Sweden’s hottest music festivals for 2015

Here are The Local's top summer festival tips. Have fun!

Sweden's hottest music festivals for 2015
Revellers at the Way out West Festival in Gothenburg. Photo: TT

Gothenburg's 'Way Out West' has attracted more than 20,000 people every year since it started in August 2007. With artists mainly from the rock, electronic and hip-hop genres, it is one of the hottest festivals in Sweden. The line-up this year includes alternative music stars such as Florence & The Machine joining forces with British singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding and homegrown pop artist Tove Lo. The queen of country music, Emmylou Harris, who was recently awarded Sweden's prestigious Polar Prize, will also be there.

When? August 13th-15th

One of the hangout spots at Gothenburg's Way Out West. Photo: TT
Celebrating its fifth-year anniversary, popular house and electronic music feast Summerburst will bring thousands of music fans to its two festival locations in Gothenburg and Stockholm. Stars performing at both festivals include Afrojack, Blasterjaxx and Sweden's world famous DJ wonder Avicii. These nights of light, music and fireworks are sure to give you a real burst of summer.
When? May 29th-30th (Gothenburg) and June 12th-13th (Stockholm)

Summerburst is one of the best things about the Swedish summer. Photo: TT
This Norrköping festival is sure to tickle the excitement of the 1990s pop generation, with one of the headline acts being a former member of British boyband Take That – Robbie Williams, who will perform alongside Calvin Harris. With only two years since its creation, Bråvalla’s popularity has increased exponentially and it has sold more than 50.000 tickets every summer, making it the most visited music festival in Sweden’s history. 
When? June 25th-27th

Rapper Kanye West performs at the Bråvalla festival last year. Photo: TT
In the south of Sweden, the small town of Ystad – of Kurt Wallander Scandinavian crime series fame – is set to welcome many of the big names of the jazz world. The 100-year-old Ystad Theatre building will be filled for five days of saxophones, trumpets and clarinets, as well as jazz lovers from all around the globe. Tickets and the full line-up are expected to be published in late April, so keep an eye out for more details.
When? July 29th-August 2nd

Trumpeter Nicolas Gardel played the festival last year. Photo: Serge-Miclo/Ystad Jazz Festival
It may be surprising to think of sleek, clean and 'lagom' Sweden as the cradle of dark metal, but the genre enjoys a large fan base in the Nordic country and Getaway Rock Festival has been one of its biggest exponents. So if you're a fan, don't forget to visit Gävle on Sweden's east coast this August. Over three days, bands will mix sounds from 1970s classic rock to gothic dark metal. The festival will feature acts such as old-school rockers Status Quo and power metal bands Hammerfall and female quarted Crucified Barbara.
When? August 6th-8th

Status Quo are set to perform at the Getaway Rock Festival. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/SCANPIX
This hugely popular event in the Swedish town of Borlänge in the picturesque region Dalarna was originally created in 1999 and stands out on the festival scene for donating all of its profits to humanitarian causes. With past performers including outspoken artists such as Bob Dylan and Rihanna, it is often used as an international platform to advocate for human rights and anti-racism movements. This year will include some of Sweden's most popular acts, such as rapper Timbuktu and country artist Jill Johnsson, and also the leader of Sweden's Feminist Initiative party, Gudrun Schyman, as the keynote speaker.
When? July 24th

Rihanna performing at Peace & Love back in 2012. Photo: Erik Mårtensson/SCANPIX
While not exactly a festival, Sweden's most famous amusement park puts on a whole set of gigs every year. Big names draw thousands of fans to the Stockholm park to enjoy a day of playful attractions – and great music. A huge variety of different artists for different crowds are expected to hit the stage this summer, from UK pop wonders Sam Smith and Olly Murs to Marilyn Manson. The park opens its doors on April 25th and its first concert will be by Swedish pop soul diva Veronica Maggio on May 7th.
When? Gigs will be organized throughout the summer. The full line-up can be found here.

Several hit acts are set to play Gröna Lund this summer. Photo: TT
Stockholm’s famous Gay Pride festival at the end of July offers concerts every night by friends of the lesbian, gay, bi and trans gender (LGBT) community. The event, which is the biggest of its kind in Scandinavia, draws crowds from all around Europe in search of a week of great entertainment and party spirit in Sweden's capital. Previous artists have included Ola Salo, formerly of Swedish glam rock band The Ark, and disco stars Alcazar. The main attraction, however, tends to be the massive Pride Parade which is usually attended by hundreds of thousands of participants and visitors, including many famous Swedish faces.
When? July 27th-August 1st

Stockholm Gay Pride is the biggest of its kind in Scandinavia. Photo: TT
World famous rockers Neil Young and Chrissie Hynde are just two of the acts performing at Stockholm Music & Arts this summer. But the festival aims to provide a high quality programme that not only wants to bring the big names, but also more esoteric and a wide spread of different artists to the scene. 
When? August 1st-3rd

The Music & Arts festival at Skeppsholmen island in Stockholm. Photo: Christine Olsson/SCANPIX
Storsjöyran (refer to it only as 'Yran' if you want to seem like you're in the know) is one of Sweden's oldest festivals, tracing its lineage all the way back to 1963. After a long hiatus it was reborn in 1983 to much delight. It's held in the town centre of Östersund in northern Sweden and has welcomed millions of visitors since the start. More than 26,000 people watched Lady Gaga perform there in 2009. This year, some of the biggest names will be Sting – who we think requires no further introduction – and Swedish favourites Hello Saferide and Tove Styrke.
When? July 31st-August 1st

Tove Styrke is one of the headline acts at Storsjöyran. Photo: Sören Andersson/SCANPIX

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Five reasons northern Sweden is actually amazing in summer

The Local's northern Sweden correspondent Paul Connolly is shocked so few foreigners know about the summer charms of northern Sweden. Here he suggests five tips to persuade travellers they should change their itineraries.

Five reasons northern Sweden is actually amazing in summer
Beach volleyball at Pite Havsbad resort in northern Sweden (no, really). Photo: Pite Havsbad Facebook

Article first published in 2016.

Around this time of year I’m often asked to write pieces on summer in Sweden. “Talk about the wonderful beaches of Skåne,” ask the media I freelance for. “And be sure to mention the amazing islands off western Sweden and Stockholm’s wonderful archipelago.”

“Certainly,” I answer. “And how about something on the incredible scenery of the High Coast in northern Sweden? And the deserted sandy beaches all along the eastern coast of northern Sweden. And how about the unspoilt wilderness of the far north.”
“No, it’s too cold up there,” they’ll reply. “Let’s just stick with the south. Maybe we’ll do something on the north for a winter special.”
This is no exaggeration. Even supposedly clued-up travel editors from major publications struggle to understand that northern Sweden is not dark and frigid 52 weeks a year, that this beautiful region of Europe has some very desirable summer destinations, even as far north as Lapland.
So, in an attempt to redress the balance, here are five reasons I think you really should visit northern Sweden in the summer.
1. The High Coast (Höga Kusten)
The High Coast offers astonishing scenery. Photo:
Designated a world heritage site by Unesco in 2000, the High Coast is a spectacular upthrust of land from the usually flat northern Swedish coast. It has dozens of islands with little stugas dotted on tiny coves and beaches. The water is clear, the scenery ravishing and there are a number of very good restaurants within a 20-minute drive of the coast. 
2. Pite Havsbad
The north boasts hundreds of sandy beaches. Photo: Pite Havsbad Facebook
This family-friendly beach resort doesn’t need to bother courting publicity. It’s booked solid every year, largely by northern Swedish and Norwegian families, who are quite happy that this extremely well-appointed Mediterranean-style resort has no intention of spreading its fame any further south. There are also hundreds of other beaches dotted up and down the northern Swedish coastline, many of them carpeted in warm, white sand.
3. Storforsen

The spectacular Storforsen rapids. Photo: Tobias Lindman, Flickr
Visit here in late May or early June to see one of Europe’s biggest rapids hurling meltwater down an 80m drop at a rate of nearly 900 cubic metres a second. The roaring falls, which can be approached by wooden walkboards, form part of a national park. Book a room at Hotell Storforsen at the base of the rapids for a real room with a view.
4. Kungsleden
The hiking in the north provides views of extraordinary beauty. Photo: Mikko Lindstedt, Flickr
The 81km stretch of the vast Kungsleden hiking trail, between Saltoluokta and Kvikkjokk, takes four to five days to hike. It’s an astonishingly beautiful and peaceful route on the edge of Sarek national park – often cited as Western Europe’s last wilderness.
5. Any lake or river in the north

My sister enjoying a dip in the lake at the bottom of our garden. Photo: Private
We live on the edge of a lake which, if it were in the UK, would be thronged year-round by tourists. We have access to a lovely sandy beach where the water is surprisingly warm from June onwards. There is even a swimming platform. That the beach is almost always deserted is due to the fact that there are just so many lake and river beaches in northern Sweden, there’s simply no need to share. Rent a local house for 2,000 kronor ($250) a week and doze away your days at a nearby beach. Heaven!