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Helsinki Pride, the largest event in Finland to promote tolerance and equality with sexual orientation, takes place across the capital at the end of June. The weeklong event will cover issues of human rights and diversity of love – along with a number of concerts and hard partying, no doubt.

The event is most visible on Saturday 2 July, when the colourful Pride parade takes off from the Central Railway Station. Despite the unfortunate hate crime attacks last summer, a huge number of people are expected to gather together in the name of equality. The parade ends up in Kaisaniemi Park where the crowd is entertained by PMMP and the Martina Aitolehto dance group.

Helsinki Pride27 June - 3 July
www.helsinkipride.fi

 

On the art side of things, a free open-air photography exhibition by Mikko Rasila at Lasipalatsi Square takes place as part of the festival. He draws attention to the reality of fear of discrimination and violence in the gay community, through portrayal of images that show how such a simple thing as holding hands can trigger a reaction of hate in some people.

Across the week the likes of Anna Abreu, Laura and Regina, along with international acts Shirley Clamp, Manboy and Freza, will also step on stage at different venues across town.

Petra Nyman