Two million join singalong

The past week began with sweaty-palmed anticipation over this week's start to a new season of 'Allsång på Skansen' (Singalong at Skansen). The show makes the headlines every year but this time round the critics were sharpening their pens more carefully than usual - for the show has a new host in TV personality and children's singer Anders Lundin.

Lundin took up the helm from Lasse Berghagen, who has been belting it out with Swedish pop stars and eager living room performers for the last decade. In an interview with Svenska Dagbladet a few days before the show aired, Lundin discussed his new children’s album – “it’s about feelings” – and finally cleared the air on the issue of his recent voice lessons.

He stated firmly, “I thought I should sing better. It’s not true that I received criticism from SVT’s directors regarding my singing voice.”

The show aired on Tuesday night to over two million viewers, and Wednesday’s Aftonbladet reported that SVT has already invited Berghagen to share the stage with Lundin in Allsång’s jubilee special. The critics await.

The dance band Vikingarna (big in Sweden, bigger in Germany) will be splitting up after their appearance on “Allsång på Skansen” and concerts this weekend in Seljord and Arvika. While singer Christer Sjögren is already having trouble ruling out a reunion, saxophonist Tony Eriksson is on the lookout for a way to pass the time after he’s retired.

Göteborgs Posten noted that he’ll continue playing and is ready to hop into the studio for bands that need him. After 43 years on the road and 11 million albums sold, it can probably be assumed that the band members won’t have trouble finding extra jobs to pull them through their golden years.

The nonchoral arts were big in the culture section this week as well.

The board of Stockholm’s Konstnärshuset has decided to do without the curator they recently advertised for – as they need the allocated salary to pay for essential plumbing repairs.

The burst plumbing has caused the temporary closure of the restaurant that brings in most of Konstnärhuset’s income, pushing them further into debt, while contracts have already been signed for the gallery’s autumn exhibitions.

A spokeswoman for the Swedish artists’ organization (which runs Konstnärshuset) told Dagens Nyheter that to continue an exhibitions program, Konstnärshuset will need a curator. But she didn’t suggest possible solutions beyond mentioning that the organization will be taking out a bank loan.

Everwanting Streets, an exhibition on street art and culture, opened in Göteborg at Röda Sten. DN’s reviewer took the opportunity to present the public with a primer on street culture and explained what’s cool about graffiti – it’s illegal. All in all, the reviewer found in the exhibition a sort of answer to “the last decades’ conceptually dominated western art history.” You probably have to go.

Swedish identity alternately took a hit and provoked an exhibition. Expressen’s review of this year’s European mega-exhibition, Manifesta, noted the lack of Swedish artists in the show and wrote that this felt “deeply symbolic.”

Meanwhile Sydsvenskan continued the discussion on Moderna Museet’s exhibition “Swedish Hearts” with some observations on the changing cultural landscape in Sweden. But the paper expressed concern, remarking that while administrators are working on getting more students with immigrant backgrounds to study at Sweden’s art schools, “we are still waiting for the art world’s Zlatan.”

Note: first known use of Ibrahimovic as a metaphor in a contemporary art context.

Allsång på Skansen


Tuesdays, 8pm


Arvikaparken, Arvika

3 July, 8pm

Everwanting Streets

Röda Sten until 8 August

Swedish Hearts

Moderna Museet until 15 August