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WHAT'S ON IN SWEDEN

MUSIC

Five unmissable events in Sweden this week

Eurovision hero Måns Zelmerlöw is performing at Stockholm's most iconic theme park this weekend, while one of Europe's hottest music and tech festivals is making its way to northern Sweden and Malmö is showcasting some of the most talented names on the Nordic theatre circuit.

Five unmissable events in Sweden this week
Sweden's Eurovision hero will be performing in Stockholm. Photo: TT
1. Måns Zelmerlöw's gig in the capital
 
Swedes are set to go wild for Eurovision star Måns Zelmerlöw on Friday May 29th, as he puts on one of his first gigs since winning the contest in Vienna. After filling his Instagram with photos of himself relaxing with his dogs and performing in his home town Lund this week, the 28-year-old heartthrob will be taking to the stage at the iconic Gröna Lund theme park on Djurgården island in Stockholm as part of the venue's series of summer gigs. Look out for other top international names including Noel Gallagher, Marilyn Manson and Lenny Kravitz in the coming months, as well as homegrown upcoming singer-songwriters Elin Ruth and Edda Magnason. Click here for information on how to buy tickets in English.
 

Eurovision winner Måns Zelmerlöw. Photo: TT
 
2. Umeå's Music Tech Fest
 
Billed as an international meeting place for musicians, hackers, artists, creators, music lovers and geeks, Music Tech Fest launched in London in 2015 and gets underway in Umeå in northern Sweden on Friday May 29th, following subsequent events in cities including Berlin, Paris and Boston. Since Sweden is the world's biggest exporter of music per capita, organizers are hoping the free, three-day get-together in one of the EU's 2014 Capitals of Culture will inspire future success stories and create some unique performances and networking opportunities. Read more in English on the event's website.
 

The city of Umeå is a cultural hotspot in Sweden. Photo: Jörgen Wiklund/Image Bank Sweden
 
3. The Stockholm marathon
 
Offering one of the most beautiful running routes in the world, the 37th ASICS Stockholm Marathon takes place on Saturday May 30th, when Sweden's capital is set to welcome 21,500 runners from across the globe. This is one of the biggest sporting events of the year in Sweden and hundreds of thousands of spectators are expected to cheer on the participants. Make sure you bring a waterproof jacket though as rain is forecast during the race.
 

The Stockholm marathon in 2014. Photo: TT
 
4. Malmö's Biennial for Performing Arts
 
Scenkonst Biennalen in Malmö is already underway and brings together some of the most talked about theatre productions in Scandinavia, including a number of shows in English. Running until Sunday May 31st, performances include Our Class, which follows ten children from a Polish school class from the beginning of the 1930s until the present day, Wild Minds, which is a documentary performance about four people who are possessed by their daydreams and The Deepest Place – a contemporary chamber opera about love, lust and loneliness – performed in Danish with an English synopsis. Click here to read more in English and buy tickets.
 

Malmö Opera House. Photo: Charlotte T Strömwall
 
5. Södermalm's first pop-up park
 
One third of Stockholm is made up of green spaces, but there's a new kid on the block on the island of Södermalm this week. The capital's first free pop-up park is set to spring to life, in hipster hotspot SoFo, to the east of the main shopping street Götgatan. Over the next seven days, Stockholmers will be invited to plant flowers, swap seeds and decorate the new space (named Pallis) with street art. Plus food trucks will be on hand to offer a tasty selection of global street foods between 11am and 4pm, or you can eat in one of the area's numerous cool restaurants and snack spots – our favourites are Gossip, il Caffe and Urban DeliMore information on the new park is available in Swedish on Facebook.
 

A selection of snacks at permanent SoFo hotspot, Urban Deli. Photo: Tuukka Ervasti/Image Bank Sweden
 
For more tips on things to see and do across Sweden, check out our interactive table below.

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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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