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'Jack Nicholson' surprises Swedish music festival fans

The Local/gm · 13 Jun 2011, 11:32

Published: 13 Jun 2011 11:32 GMT+02:00

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But bitter fans later learned they had been they had been victims of an elaborate hoax.

Rumours had been spreading like wildfire in Skåne that the world famous actor would be turning up at the festival.

Festival arrangers had promised “a special guest” in the weeks leading up to the show, and word had spread that Nicholson was in the area for a trip to visit his daughter, who lives in Copenhagen.

Those rumours reached fever pitch when reports suggested he was staying in a hotel in the town, and finally at around 10.30pm a car with blacked-out windows pulled and someone closely resembling the 74-year-old actor was led up to the stage.

Festival arrangers announced “We have a surprise for you”, as 'Jack Nicholson' strode into the spotlight.

With the audience still none the wiser he declared, “Here’s Johnny” the famous line from the classic horror movie “The Shining”, before uttering a quieter “I love you” and beating a hasty retreat.

It wasn’t until Sunday that it became clear the entire episode had been a hoax, using a lookalike who had been drafted in to replace the real Nicholson.

“We really didn’t mean to offend anyone,” Summer rock promoter Ulf Nilsson told The Local on Monday.

“The truth is that right up until the last moment we had been working hard to get hold of several big stars for the surprise guest slot."

According to Nilsson, Swedish actor had Peter Stormare had been approached, as had "Elvis Presley’s best friend".

"Then one European promoter who we had approached suggested we use a lookalike instead," he said.

The news that the audience of 1,200 star-struck fans had been duped by the Nicholson imposter led to widespread disappointment and anger.

“I was standing 30 feet away and I was convinced it was him. But as it wasn’t, of course you feel very cheated," 54-year-old Donald Holmes told the Expressen newspaper.

Festival promotor Nilsson however, remains unrepentant.

Story continues below…

“I was surprised at the response because we didn’t set out to deceive people," he said.

"I just think that people are annoyed with themselves for falling for it more than anything else, and now they just want a scapegoat.”

Ticket agency Ticnet, which for a short while had also announced the appearance of Nicholson, claims that it was the responsibility of the promoter to say who would and would not be appearing.

In addition, several local media outlets which were also duped by the hoax have been forced to hastily re-write stories about the event when the truth came out.

The Local/gm (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:54 June 13, 2011 by byke
Thank you for explaining to me yet again that this local news from Landskrona is in fact in Sweden. Had you not told me, I would have naturally assumed it was somewhere near the planet vulkan.

In fact thank you for also mentioning that the nationality of Peter Stomare who had not attended the concert and had very little to do with the story but coincidentally is also in fact (as you didnt fal to mention) Swedish!. woooopeee! - you journalists are amazing.

I am sure if you tried a little harder you could have expressed how the soil was swedish and that many people who attended a concert in sweden were in fact swedish, followed by other completely random non related bollox for you to use the word swedish over and over again which bears no relevance to the story whatsoever.

By any chance, does The Local get some sort of financial incentive or sponsorship to use the same word over and over again?
12:59 June 13, 2011 by stupr
"I was surprised at the response because we didn't set out to deceive people," he said.

Erm......then what exactly were you doing by telling people Jack N was there when he really wasn't?
13:25 June 13, 2011 by åkpåse
byke, that is the most absurd and ridiculous attack on a reporter I have ever seen. For mentioning that Landskrona is in southern Sweden is nothing strange. I never knew where abouts it was in Sweden. And to mention that Stormare is a Swedish actor is also not so strange since this is an English news site, it's quite natural to think that some people might not know this. His mention in the story is also quite relevant and in no way 'had very little to do with the story'. I think it's quite funny they tried to get him.

To use these 2 quite trivial and, I think, quite necessary references to Sweden as base to have a full go at the reporter and The Local is pretty silly. Get a life man. Or maybe this is touching on some nerve where you feel a bit of an outsider in Sweden and you just happened to know these 2 little pieces of Swedish trivia and decided to let the rest of us know all about that. Thanks for that, but rather keep it to yourself.
13:29 June 13, 2011 by swedejane
These promoters are scum bags...it's clear this was not an innocent prank, and they were simply trying to get away with a fast one.
13:32 June 13, 2011 by byke
åkpåse - thank you for your retarded response.

Had you been a regular reader of "The Local" and had more than a 2 post count, you would have seen numerous times that when a story is positive, the journalists go out of their way to ensure the word Sweden or Swedish is used.

However, in stories which paint a dark or negative picture, like the other story on the front page regarding child abuse and sexual molestation - The local doesnt use any references to say where gothenborg is and ensures that the word sweden or swedish is not used.
13:51 June 13, 2011 by åkpåse
byke - no problem. any time :)

2 post count logged in maybe which is very seldom. but i am a daily reader for the last couple of years. anyways, no hard feelings i just got bored of yourself and the like who always try to have a go at The Local and the reporters for some obscure reason. this one just leaped out at me as being particularly inane and i was compelled to comment. generally I think they do a decent job for being a free news service in a second language.

it seems like the comments section is always full of people having a go at eachother, mostly regarding ethnicity or religious beliefs. i think this is quite a good barometer on the state of society amongst foreigners, immigrants etc living in Sweden. different ethnic groups apparently hate eachother, and most immigrants/foreigners seem to want to have a go at Swedes/Sweden at every chance. politicians etc should look here to get a lay of the land.
14:01 June 13, 2011 by NicholasEco
First of all I wouldn't be offended by this, but pissed-off because when I go to a MUSIC concert, I want to watch music bands, NOT some famous movie stars.

Second, why will someone feel cheated? You have seen what you've paid for (more than 25 bands), and for those who feel offended, grow-up! This fake-actor thing did not have an affect on your personal health, or your money. It was something stupid and irrelevant to the whole Sweden Rock concept.
14:31 June 13, 2011 by darkrealm
A few years back a promotor in England put on a blues festival and said 'John Lee Hooker' was appearing. Given that John Lee had not appeared outside of the USA for 20 yrs and was quite ill I did not believe that was possible. Yet the promotors continued to promote this appearance. People from all over the world and europe paid to come to the festival and when the it opened on the main gate was a sign saying 'john lee is not appearing'. You could hear the sighs. Now that is major dupe. who cares about Jack.
16:33 June 13, 2011 by zircon
Wendy!!!! Wendy, Wendy, Wendy!!
19:06 June 13, 2011 by Soft Boiled
"Elvis Presley's best friend" ?
21:05 June 13, 2011 by Swedesmith
I almost saw Ricardo Montalban's neighbor's uncle once, but he was a no show.
23:22 June 14, 2011 by J Jack
So what? everyone `
22:11 June 16, 2011 by Cage
Did the lack of Jack Nicholson appearing diminish the music performances which were supposedly the real motivation for purchasing tickets? Is Jack Nicholson like a human equalizer and his appearance makes the music sound better? Last time I checked Jack NIcholson has never played an instrument so why at a music festival would ANYONE give a F*CK if he shows up? Buncha tools.
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