Gala concert in Stockholm to mark Obama inaguration

Gala concert in Stockholm to mark Obama inaguration
Cyndee Peters; Angelica Engström/Star Studio, Stockholm
Inspired by Barack Obama’s ascendency to the White House, Cyndee Peters, a legendary Stockholm-based gospel singer from North Carolina, has rented out the city’s famed Konserthuset for a musical gala to honour the United States’ 44th president.

“I never thought he would win,” Peters told The Local.

“I was so happy, so elated that I figured something had to be done.”

Peters didn’t waste any time in making arrangements for what she says will be the “biggest ever” event she has ever arranged.

Within days of Obama’s victory in November, she had called Konserthuset – famous for being the site where the Nobel Prizes are handed out – to inquire about open dates.

As luck would have it, January 20th – the day of Obama’s inauguration in Washington, DC – was available.

She then went about contacting dozens of her fellow musical artists about their interest in participating.

“Everyone was so excited about the idea,” she said.

“These artists just can’t wait to take the stage.”

The event, titled “A Gala for Obama: A celebration of hope and change”, will start just hours after Obama takes the presidential oath on the steps of the Capitol.

Peters, a mainstay on the Swedish music scene for decades, said the evening will consist almost entirely of musical performances, punctuated by a dramatic reading, as well as some video from Obama’s swearing-in ceremony.

“It’s going to be a great concert, featuring a lot of talented artists who aren’t normally showcased in events like these,” she said, adding that the line-up includes performances of a wide-range of traditionally American musical styles – from country to hip hop.

Peters has a great deal invested in the gala, both emotionally and financially, but remains confident it will be a success.

“My mother always said that when your heart is in the right place, you do what you have to do, and the ways and the means and the hows will work themselves out,” she said.

“I guess it’s a very American attitude; to not worry about failure and just keep moving forward.”

Ticket prices have also been kept low in order to make the event more accessible.

“This isn’t some snooty gala,” she said, adding that more than 1,000 tickets have already been sold.

Peters, who has worked a great deal with youth over the years, plans to donate any remaining proceeds from the gala to Save the Children and the Children’s Rights in Society (BRIS).


Date: Tuesday, January 20th

Time: 7:30pm

Place: Konserthuset, Stockholm

Featuring: Cyndee Peters, Eric Bibb, Triple&Touch, Anna-Lotta Larsson, Gladys del Pilar, Kayo, Sharon Dyall, Jessica Folcker, Blacknuss, Damon Frost, By Grace, Servants, Isak Kuritzén, and more