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WHAT'S ON IN SWEDEN

MUSIC

The most stunning Swedish festival spots this week

How about a party on an island, in an old quarry or a former mining camp? That's all on offer in Sweden this week, alongside our regular interactive calendar.

The most stunning Swedish festival spots this week
The Norberg Festival at an old ore mine. Photo: Peo Bengtsson

1. Into the Valley

Into the Valley takes place in a former limestone quarry located in picturesque Dalhalla near Rättvik in central Sweden. The festival only plays electro music, but even if you're not a fan, the venue itself is well worth the visit. This year it hosts famous international DJs such as Damien Lazarus, Nina Kraviz and Ben Klock.

When: July 28th-30th

Where: Dalhalla, seven kilometres from the train station in Rättvik

Tickets: 350-1590 kronor ($40-180)

2. Stockholm Music & Arts

This festival takes place in one of the most gorgeous locations in the Swedish capital: on the Skeppsholmen island, with clear blue Lake Mälaren and the Stockholm skyline as its backdrop. It has only been running since 2012, but has already attracted some of the more discerning fans. As its name suggests, it mixes music with different arts, for example theatre monologues or abstract paintings. What about the line-up? Oh, Lauryn Hill, Rufus Wainwright, Sigur Rós and Patti Smith, to name but a few.

When: July 29th-31st

Where: Skeppsholmen, Stockholm

Tickets: 750-1650 kronor


Stockholm Music & Arts last summer. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

3. Fryksdalsdansen

Deep in the Värmland region in western Sweden, in the Fryk Valley (Fryksdalen), lies Sunne, a small, sleepy town of around 5000 people. Except for these three days in July when 16,000 visitors descend on the area to attend this dance and music festival. Although you're unlikely to find Lauryn Hill and Sigur Rós here, some of Sweden's top homegrown artists will take the stage to show off their own brands of both the nation's traditional 'dansband' music and modern hits.

When: July 28th-30th

Where: Sunne, Värmland

Tickets: 400-800 kronor

4. The Norberg Festival

The Norberg Festival takes place in a rather spectacular location: an abandoned mining area called Mimerlaven in the town of Norberg, in the woods some 160 kilometres north-west of Stockholm. The former industrial buildings are turned into a technicolour show of light and sound installations and electronic music for three days – who knew concrete could be beautiful?

When: July 28th-30th

Where: Gamla Banan 6, Norberg, Västmanland

Tickets: 1290-1390 kronor (cheaper options are already sold out)

Check out the interactive calendar below for more events in Sweden:

 

 

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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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