Music-loving Stockholmers get a taste of Parklife

The Local
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Music-loving Stockholmers get a taste of Parklife

A Stockholm music festival in an old royal pleasure palace gives new bands an audience and Stockholm music lovers an alternative venue with beer infused sunsets, writes Emy Gelb.


Stockholm's indie music fans danced into the night on Saturday at Kungliga Borgen, overlooking Gärdet, one of the city’s largest grassy parks. The organizers of the Parklife music festival are a group of friends who love music and have been organizing the event at different venues around Stockholm for the past eight years.

The small festival was tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city’s center, in a 200-year-old venue built by King Carl XIV Johan and once enjoyed by Swedish royalty to soak up summertime debauchery. On Saturday, groups of young, stylish Swedes relaxed under the shade of giant elm trees and swayed to their own bright rhythms and cheap beer.

The Parklife festival has been taking place since 2002 and is always held in places that "are always missed, hidden, forgotten, fantastic places to hold a festival."

Fredrik Bergström, one of the event's planners, added that the finding an alternative space "is really hard, but is what makes Parklife interesting."

This year, eight different bands played, mostly found via MySpace and other similar sites. Some bands were local while others ventured from as far away as Brooklyn, NY. Names like Kate Ferencz and Little Children were serious crowd pleasers.

The bands played in a small tent, decorated with homemade quilts and colored lights. An art exhibit was placed in one of the Kungliga Borgen’s centuries old, wooden cottages; the contemporary drawings and stark, black and white photos complemented the yellowing wallpaper and crystal chandeliers.

A trivia walk, the Germany vs. Uruguay game via a vintage radio, and the warm, evening sunshine kept those who were not interested in the music entertained. Friendly staff recycled cans and served soy hot dogs, while guests mingled and relaxed in circus tents, decorated with couches and Persian rugs. Once the bands stopped playing, an afterparty was held in a golden room overlooking a dusky Stockholm.

One festival attendee, Australian Jobe Bail, described the "mini festival with toilet views over Stockholm and beer infused sunsets on the front lawn" as " perfect."

His friend, Swede Mickis Perman, agreed, telling The Local, "I really liked the festival. Nice atmosphere with both the surroundings, people, music food and drinks."

The Parklife festival was a special treat for music lovers and adventure seekers alike. Although no more festivals will be held this summer, Bergström recommended music lovers check out Debaser and also Landet, a venue in Telefonplan across the street from the University College of Arts Crafts and Design (Konstfack), for smaller bands and a local vibe.

Konstfack moved in 2004 to its present site, an early Ericsson telephone factory, in Hägersten just south of Stockholm.


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