• Sweden's news in English
Dancing queens: Sweden set to overturn ban on bar bops
You know those quiet nights in the pub that end up like this? Photo: David Magnusson/SvD/TT

Dancing queens: Sweden set to overturn ban on bar bops

Maddy Savage · 7 Apr 2016, 23:58

Published: 07 Apr 2016 11:27 GMT+02:00
Updated: 07 Apr 2016 23:58 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit
Swedes aren't famous for being spontaneous: they take 'fika' (coffee and cake) breaks like clockwork, book all their summer holidays in the same month and have watched the same episode of Donald Duck on television at Christmas for decades.
But Swedish people also love to party and in the past that's caused problems when customers in bars without special dance licences have decided to take a chance on showing off their moves in public.
If the owners of bars, clubs or restaurants lack a permit and their patrons start unexpectedly moving to music, they can be slapped with a fine.
Police have long argued that the permits are needed because they say dancing creates disorder, which in turn can lead to fights.
However Sweden's Justice Committee is understood to have endorsed a motion put forward by Sweden's Left Party campaigning against the policy, and this is expected to be voted through in parliament on April 14th.
"It is a completely united committee that has endorsed the motion, so any other outcome in parliament is not to be expected. It feels great," Rosanna Dinamarca, a Left Party politician, told Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN).
"It is somewhat absurd and at odds with modern society to have a system where the bar owner does not dare to play music that could encourage dancing and where people are forbidden to spontaneously burst into dance unless there is a special permit," she argued.
Dinamarca added that it was also currently very difficult to distinguish between "dancing" and customers simply moving parts of their body to a beat.

What happens if this guy starts tapping his feet? Photo: Faramarz Gosheh/Image Bank Sweden
The expected change in the rules follows numerous previous campaigns to change the policy including a 1,000-strong street-dance demo against the regulation in 2012, led by Anders Varveus, a Swedish nightclub pioneer.
"I am pretty happy! I hope the information is correct and that the new law will pass in parliament," he told The Local on Thursday.
"For many entrepreneurs in the mainstream scene it will be really good because its a normalization for the scene."
The campaigner said that he planned to organize a not-so-spontaneous dance outside the Swedish parliament at 4pm on April 14th and "possibly some underground parties on the same night".
Stockholm-based events organizer Kristian Hell told The Local that he was also thrilled to hear about the predicted shift.
"Is it legal to comment with a sequence of well thought out emoji's?" joked the Australian, who is also a host at Trädgården superclub.
Story continues below…
"This news to overturn the need for a dance licence will make a lot of people laugh and I think that's just what we need as the summer club season is about to open," he added.
However according to Hell, some police in the Swedish capital have already been more lenient than the current laws suggest.
"During my seven years in Stockholm and six years working within the scene, the authorities have been quite lenient and have always turned a blind eye. Nobody wants to be a party pooper. Everybody wins."
A range of leading pubs and music venues in Sweden have also declared they are dancing with delight in anticipation of the parliamentary vote, including the Debaser chain and the Södra theatre bar on hipster island Södermalm.
According to Stockholm's environment agency there are about 1,100 bars and restaurants in the Swedish capital alone. While the majority play some kind of music, only 100 currently have dance permits.

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Maddy Savage (maddy.savage@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Sweden can extend border controls, EU says
A police officer carrying out a check at Sweden's border with Denmark. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

EU countries including Sweden should be granted permission to extend temporary border controls by a period of a further three months, the European Commission has decided.

Nobel Prizes
'I'd say he's arrogant but I'd be lying': Swedes on Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan performing in France. Photo: David Vincent/AP

Almost two weeks have passed since Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and he has yet to acknowledge the win. The Local asked Swedes what they think of the singer's silence.

Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast by thousands
A Swedish migration authority office in Stockholm. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

The country has also slashed its prediction for 2017.

Swedish researchers plan new trucks for women drivers
File photo of trucks in Sweden. Photo: Thomas Johansson/TT

Could vehicles adapted for women attract more female truckers to the profession?

These stats show Swedish driving isn't so gender equal
File photo of a Swedish woman driving a car. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A new survey shows that few Swedish women get behind the wheel when driving with their male partner.

Revealed: Game of Thrones could be coming to Sweden
Game of Thrones cast members at the Emmy Awards in September. Photo: Jordan Strauss/AP

The producers of the hit show have asked for three rounds of location pictures of Swedish island Gotland.

Prime Minister to meet Swedish troops in Iraq
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and his Kurdish counterpart Nechervan Barzani. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Löfven is set to meet Swedish troops in Iraq on Tuesday.

Swedish politicians wage war on winter time
Soon it will look like this on your way home from work in Sweden. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Should Sweden stick with summer time all year round?

'Don't turn the Pope into a global teddy bear'
Sweden's Queen Silvia and Princess Leonore visiting Pope Francis in the Vatican last year. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

It's time to hold the Pope to account and make sure he turns his words about reform into action, argues a minister of the Swedish Church ahead of Pope Francis' visit to Sweden.

Löfven: 'Sweden will double its number of troops in Iraq'
Stefan Löfven and Haider al-Abadi during the visit on Monday. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has promised to double his country's number of troops in Iraq following a meeting with Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi on Monday.

Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available