What’s on in Sweden: May 7th – 14th

The most colourful race on the planet is coming to Sweden, so get your running shoes (and smiles) on. We've also picked out two great gigs for you this week, as well as a fascinating exhibition on Sweden's role after the Second World War.

What's on in Sweden: May 7th - 14th
Colour me impressed! A very special race is coming to Sweden this month. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

A rainbow of colours is set to explode in the central Swedish town of Jönköping this weekend, when thousands of runners hit the street to take part in The Color Run. Known as the happiest five kilometre race on the planet, the technicolour race started in the United States in 2011 and has travelled around the world since, with more than a hundred global events and a million participants last year.

The Color Run is not timed and there are only two rules: you must wear white when you turn up at the starting line and not be afraid to have your outfit ruined, as colour powder paint is thrown at participants as they run past. The event will also head to Stockholm, Malmö, Gävle, Göteborg, Lund and Uppsala later this summer, so keep your eyes peeled for more information.

Swedish soft pop artist Jens Lekman kicks off his tour of rural parts of his native country this weekend, with the series of performances starting in Fengersfors near Åmål in west-central Sweden. He became known to the wider public more than a decade ago when his single 'Maple Leaves' quickly spread via the internet in 2003 – followed by acclaimed debut album 'When I Said I Wanted To Be Your Dog' – and has since gained a loyal following worldwide. This is a rare opportunity to see him perform on home turf and there are still tickets left to snap up for some of the gigs if you hurry.

Here's another great gig. The voice of British electronic music group Ladytron is starting her new tour in Stockholm on Tuesday, May 12th. Helen Marnie founded the Liverpudlian band in 1999 with Daniel Hunt, Reuben Wu and Mira Aroyo and climbed to international fame with hits such as Seventeen, Playgirl, Destroy Everything You Touch and Ghosts. Marnie's pop has been described as "witchier and mythier" than Ladytron's music and she is sure to go down a storm when she takes the stage at the trendy Debaser Strand club at 8.30pm (doors open at 6.30pm).

A new exhibition about Sweden's role after the Second World War opens on Friday, May 8th, in Malmö. Seven decades after the war ended, the exhibition 'In the Shadow of the War' ('I skuggan av kriget') tells the story of how Malmö Museum was turned into a refugee centre to accept refugees arriving on the Red Cross' white buses. Visitors will be able to see some of the paintings drawn by Polish artists Jadwiga Simon-Pietkiewicz and Maja Berezowska during their time in the Ravensbrück concentration camp.

Check out our interactive calendar below for more tips on what to see and do in Sweden this week.




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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.