Built on five different themes – human vs machine, democracy, economics, urban development and communication – the Gather Festival is held from September 14th to 16th at Nobelberget south of Stockholm and aims to draw an urban crowd of various forward-thinking groups.
“Gather is about getting different disciplines to meet to make exciting things happen. The speakers we have booked are some of the world's and Sweden's most exciting innovators and researchers,” said programme editor Paulina Modlitba Söderlund, who has previously been involved in festivals such as Women in Tech and music star Robyn's Tekla festival.
The speakers include Irish-Australian investigative reporter Gerard Ryle, who led the team behind the Panama Papers story; Nasa datanaut, physicist and former sheep herder Dr Kate Stone; and sci-fi artist and body architect Lucy McRae who talks about how technology could shape our future lives.
Music festivals will round off each day. The line-up includes both Swedish and international artists, including Amanda Bergman, Honey Dijon, Omar Souleyman, Fatmia al Qadiri, Superpitcher and Lady Leshurr.
If that sounds too good to be true, it might be. If you want access to the whole thing, you have to cough up 7,450 kronor ($930) for a full festival ticket including entry to all the events, although reduced tickets for startups, freelancers and NGOs for 2,450 kronor and 1,250 kronor for students are also available.
If you care less about saving the world and discussing serious issues with your fellow tech and startup workers, and really just want to go to the music gigs, those tickets range from 200-350 kronor.
Asked by public broadcaster SVT if the high price meant it is a “luxury festival”, organizer Jakob Grandin said: “Yes, in a way it is because it costs so much money. But if you have a company or work in the fields being discussed then we think it is an investment.”
“But I wouldn't say it's a luxury festival. We have invited a lot of people who do not otherwise have the opportunity to go to Gather or who do not get informed about these things.”