Europeade brings together more than 6,500 folk music and dance enthusiasts in Turku, presenting over 600 impressive performances during the event. Some dancers and musicians share their Europeade tips for each day and tell a little about themselves.
Thursday 27 July
Name: Katariina Räikkönen
Hometown / Country: Raisio, Finland
Your group in Europeade 2017: Konkkaronkka, Fyyrkantti ry
Why are you coming to Europeade? I come to Europeade as a dancer, and as guide for an Irish dance group. I dance in the performance Joki on Wednesday and in the opening manifestation.
How many times have you been in Europeade: This is the second time that I attend the Europeade festival. Last year we were in Namuri, Belgium, and next year we will be going to Portugal.
What are your tips for Thu 27 July?
1. At the riverbank in Varvintori Square, there are plenty of performances by groups of children and young people from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. You can see great performances from Slovakia, Spain, Belgium, Czechia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, Germany and Finland!
2. At 3:30 p.m. at Yliopistonkatu, a great Irish dancing group of children and young people, Emerald Isle Irish Dancers, will be performing.
3. In the opening manifestation at Gatorade Center at 7 p.m. you will see over 6000 Europeade dancers at one go. A magnificent show that you will not want to miss!
Friday 28 July
Name: Ilmari Hunsa
Hometown / Country: Nousiainen, Finland
Your group in Europeade 2017: Joki – Ån, and apart from that I’m a free musician
Why are you coming to Europeade? I come to play in the performance Joki–Ån and I will also be involved in the concert of Kiikurit, but mainly I try to participate in the jamming by playing and potentially dancing. For dancing, a few square metres on the floor are enough and the pavement is fine too. I’m interested in the evening dances, as you don’t get to dance the polska, the schottische or the hambo too often. The best thing about jamming is the joy of playing together and the good feeling in the moment without too much planning.
How many times have you been in Europeade: This is the first time
What are your tips for Fri 28 July?
1. Music performances, Europeade by night: music in restaurants
2. Jam sessions on the terraces of restaurants
3. Evening dances, Europeade by night: in the Europeade village at Varvintori.
In your opinion, what is the best thing about Europeade? The international sense of community that brings the enthusiasts in the field together. Without music there is no dancing and there is no dancing without music. Don’t think too much, be all ears and ready to dance, moving from one spot to another, that’s the most relaxed method for spending a nice evening. If the language skills are poor, let music and dance be our common language during the entire week.
Saturday 29 July
Name: Gerry Jones, aka ”the accordionist in the kilt”
Hometown / Country: Liverpool, UK
Your group in Europeade 2017? MacLennan Scottish Group
Why are you coming to Europeade? I come to Europeade as an accordionist (for when the pipers get tired!)
and to join in other music outside the main performances – what I call the “apres-ski”!
How many times have you been in Europeade: I think I have been about twenty times, starting in 1984, with one ten-year gap.
What are your tips for Sat 29 July?
1. Street performances. Do not just watch; get involved. Or you will not break down the “wall” between the audience and the performers. Approach performers waiting to perform. Talk to them and take photos. Have yourself in a photo with them. It is a compliment to their costume.
2. The big parade. Get yourself a good viewing spot, and a good seat. This Parade can take up to THREE HOURS to pass you! Take plenty of photos. (First, make sure your battery is full and your memory card empty.)
Do wave, cheer, clap – take part. The place where the groups meet and line up is a great place for photos, and meeting, and talking, and selfies!
3. Europeade ball. Do not just watch; take part. Many performers are not in their costumes, so just dance with anybody and everybody. Work your way into any Circle you see. Join in any Line you see snaking around. All 6000 of us are friendly and happy. (Leave your camera at home – you will only lose it in the immense crowd)
In your opinion, what is the best thing about Europeade? You do not have to visit all of Europe; all the BEST of Europe comes to you.
Sunday 30 July
Name: Ana Vaz Pinto
Hometown / Country: Figueira da Foz / Portugal
Your group in Europeade 2017: International Europeade Committee member for Portugal
Why are you coming to Europeade? It’s my favourite volunteer work
How many times have you been in Europeade? For the last wonderful 30 years
What are your tips for Sun 30 July?
1. The final of the Closing Ceremony is the more moving moment of the Europeade: Europeans of all regions and backgrounds united in their diversity, dancing and celebrating. Europe becomes one.
2. The handover of the flag to the city of Viseu. I’m so happy. After 25 years Portugal will welcome the Europeade in the garden city VISEU. I’m sure everybody will love their stay … estamos à vossa espera! (=Me odotamme sinua!)
3. Last but not least, I want to visit the folklore market. For me handicraft must be cherished. It’s always made with love.
In your opinion, what is the best thing about Europeade? Friendship, Respect and Diversity