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Ten great don’t-miss events in Sweden this spring

Still cold where you are? All the more the reason to start planning the upcoming spring. We have picked ten events all around Sweden between March and May you should not miss.

Ten great don't-miss events in Sweden this spring
A Walpurgis bonfire on the Riddarholmen island in Stockholm. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

1. Mamma Mia! The Party

What better way to start the happiest season of the year than joining a phenomenal event based on the Abba experience? After the musical and the movie, there's now Mamma Mia! The Party. Come to the Greek tavern venue at “Tyrol”, eat and drink, and then enjoy music and dance like you've never danced before.

When: All through spring

Where: Tyrol, Djurgården, Stockholm

Tickets: 1340-1535 kronor


Abba music and party, what else do you need? Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

2. Walpurgis Night at Skansen

All over Sweden people celebrate on the night before May 1st to welcome the spring. Bonfires are lit in practically every town across the country, but one of the most spectacular venues to join this celebration is the outdoor museum Skansen in Stockholm, with a stunning view over the capital. The highlight is fireworks that will make the night unforgettable. There is usually a bonfire on the Riddarholmen island as well, which also has great views of the city. For even more eventful celebrations, try university towns Lund or Uppsala.

When: Sunday, April 30th

Where: Skansen, Stockholm

Tickets: Entry fee to Skansen


A magnificient bonfire in front of Stockholm scenery. Photo: Sven Nackstrand/TT

3. Umeå Open

You don't have to go to Stockholm to enjoy spring in Sweden. Northern city Umeå is putting on this music festival at the end of March. Enjoy three days of high quality rock and pop music by leading Swedish and international artists. Multiple stages and open venues turn the city centre into the place to be.

When: Thursday, March 30th – Saturday, April 1st

Where: City centre, Umeå

Tickets: 395 kronor for youths (13-17), 595 kronor for adults


Enjoy music in Umeå. Photo: Rodrigo RIvas Ruiz/imagebank.sweden.se

4. Toughest Malmö

Toughest was Sweden’s first great obstacle race in 2013 and now hosts events in five countries. In May it will return to its birthplace, Malmö, with a main run on Saturday and a family run on Sunday. Think you're tough enough?

When: Saturday, May 6th – Sunday, May 7th

Where: Ribersborgsstranden, Malmö

Tickets: 795 kronor for the Saturday run, 349 kronor for the family run


Are you tough enough to beat the water? Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

5. Art Walk in Majorna

Gothenburg is offering a special treat for all fans of culture and arts. Start with a group exhibition at Röda Sten Konsthall where you can take a look at various pieces of art and pick your favorite artist. Then you can visit their open studios all around the Majorna district, a 'hipster' area featured in this article by The Local. Meet the artists in person and get some insights into visual arts, the making of sculptures and much more.

When: Friday, April 21st – Sunday, April 23rd

Where: Majorna district, Gothenburg


The Röda Sten Konsthall is known for its art exhibitions. Photo: Konstrundan i Majorna GBG

6. GöteborgsVarvet Half Marathon

Think you're fit for spring? Then put on your running shoes and attend the world's largest half marathon. If you don't think you are able to run the 21km and a bit with 64,000 other registered runners, then join over 200,000 supporters along the race course.

When: Saturday, May 20th

Where: All around Gothenburg


Ready to run into the spring? Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

7. The International Science Festival

Science festival? OK, maybe this doesn't sound like a don’t-miss event for everybody, but wait: this festival makes not only makes science accessible, but also exciting. At over 30 locations around Gothenburg you can visit workshops, exhibitions and enjoy music and theatre. Join over 70,000 visitors at one of Europe's leading popular science events between May 10th and May 14th.

When: Wednesday, May 10th – Sunday, May 14th

Where: City centre, Gothenburg


Around 70,000 people visit the the International Science Festival each year. Photo: Vetenskaps Festivalen

8. Melodifestivalen 2017

Who will represent Sweden in this year's Eurovision Song Contest? See the Melodifestivalen's semi-finals in Linköping and finals in Stockholm live, and be there when people all around Sweden decide which act will go to Kiev. A must for every Eurovision fan. You can either attend the televised semi-finals or the rehearsals.

When: Friday, March 3rd – Saturday, March 4th, and Friday, March 10th – Saturday, March 11th

Where: Saab Arena, Linköping; Friends Arena Stockholm

Tickets: from 375-1195 kronor


Melodifestivalen, a Swedish cult. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

9. Kiruna icefishing tournament

April, and you're already missing the snow and cold? Then we have a special tip for you. Visit the yearly icefishing tournament on Lake Luossajärvi in central Kiruna. If you need a break from blossoming flowers and rising temperatures, this event will give you the cold excitement you are craving.

When: Sunday, April 9th

Where: Lake Luossajärvi, Kiruna


If a warm spring is not your thing: go ice fishing! Photo: Tore Meek/TT

10. Actionrun

Talking of excitement: the Actionrun in the city centre of Örebro will make your adrenaline levels peak. Attend either as a participant or as a cheering spectator for this 7km run with 30 obstacles. A good reason to get outside after the long and dark winter in Sweden.

When: Saturday, April 29th

Where: City centre, Örebro


Probably the only obstacle you won't have to conquer in the race: Örebro Castle. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

SWEDEN AND INDIA

IndiskFika: The Indian dance group taking Sweden by storm

IndiskFika are a group of Indians in Sweden with a shared passion: dance. Two of the group's leaders tell The Local how they came to be finalists in Talang, one of Sweden's top TV talent shows.

IndiskFika: The Indian dance group taking Sweden by storm

“We’ve been very passionate about dance from childhood,” says co-founder Ranjithkumar Govindan, who shortens his name to Ranjith. “I’ve been dancing from childhood, like first grade. So once we got into our professional lives and career, I wanted to continue my passion.”

“Like Ranjith, I have been dancing since the age of three, ” adds Aradhana Varma, who joined the group in 2020. She’s been competing in and winning dance competitions back in her hometown of Mumbai ever since. 

With just a handful of members back in 2019, the group now numbers over 50, including dancers, videographers, choreographers, editors, and production crew, and they are still growing.

Listen to Aradhana Varna from IndiskFika on Sweden in Focus, The Local’s podcast. 

Click HERE to listen to Sweden in Focus on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Google Podcasts.

Govindan says started by dancing at various events in Stockholm alongside fellow Indian dance enthusiasts before the idea came to form the troupe. “Then, one fine day, me and one of my friends, Vijay [Veeramanivanna], said ‘why don’t we do a cover song?'” he remembers. 

“He’s very passionate about camera work, cinematography. I’m very passionate about dance,” Govindan says of the collaboration. 

Their initial idea was to take advantage of their location in to shoot dance routines out in Swedish nature, in the same way that Bollywood movies sometimes shoot routines against European scenes such as Swiss mountainsides or Italian plazas. 

“Indians are very famous for movies, like Bollywood, so we wanted to do a cover video of a particular song from a movie which was going to be released. Since we are living in Sweden, we have plenty of opportunities to cover good locations and nature, so that was an idea,” he explains.

The name ‘IndiskFika’, (“Indian fika”, a fika being a Swedish term for a coffee break in the middle of the day) came from Govindan and Veeramanivanna’s wish to combine Swedish and Indian cultures. 

IndiskFika performing in the Talang talent show. Photo: TV4

“We started with five to seven people in 2019, that was the first thing we did, and we did a shoot and edited everything, then we realised that if we wanted to release it, we should have a name,” Govindan says.

“So we started thinking ‘what name should we pick for this team?’. We came up with the idea IndiskFika. Everyone knows about fika in Swedish, right?” 

Their videos, some of which have over a million views, became popular both among Indians at home and among members of the Indian community in Sweden, whose interest helped the group grow further.

More and more Indians living in Stockholm started asking to join, and soon they were doing live performances:  one at the Chalmers University in Gothenburg, and another at the Diwali celebrations held by the Västerås Indian Association. 

When the pandemic hit, IndiskFika didn’t let it stop them. They started planning a digital one-year anniversary for the group, and began looking for other groups to collaborate with. 

That was how Govindan began collaborating with Varma, who had been performing with a different dance team. “I had been performing at various events like Namaste Stockholm with a different dance team based in Stockholm since 2017, but during pandemic, everything had come to a halt since it was a tough time for all of us,” she explains.

When new people joined IndiskFika, it gave the group a new impetus. “That’s when the boost started,” Govindan remembers. “We became stronger and stronger. So, so many things happened.”

IndiskFika first came to the attention of ordinary Swedes with an article in Ingenjörenthe members’ magazine for engineering union Sveriges Ingenjörer. Many of the group’s members are IT engineers or students at KTH, the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. “They did an article about us, about the engineers continuing their passion for dance, so that reached a more Swedish audience,” Govindan says. 

This led to more in-person performances, which in turn caught the eye of the producers responsible for Talang at Sweden’s broadcaster TV4.

“The Talang people said ‘we read about you and we’ve gone through all your YouTube videos, why don’t you come and participate in Talang 2022?’. The rest of the story you know. We participated in Talang, and we got a golden buzzer from David Batra in the prelims, so we went direct to the finals.”

David Batra, a Swedish comedian with an Indian father, is known for comedy series such as Kvarteret Skatan and Räkfrossa, as well as Världens sämsta indier (“World’s Worst Indian”), a series where he visits India, alongside public broadcaster SVT’s India correspondent Malin Mendel, and tries his hand at living and working in the country.

Batra is also one of four judges on Talang, whose golden buzzer meant that the dance team were awarded one of eight places in the final – four are chosen by votes and four are chosen by the Talang judges.

The group were among the top eight teams in the finals on March 18th, but for Indians in Sweden, reaching the final was a win in itself. They were invited for a fika with India’s ambassador to Sweden, where they were treated to both traditional Indian and Swedish treats.

The IndiskFika troupe on stage at TV4’s studios. Photo: TV4

Many of the group’s members work full-time alongside dancing, which can be difficult at times.

“It’s not easy to be so dedicated by spending extra effort after office hours, with hectic weekend schedules for rehearsals especially when everyone in the team has a full-time job,” Varma says. “There’s a lot of things that take place in the background from logistics to costumes, hall bookings, co-ordinating everyone’s availability, social media activities and so on.”

Like many foreigners, though, Govindan and Varma have taken their time adapting to life in Sweden. 

“All I knew about Sweden was that it was one of the cold and dark countries,” Varma says. “Eventually you start liking it, and you know, everything is worth it for the summers that you get here. The fika tradition, the amazing work/life balance, the nature, that’s the best part that we have here.”

“I didn’t have much of an idea about Sweden,” Govindan agrees. “The temperature, where I come from, throughout the year is between 25 to 40 degrees. In terms of temperature, nature, the people, everything is different.”

“India is very rich in culture, right?” Varma says when asked about the differences between Swedish and Indian culture. “We have a lot of colours and a lot of different flavours and you know, that’s the kind of performance we gave. That was the plan: to give a very energetic, powerful, and colourful performance.”

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