Viaporin Kekri is an educational experiment for Haaga-Helia, learning opportunity and networking exercise for its students, and a carefully crafted event for Suomenlinna visitors built up of fine storytelling, lively performances, immersive experiences, art, food, music and unique atmosphere.
Read more about how Viaporin Kekri was done in previous years below.
Took place on 31.10.2015.
Approximately 1530 visitors.
Event was created by second year Haaga-Helia students as a part of the course “Scripting and Performing Experiences”. They were responsible for all stages: event conceptualisation, acquiring partners, and final execution.
Many city-based businesses took part in the event. It was a big experiment and a big success. Tickets for some happenings were sold out in only couple of hours and lines on the day of the event exceeded all expectations.
The most curious and popular happenings were the Mystery Murder Dinner, Chilling Tunnel Tours, 1800s Century Harvest Tapas Party, Hallway of Souls and the Soldiers Hospital, and pop-up in Suomenlinna Hostel. The day ended with burning the Kekri Buck and this became Viaporin Kekri’s annual tradition.
Took place on 5.11.2016.
Approximately 4500 visitors.
As before, the event was created by Haaga-Helia students, but the process behind it went through massive changes. More companies were outsourced to design experiences for different venues as Viaporin Kekri was getting bigger. It led to wonderful creative collaborations and provided platform for many excellent performers and businesses that didn’t leave visitors disappointed.
Viaporin Kekri 2016 recreated popular happenings from last year such as Hallways of Lost Souls, but also experimented with more artistic and abstract experiences (mostly carried by Recover Laboratory).
Another Viaporin Kekri tradition was established – Beer Festival of Small Breweries held in the stunning Tenaille von Fersen. This year, Suomenlinna once again opened up its mysterious, usually hidden spaces just for one day giving Kekri’s visitors an opportunity to experience unknown sides of the island.
Took place on 4.11.2017.
Approximately 4900 visitors.
Viaporin Kekri continued to grow and evolve with new event concepts being developed and old traditions being revised. Haaga-Helia students kept on designing and executing events and experiences and working in cooperation with professional actors, musicians, restaurateurs and businessmen.
The idea of having light installations in dark closed-up spaces of the fortress had been discussed since the first Viaporin Kekri and finally it came to life.
Art took new forms in Blindfolded Theatre, performances combining theatre, poetry and video installations, and new immersive shows by Recover Laboratory. Full Moon Tour gave visitors a chance to explore the furthest tip of Suomenlinna in pitch-black darkness and under the starry sky.
Took place on 3.11.2018.
Approximately 6000 visitors.
2018 was an extraordinary year for Viaporin Kekri. The event attracted an unprecedented amount of visitors and showed to all parties involved how much potential it has. Enthusiasm of Haaga-Helia freshman, active involvement of Suomenlinna’s small businesses, and tremendous dedication of organisers’ team pushed Viaporin Kekri to a new level. We entered a big players’ game competition for Evento Award and received an honorary prize that named Viaporin Kekri a future of event creation.
The event program included the crowd-pleaser Beer Festival of small breweries, tours of Suomenlinna secret places, musical and theatrical performances, and special Kekri menus in the local restaurants. The weather favoured visitors with late autumn crispiness and clear skies, turning star-gazing tour of Astronomical Society and burning of a Kekri-buck into truly magical experiences.
Now, Viaporin Kekri is entering a new phase as Kekri team is getting bigger and more ambitious. Our aim, however, stays the same – to create a meaningful, unique and smooth experience for Suomenlinna visitors, experiment and allow creative and engaged people to learn and have fun together.
Took place on 2.11.2019.
Approximately 6000-7000 visitors.
Viaporin Kekri continued growing and developing. In 2019 a record number of close to 150 students took part in creating the event. Besides the Hospitality, Tourism and Experience management students of Haaga-Helia, also Food and Beverage experience students, Research, Development and Innovation classes and Project Management students were involved to create the biggest Viaporin Kekri so far.
Companies taking part into creating the event also reached a record number of 64 in total. New twist was created by adding a sauna tent, which ended up being a hit amongst the visitors.
Took place on 31.10.2020.
Approximately 3000-4000 visitors.
In 2020 Viaporin Kekri was fully executed by Governing Body of Suomenlinna. Haaga-Helia didn’t take part because of the COVID-19 restrictions at that time.
Because of the ongoing pandemic, the tradition of burning the Buck wasn’t possible to execute. Instead, The Trail of Light and many other performances outside were organized to continue the Viaporin Kekri tradition.
Even though the restrictions caused a decrease in the visitor amounts and the possible programs, the team is working hard to bring the event back to its full capacity.
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