Kulttuuritapahtumien kehittäminen ja hyödyntäminen maaseudulla (Development and utilization of cultural events in the countryside)


Rural events are frequently points of contact between urban and rural culture. People come there prepared to encounter certain types of content but are also open to surprises, as the events themselves reflect not only history and age-old traditions but also elements of light entertainment and popular culture. And most important, they are of practical benefit in many ways to the local community and its identity and economy.

This research carried out in 2009–2010 was based on interviews with 24 organizers of such events in Finland, Scotland, Norway and New Zealand. The events themselves were:

  • Finnskogdagene – Finnish Forest Festival in the village of Svullryan, Grue, NorwaySoittaja
  • Skábmagovat – Reflections of Endless Night, Inari, Finland
  • Feis Ile – Festival of Music and Malt, Islay, Scotland
  • Jutajaiset – Folklore Festival, Rovaniemi, Finland
  • Highland Games – Cupar, Scotland
  • Highland Games – Crieff, Scotland
  • Täydenkuun Tanssit – Full Moon Dance, Pyhäjärvi, Finland
  • Traktorijatzit – Tractor Jazz, in the village of Suovanlahti, Viitasaari, Finland
  • Eukonkannon MM-kisat – Wife-Carrying World Championships, Sonkajärvi, Finland
  • Gumboot Day, Taihape, New Zealand.


The nature and success of a rural cultural event is dependent on the commitment shown by those responsible for it, its traditions and the unique narrative of its development. The organizers attach great importance to working together and look on this as a major local resource. The work of organizing such an event frequently goes on all the year round, so that this voluntary activity and the enthusiasm, idealism and “creative madness” associated with it serve to build up a great deal of social and cultural capital. A festival that manages to interest its visitors is one that continues to provide those who experience it with sets of values and emotions that renew themselves from year to year, coupled with unique – even surprising – experiences.

The results have been published in the series of the Finnish Rural Policy Committee:

Ilmonen, Kari, Ilkka Luoto & Olli Rosenqvist (2010). Maaseutumaisen kulttuuritapahtuman olemus, kehitys ja menestys: kymmenen kehityskertomusta Suomesta, Skotlannista, Norjasta ja Uudesta-Seelannista. (The essence, development and success of rural cultural events: ten narratives from Finland, Scotland, Norway and New Zealand.) Maaseutupolitiikan yhteistyöryhmän julkaisuja (Publications of the Rural Policy Committee) 4/2010. Published as both a printed and a net version. (In Finnish) Available in Finnish (6.10.2011): www.maaseutupolitiikka.fi/files/1392/YTRjulkaisu_4_2010.pdf

See also:

Luoto, Ilkka (2011). Paikan ja yhteisön tulkintoja – Ylämaan kisat maaseudun ja Skotlannin symbolina. (Interpretations of place and community –The Highland Games as a symbol of the rural and Scotland.) Maaseudun uusi aika 19: 1, 33–47. (In Finnish.)

Further information: Kari Ilmonen, Ilkka Luoto ja Olli Rosenqvist

Funding: Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Rural Policy Committee; Kokkola University Consortium Chydenius (2008–2010)