What’s on in Sweden: June 18th – 25th

Sweden's most talked-about music event is here, as is an annual festival for fans of the original master of Nordic Noir. That's on top of a holiday that will see even your normally quiet Swedish friends turned into party animals.

What's on in Sweden: June 18th - 25th
Sweden's favourite sing-along show, Allsång på Skansen. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Sweden's most popular music festival is not Eurovision. It's the televised sing-along show Allsång på Skansen, which will see thousands of people flock to Stockholm's outdoor museum Skansen every Tuesday for the rest of the summer. 

The season kicks off on Tuesday June 23rd, with one of Sweden's most iconic stars, Carola, performing on stage alongside southern Swedish country singer Hasse Andersson and hip hop fusion band Panetoz.

If you can't make it to Stockholm, watch the show live on SVT from 8pm. And don't forget to impress your Swedish friends by revealing you know that Eurovision 2015 winner Måns Zelmerlöw used to host the show just a few years ago. He will also visit the show the week after next, so put that in your diary.

Sweden's Måns Zelmerlöw before his Eurovision days. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/SCANPIX

The Volvo Ocean Race will set sail in Gothenburg in western Sweden on Sunday, June 21st, bringing to an end the round-the-world boat race which started in Alicante in October last year. This final leg of the journey will see the competition conclude with an in-port race in the entrance to Gothenburg harbour a week later. By that time the seven boats will have visited 10 ports around the world, covering a total of 39,000 nautical miles. Admission is free. 

Every year, fans of world famous Swedish director Ingmar Bergman gather on a small island called Fårö, north of the larger island of Gotland off the east coast of Sweden. This year's 'Bergman Week' kicks off on Monday, June 22nd. Guided tours, music and film showings will be on offer to celebrate the director behind classics such as 'The Seventh Seal' and 'Fanny and Alexander'.

Oh, and of course there's Midsummer's Eve on Friday, when Swedes, as the tradition goes, will gather in large groups to eat raw fish, drink copious amounts of home-made vodka and dance round a big phallus while pretending to be little frogs. Read our handy guide below.

GUIDE: The Local's guide to Midsummer madness

Done? If that hasn't scared you off one of Sweden's biggest holidays, check your local council's website to see what they have put on for you this June 19th. The most traditional celebrations usually take place in the Dalarna region, with folk costumes and all, but there will be events all over the country. Here's what's going on in Gothenburg, Malmö and Stockholm.

Looking for more things to do in Sweden? Check out our interactive guide below.





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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.