Opening with the winner of this year’s Palme d’Or, Michael Haneke’s Amour (Love), Espoo Ciné International Film Festival once again offers a wide range of memorable films for a week at the end of August. Held at Tapiola, Espoo kulttuurikeskus, Kino Tapiola and Bio Rex Sello in Leppävaara, this year’s festival focuses on cinematic output from Germany, France, Denmark and Spain, with a series of gay-themed films to be found in the Pink Zone

FANCY yourself a bit of an invisible shredder? Is noodling your way up and down an imaginary fretboard your number one priority? Does tugging on a non-existent whammy bar channel a pipeline to your creativity? Well, yet again you are not alone this year, with the annual Air Guitar World Championships being staged in Oulu from 22 to 24 August.

Returning for its 44th year, the Tampere Theatre Festival has once again designed a week of eclectic and explosive theatre. Playing in over 20 venues around the city, an abundance of dramatic choices are on offer, starting with the iconic Programme Tent returning to stage concerts, vocalists, dance, monologues and drama. The festival also welcomes back the “Encorebaana” element to local restaurants and bars, bringing small-scale acts and comedy to the occasion, and Thursday night marks the unique experience of “The Great Nocturnal Happening”, whereby visitors get swept up in a theatrical carnival atmosphere.

FOLLOWING up last year’s successful event, Turku Castle Festival is once again being staged. Held between 17 and 25 August, this year sees another eclectic line-up on offer.

One of the biggest attractions will no doubt be Jamaican reggae icons Toots & The Maytals, who are joined on the same bill by the local reggae bounce of Jukka Poika and hip-hop outfit Elokuu on 20 August.

Showcasing some of the finest performances in international ballet, Mikkeli’s Concert and Congress Hall Mikaeli will be playing host to a visit from Eifman Ballet from 12 to 14 July

Officially known as the St. Petersburg State Academic Ballet Theatre, the first performance on offer at Mikkeli is that of Red Giselle, one that established choreographer Boris Eifman on the world stage. Steeped in reality, the performance is based on the story of the young ballerina Olga Spessivtseva, and her path as an emigrant, a celebrity and finally as a dweller of mental asylum.