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World Village Festival 20: Helsinki-Cotonou Ensemble & Friends
Sami Sorasalmi

Star-studded concert celebrates the 20th World Village Festival

Finland’s largest culture and NGO event World Village Festival is celebrating its twentieth iteration with a concert on Saturday 25 May in Kaisaniemi Park. Helsinki-Cotonou Ensemble will be joined on stage by a cast of top artists, including Paleface & Matre, Tuure Kilpeläinen, Anna-Mari Kähärä and Seksikäs-Suklaa.

The World Village Festival 20 concert features favourite artists from past years’ festivals and a host of new faces. This special performance assembles dozens of artists for a nostalgic journey to memories of festivals past while also looking to the future.

The concert will be hosted by Helsinki-Cotonou Ensemble, a fusion of afrobeat and funk led by guitarist Janne Halonen and Beninese percussionist-vocalist Noël Saïzonou. The band’s guests include festival veteran and highly-decorated artist Paleface together with U.S. rapper Matre, Tuure Kilpeläinen, the charismatic frontman of Kaihon Karavaani, and a set of perennial voices in mixed choir Koiton Laulu.

A newer generation of World Village talent is represented by Finland Prize-winning composer, musician and vocalist Anna-Mari Kähärä, YouTube personality and rapper Seksikäs-Suklaa and dancehall artist, DJ and producer VG+. The slate of newcomers is rounded out by Yeboyah, who rose to prominence as a member of last year’s rap phenomenon D.R.E.A.M.G.I.R.L.S.

Festival for a fair and sustainable world

The festival’s roots reach back to the 1980s, when the Vaasa Association for Developing Countries established the Market of Possibilities, a new form of presenting civic action to the public. Little by little, the concept became a success and evolved into World Village Festival, held annually in Helsinki.

The first festival in the current format was held in 1995. It has since grown into the largest multidisciplinary NGO event in Finland, attended by approximately 80 000 visitors every year. Organised by Fingo, the Finnish umbrella organisation for development cooperation, the festival offers information about NGO activities and inspires Finns to work for a fair and sustainable world.

World Village Festival 20: Helsinki-Cotonou Ensemble & Friends concert will be held on Saturday 25 May at 12.30 on Savannah Stage in Kaisaniemi Park.

Main partners 2019