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MUSIC

The Local’s Swedish summer festival guide

From heavy metal to jazz and from pop to classical, Sweden’s roster of summertime musical festivals has something to suit all tastes.

The Local's Swedish summer festival guide

Peace and Love – 22-27 June, Borlänge (Sweden)

Peace & Love is a festival in central Borlänge (Dalarna County) combining music, debates and lectures with the underlying themes of diversity, spirit of togetherness, and understanding. With an estimated 23,000 visitors and having been sold out every year since 2003, this popular festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

Artists:

International performers at Peace and Love include August Burns Red, Bring Me The Horizon, Chris Cornell, Keane, Babyshambles, Mötley Crüe. Swedish and Nordic performers include Blindside, Jahcoustix, Lykke Li, Thomas Di Leva, Lars Winnerbäck, Moneybrother, Turbonegro, Opeth.

Prices:

Festival Pass – 1295 SEK (An extra 150 SEK to use the camping grounds)

Buy tickets

Metaltown – 26-27 June, Göteborg (Sweden)

Brief info in English

At the harbour pier in Gothenburg, Metaltown is a two-day festival featuring 33 hard rocking artists. In the summer of 2004 the festival had 5,000 visitors, and the organizaers are expecting over 10,000 this year.

Artists:

From well-known international artists such as Slipknot, Marilyn Manson, Trivium, and Disturbed, to various Swedish bands such as Opeth, Mustasch, Bullet and Cult of Luna.

Prices:

Festival Pass (both days) – 1295 SEK

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Arvika Festival – 2-4 July, Arvika (Sweden)

Held in Arvika, this diverse music festival has drawn approximately 25,000 visitors to the area in past years.

Artists:

The festival features Swedish and Nordic performers such as The Sounds, Adam Heldring and Röyksopp, along with artists from the UK and US such as Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails and Santigold.

Prices:

Festival Pass – 1195 SEK

Single day tickets – from 595 SEK

Buy tickets

Roskilde Festival – 2-5 July, Roskilde (Denmark)

Roskilde Festival is the largest northern European culture and music festival and has existed since 1971. A non-profit organization, revenue from the festival is donated directly to humanitarian and cultural projects by The Roskilde Festival Charity Society. This year’s festival is estimated to bring in 100,000 visitors.

Artists:

Roskilde features artists from around the world, from Mali to Japan and Colombia, along with artists from the US, UK and Nordic countries: Coldplay, Nine Inch Nails, Oasis, Kanye West, Lily Allen, Adam Tensta, Huntsville, Amon Amarth, Trentemøller are among those performing.

Prices:

Festival Pass (including camping and parking) – 2600 SEK

Buy tickets

Hultsfred Festival – 8-11 July, Hultsfred (Sweden)

Hultsfred Festival is one of the best known Swedish music festivals and has been extended to a full 4-day programme this year. With camping grounds and multiple stages for performances, the festival has an estimated 25,000 visitors.

Artists:

As with most other Swedish musical festivals, there are a large number of artists from Sweden and Nordic countries combined with artists from the UK and US in the lineup. Performers include Franz Ferdinand, The Killers, Ludacris, Dropkick Murphys, Kings of Leon, Timbuktu, Sahara Hotnights, Pilgrimz, Madcon and many more.

Prices:

Festival Pass – 1490 SEK

1-day tickets – 790 SEK

Buy tickets

Sonisphere Festival (Info only in Swedish) – 18 July, Hultsfred (Sweden)

The Sonisphere festival in Hultsfred in July is the Swedish component of the Sonisphere summer music festival series, taking place across Europe from June 2009 and showcasing the best in the fields of rock, heavy metal, punk and metalcore.

Artists:

Metallica, The Hives, Machine Head, Primal Scream, Mastodon, Cradle of Filth, Lamb of God, Anthrax, The (International) Noise Conspiracy, Meshuggah, plus two more names to be announced.

Prices:

1-day ticket – ranging from 995 SEK to 1295 SEK (depending on camping/mobile home spaces)

Combination ticket Hultsfred + Sonisphere – 2250 SEK

Buy tickets

Way Out West – 13-15 August, Gothenburg (Sweden)

Way Out West is a music festival held in a large city park in Gothenburg, with an average of 25,000 visitors in past years. At the first festival in 2007, major acts such as Primal Scream, Regina Spektor and Kanye West were performing, and the tradition of attracting big name artists continues this year.

Artists:

This year’s line-up includes Arctic Monkeys, Band Of Horses, Crookers, Ladyhawke, Rise Against, Vampire Weekend, Wilco, Lilly Allen and Glasvegas. Though a minority, there are also Swedish artists performing such as Olle Ljungström and Jenny Wilson.

Prices:

Festival Pass – 1390 SEK

Youth Festival Pass (under 18, excludes clubs) – 1090 SEK

Buy tickets

Ung08 Festival (only in Swedish) – 11-15 August, Stockholm (Sweden)

Ung08 is one of the biggest youth festivals in Europe – the average age of attendees is 13 to 19 years old. Ung08 takes place in Kungsträdgården in Stockholm, and is a 5-day festival with many different activities, almost all of which are free.

Artists/Activities:

The festival offers discussion of issues such as weapons, war and street violence among young people through activities like themed crafts and meetings with local police. Performers include Swedish artists Adam Heldring, Alma, Hammarin & Robin, Sista Sekunden.

Music Festivals

Chamber Music, Jazz, Opera, Folk Music, Ballads, Wind Music, Electronic Music, Choir Music, Gospel, Organ Music, Pop & Rock, Early Music and more.

Examples: Stockholm Gospel Choir Festival, Kalottjazz & Blues Festival, Gotland Chamber Music Festival, Dalhalla Opera.

Music festivals

Extensive list of festivals in Sweden

Festival info

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MUSIC

What are the best concerts in Sweden this autumn?

Now that Sweden has lifted its audience restrictions for public events, The Local's Paul O'Mahony lists his recommendations for the best gigs to attend over the coming months.

Crowd at a music concert in Debaser, Stockholm
Crowds return to Stockholm venue Debaser after pandemic restrictions on events were lifted. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

Sweden’s musicians, concert promoters and venue operators have struggled to varying degrees through the pandemic. One surefire way to help get them back on their feet is to give organisers and artists the financial reassurance they need by pre-booking concerts. 

Of course these recommendations only apply if you feel safe attending large events; remember that you should stay home and take a Covid-19 test if you experience any symptoms that could be linked to the virus, even if vaccinated. And make sure to check with organisers if there are any specific coronavirus requirements you need to be aware of. 

Coming up: top gigs in Sweden over the next few months 

As a regular gig-goer, live music is the one thing I’ve missed most over the past year and a half. So it is with some excitement (and, I’ll admit, a degree of trepidation) that I prepare to go see Norwegian band Pom Poko this Friday at Hus 7 in Stockholm. Their melodic art-punk album Cheater sparked the year into life on its release in January. They’re also playing Plan B in Malmö on Saturday night

Plan B is also the venue when Squid hit Sweden with a thrilling dose of post-punk on October 15th. Tickets remain available for the show at the time of writing (an absolute steal at 120 kronor), though that’s sadly not the case in Stockholm where their October 16th gig at Melodybox sold out a long time ago. (Although you can sign up to be added to a waiting list). 

Another artist well worth checking out in October is Gothenburg guitarist and singer Amanda Werne, better known as Slowgold. Her live shows are great and she is embarking on a Swedish tour on October 8th. 

Emma-Jean Thackray, one of the UK’s most interesting jazz artists, will be at Fasching in Stockholm on October 15th

For the best kind of sonic assault, Anna von Hasswolff’s band Bada are scheduled to play in Stockholm, Malmö and Gothenburg in late October. 

Have any of you ever seen Gothenburg electronic veterans Little Dragon live? I haven’t but might check them out in November when they swing by Malmö, Stockholm and Gothenburg

Amason are also heading out on the road for a Scandinavian tour in November. If you haven’t heard Amanda Bergman’s voice in a live setting before this will be a treat. 

The inimitable Sibille Attar released her superb second album A History of Silence at the start of the year and she’s finally getting the chance to play her eighties-inspired gems live at Slaktkyrkan in Stockholm on November 18th

Cassandra Jenkins long lurked in the background as a musician in touring bands for people like Eleanor Friedberger and Purple Mountains. But this year’s album An Overview on Phenomenal Nature has really established her as an artist to be reckoned with in her own right. She’s coming to Södra Teatern in Stockholm on November 26th

Always popular in this part of the world, The Jesus and Mary Chain return to Sweden for dates in Stockholm and Gothenburg at the end of November

Wry Finland-Swedish indie outfit Vasas Flora och Fauna have some of the funniest (Swedish) lyrics and catchiest tunes around. They’ll be in Stockholm and Gothenburg the first weekend of December

UK experimental rockers Black Midi are also playing Stockholm and Gothenburg on December 4th and 5th. So prepare to travel if you want to catch both them and Vasas Flora and Fauna. 

As if that wasn’t enough, Bob Hund’s annual ‘week 48’ show also takes place on December 4th. But that has been sold out for ages so no decisions to make there. It is also worth noting though that Sweden’s hardest working band has also written a musical that’s going to be performed in Helsingborg (October-November) and Gothenburg (November)

Bonus: For a post-Christmas pick-me-up try to get down to Little Simz at Slaktkyrkan on January 14th if you’re in Stockholm. The UK rapper’s new album Sometimes I Might Be Introvert is one of this year’s best releases. 

Selected artists playing Sweden in 2022: Henry Rollins, Sarah Klang, Yann Tiersen, Mogwai, Pearl Charles, Wolf Alice, Lloyd Cole, Lord Huron, Future Islands, Josh Rouse + Vetiver, Tricky, Snail Mail, Porridge Radio, Aldous Harding, Shame, The Kooks, The War on Drugs, Echo and the Bunnymen, Kings of Convenience, Fontaines D.C., Alex Cameron, Lucy Dacus, The Divine Comedy, Mdou Moctar, Iggy Pop, Chubby and the Gang, Sparks, Belle & Sebastian, The National, Sharon Van Etten, Teenage Fanclub, Tindersticks, Suede, Viagra Boys, Pavement. 

For bigger arena shows, Ticketmaster covers a lot of the bases. Big-name acts with gigs in the offing include Ed Sheeran, Zara Larsson, Whitesnake and, lest we forget, ABBA

And that’s just a fraction of what’s going on. Tour schedules are busier than ever now that artists are finally getting back on the road. To keep track of what gigs are coming up I can recommend checking in with Luger, FKP Scorpio, and Live Nation. Follow your favourite venues too: sometimes they cut out the middleman and do their own booking and promotion. I also use the Bandsintown app, which comes with the added bonus of receiving messages from your favourite artists which let you pretend to be their friend. 

Enjoy the gigs, and stay safe! 

Paul O’Mahony is editorial product manager at The Local. In his spare time he plays the best new indie and alternative music as host of the Signals show on Nerve Music.

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