The Fabulous Aura River that spread out around the bridges and riverbank of the River Aura from 2 Dec 2017 to 5 April 2018 gained major success among Turku residents. The entity consisting of a light and audio artwork and a mobile application activated Turku residents to collect tracks with sounds and share riverbank vibes on social media.

A light and audio artwork created for the joy of Turku residents and tourists, the Fabulous Aura River followed the footprints of the previous winter’s Fairytale Bridges, fascinating passengers and outdoor exercisers, as well as social media photographers, around the riverbanks.

Even though the Fairytale Bridges visitor numbers were not counted with the exception of the opening, social media statistics show that Turku residents embraced the Lord of the Rings -inspired light and audio installation on the Theatre Bridge and the classical music -infused Library Bridge.

The Fabulous Aura River reached over half a million Finns through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter posts by the City Of Turku. In addition, thousands of Turku residents and visitors captured and shared their river photos in the course of the winter, and for example the Instagram hashtag #satumainenaurajoki was used in almost 600 posted photos which reached over 70 000 likes.

–The numbers speak of the attraction of the Fabulous Aura River. The light and audio artwork has done its part in feeding Turku residents’ enthousiasm for photographing their beloved river, says the City of Turku Director of Communications Saara Malila.

The Fabulous Aura River gathered huge numbers of shares and likes in social media throughout the winter.

Positive feedback and an award-winning app

The Fabulous Aura River designed by light and sound designer Janne Auvinen and the Ryhmä 106 media art team was opened in the riverbank at the beginning of December. The opening attracted an audience of approximately 7,000 people.

In the opening, the Fabulous Aura River app was also launched, and it was downloaded by 5,500 people in four months. The audio adventure app was used to collect soundscapes placed along the River Aura on the map. The users were also able to use discounts in 33 riverbank businesses.

The application designed by the Turku company Taiste also enjoyed success in national media and advertising competitions, and i.e. won the best implementation series of the Year's Ad Awards of the Turku region.

In the app store, the overall user rating of the experience was a commendable 4.2/5, and positive feedback overflowed also in a written form.


The River Aura is under long-term development

The Fabulous Aura River is part of the Development of the City Centre spearhead project, and it also belonged to the Finland 100 centenary celebration programme.

–The Fabulous Aura River is an excellent proof of the fact that the development of the riverbank is worthwhile. The appeal of Turku increases when we are able to make the residents happy and the city centre atmosphere is improving. We are on the right track, and the River Aura still has major development potential, Director of Communications Malila estimates.

The development of the lighting and the experiential quality of the riverbank continues throughout the upcoming years.

–The River Aura has always been the heart of Turku. Enforcing its experiential quality and services is an important part of the development of the city centre, and the further development of the riverbank lighting and events will be decided on as soon as possible, says Director of Urban Planning Timo Hintsanen.

Project Manager Kari Veijonen praises the extensive cooperation between Turku actors for the implementation of the Fabulous Aura River.

–The project proved the strengths of Turku in new cooperation models. A professional network of nearly 50 people were involved in the planning, preparation, and implementation and worked extremely committedly, with a big heart, Veijonen commends. 

The Fabulous Aura River fascinated Instagram people. See more photos on Instagram.

Collected feedback of the Fabulous Aura River app: 

“Such a nice way to become familiar with Turku and get some fresh air at the same time.”

“As a new Turku resident, it was lovely to walk around the Aura riverbanks collecting tracks. Short facts of the locations were a good addition, I received a lot of new information.”

“The light installations at the Theatre Bridge and on the nearby mountainous wall are magical! I also like the audio installation at the Theatre Bridge. Walking along the River Aura was a beautiful experience, the whole piece makes Turku a unique city!”

“Being able to combine outdoors exercise, Turku attractions, and music was nice. A very succesful work in my opinion!”

“A brilliant idea, I found the experience very enjoyable! We made almost the whole route together with a friend of mine and collected the tracks. It was also great to have fresh air and admire a beautiful, wintery Turku! :)”

“It was wonderful to experience being a tourist in your own city and view it from a different perspective.”

“A very nice, immersive app. I made the route by foot while photographing gorgeous Turku sceneries. An excellent artistic experience, and the attractions were well chosen to describe the best sides of the city.”

“It was great fun to search for the tracks in the River Aura surroundings! It was shared relationship time! I hope that the River Aura surroundings will be revitalised with similar events in the future, too”


The audio competition prizes of the Fabulous Aura River app will be raffled in the season opening of the Jokisatama (river harbour) on 26 May. All participants will be personally informed about the raffle!