve, the event turns throughout the evening into an adult festival in the spirit of Moominpappa’s adventures. The programme will last until 8 AM in the morning of Midsummer Day.
The floating stage will mainly host music concerts from around Europe. The event will offer quality performances from folk music to jazz, and pop to avant-garde.
Töölö Bay and Hesperia Park will be filled with art performances, from spoken word to puppet theatre and new circus, as well as installations, activities and workshops through which visitors can explore Finnish culture and way of life.
“Midsummer Madness is a celebration of midsummer for the citizens of the world”
The event will be built with respect for the area’s natural surroundings, in cooperation with the local actors and residents, and with the support of Helsinki City.
“Helsinki wants to be a city where there are good motivations to be on the move every day. Today, many Helsinki residents and travelers want to spend their Midsummer in the city. Midsummer Madness is a great addition to Helsinki’s Midsummer celebrations”, says Tommi Laitio, the Executive Director of Helsinki Culture and Leisure Division.
The event’s co-founders, Sebrechts and Delhom, are both immigrants for whom Midsummer was not a familiar celebration before moving to Finland.
“My first midsummer in Finland was a magical experience. The bonfire and midnight sun as such create a special atmosphere, but also the fact of being together and a certain kind of freedom are essential ingredients of Finnish Midsummer”, explains Delhom.
“Without forgetting Finnish Midsummer traditions, we want to bring a new twist to them. Midsummer Madness is a celebration of midsummer for the citizens of the world – just like Tove Jansson herself was”, says Sebrechts.
The event programme will be released during Spring 2020.
Moominsummer Madness (1954)
The Moomins, in case you didn’t know, are kind, philosophical creatures with velvety fur and smooth round snouts, who live in a tall blue house in a beautiful woodland valley beside the sea.
One summer a grumbling volcano causes Moominvalley to flood, forcing the Moomins to leave their beloved home and find refuge on a floating theatre. When this casts adrift, leaving Moomin, the Snorkmaiden and Little My marooned on land, Moominsummer Madness ensues.
Will they all be reunited before the final curtain?