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SUMMER IN SWEDEN

MUSIC

Swedish summer music festival preview: July

With Midsummer now a distant memory, Swedes will be looking to grab every opportunity to get out in the summer while it lasts. The Local's Joe Lynskey takes a look at the stand-out festivals that are sure to draw the crowds this month.

Swedish summer music festival preview: July

With many Swedes looking to bask in the summer sunshine during their summer holidays, music lovers among them will likely be heading off to any of the vast array of summer festivals that continue to litter the country’s calendar this month.

Sundvalls Gatufest: July 2–8

Eurovision star Loreen leads the proceedings for the Sundvalls Gatufest, and is joined by a host of big international names including R&B star Sean Paul and Thin Lizzy.

A host of non-musical entertainment is also readily available for this four-day street party in Sundsvall, in nothern Sweden. Each day kicks off with a gym session in Sundsvall Square; there are a host of cultural and artistic acts on show, and several opportunities for festival goers to get involved with hiphop workshops, streetdance face-offs and a talent contest.

Expect parties to continue long into the night following the headline acts, with the long summer nights continuing to shine brightly in the north of the country.

For more information, check out the Gatufesten website.

Putte I Parken: July 4–7

Now in its fourth year of operation, the Putte I Parken stages take to Karlstad in central Sweden to deliver what is, once again, a diverse musical line-up to cater for all tastes.

Former Soundgarden lead singer Chris Cornell joins Swedish rockers Kent in a line-up that features rock, singer-songwriters, club acts and rap, most notably in the shape of Britain’s R&B star Tinie Tempah.

Elsewhere, Thåström and US punk rockers Flogging Molly will continue their distinguished careers as headliners at the festival. Putte I Parken will be looking to continue the growth it has made since its inception in 2008.

Find tickets and further details at Putte i Parken’s website.

Getaway Rock Festival: July 5–7

US rockers Manowar have seen it all in their illustrious heavy metal career, and fans will once again be pouring into Gävle this July to see them “blow the heads off” the mosh pits of Getaway Rock Festival.

Taking place in the heart of Gävle in eastern Sweden, the festival will once again draw the most ardent of hard rockers in its third year of operation. With FKP Scorpio joining festival bosses as a partner, this is looking set to be the biggest year yet for the festival. They also offer a range of restaurants and bars on site.

Nightwish, Yngwie Malmsteen and Behemoth headline a line-up that is sure to whet the appetite of those who prefer something heavier than the mainstream.

Find more information on the Getaway Rock festival site.

West Coast Riot: July 26

This one day potpourri of punk is now in its fourth year of operation, and has attracted some big names and huge crowds into the arena in Gothenburg.

A mouth-watering mix of the most histroic and iconic punk acts and new up-and-coming bands are set to grace the stage this year. Punk fans will certainly be licking their pierced lips at the prospect of old guns Rancid and Anti-Flag being joined by the modern era of Gallows and Against Me.

Tickets and more information can be found at the festival’s website.

Storsjöyran Festival: July 27-28

The northern hub of Östersund’s premier festival welcomes long-time US rocker Patti Smith, UK indie band Glasvegas and Swedish favourite Lars Winnerbäck to the town centre for a last hurrah with the summer heat in late July.

The weekend has been labelled “the best city festival in Sweden” by journalists in the past.

As northern Sweden’s pinnacle of summer parties, the festival looks to parade the fact that though this region is sparsely populated, its people have the zest, courage and knowledge to create a festival of international size and standard.

Around 55,000 spectators visit the festival every year, making it Sweden’s second largest event.

Tickets and more information can be found at the festival’s website.

Joe Lynskey

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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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