Melodifestivalen 2022: How to watch Sweden’s most popular TV show final

After 4 heats and a semi-final, Sweden's 'Melodifestivalen' concludes on Saturday night and the Eurovision Song Contest will have its Swedish entry for Turin.

Melodifestivalen 2022: How to watch Sweden's most popular TV show final
Melodifestivalen 2022 host Oscar Zia. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Melodifestivalen at its core is the Swedish show to select their entry for the Eurovision Song Contest, this year being held in Turin, Italy, after the explosive win from rock band Måneskin.

Yet the viewing figures for Melodifestivalen tower over all other major TV events in Sweden – 30 percent more people saw the final of Melodifestivalen compared to the country’s knockout game vs Ukraine in Euro 2020, and even the Eurovision Song Contest itself had just 83 percent of the Melodifestivalen audience. Only the Christmas tradition of watching those Donald Duck cartoons kept Melodifestivalen off the top spot on the TV ratings chart.

What is it that makes this unmissable television to so many? One argument could be that through the winter months there has been little else for family entertainment. However, that ignores the huge level of razzmatazz that Melodifestivalen constantly brings. 

What fans have been guaranteed is some of the most beloved Swedish artists in the line-up, as 28 hopefuls have been reduced to 12 for the final.

There’s Robin Bengtsson, the artist who won in 2017 with an uncanny knack to allure and swoon the camera lens with his green eyes. However younger fans have been likely tuning in to see Theoz in action – the 16-year-old famous for his dance moves now commanding two million TikTok followers.

And while the artists are something for everyone, the music they bring also aims to appeal to all – and no, we don’t just mean cookie-cutter chart hits (although oh boy do they exist). The selection process for the 28 competing songs, half by a selection jury and half by Sweden’s public television broadcaster SVT, succeeds year after year in finding hits that dominate the radio through the spring.

While there are no strict quotas on the types of songs, an effort is made to ensure there is diversity in styles throughout and hits in both Swedish and English languages. This year’s line-up has included ballads, rap, rock and popera as well as the genres that are irreplaceable in Melodifestivalen folklore – the traditional dansband and schlager.

The aim is that there is something for everyone to love. Of course, that might mean there is plenty you might not in the process of whittling down 28 songs to one.

READ MORE: Which of these twelve contenders will Sweden choose to be its Eurovision entry?

There is also the scale of the TV spectacular that adds to the appeal, with bombastic performances promised each season. Melodifestivalen has produced such a legacy of top quality live TV entertainment that many of their former staff are now tasked with setting up the inaugural American Song Contest in March.

This year’s show has taken place in Globen, now named the Avicii Arena, the world’s largest hemispherical building that is one of the most famous landmarks on the Stockholm skyline.

We journalists can write about the symbolism of a return to the Avicii Arena. After all, it was ten years ago that Melodifestivalen was last held there, when Loreen was victorious with Euphoria, a song that won the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest in a landslide, resulting in Malmö hosting in 2013. Euphoria is still today the quintessential Eurovision hit now as it was then, and has topped the annual vote on ESC Radio each year this decade.

However the move to the Avicii Arena, was sadly Plan B in these ever changing times. With the infection rates of Covid-19 in Sweden, the team at Sweden’s public broadcaster SVT decided to scrap the planned tour across the country, saying it would be “indefensible” to travel from city to city in these current times. 

Instead, three shows have been at the Avicii Arena before moving to Sweden’s national football stadium Friends Arena in Solna which has a capacity of 30,000. 

The cities who have missed out this year, Gothenburg, Malmö, Linköping, Lidköping and Örnsköldsvik, have been promised to host the Melodifestivalen tour in 2023 instead.

A key focus from SVT this year is the community aspect of Melodifestivalen, so viewers don’t purely watch the show but interact with it in different ways. The Melodifestivalen App (available for Apple and Android) which allows viewers to vote completely free is so popular it is speculated that Melodifestivalen has the world record for highest second screen viewer engagement – with 1.2 million Swedes voting during last year’s final.

Furthermore there are increased efforts for dedicated English language coverage this year. Another app, the relaunched Mello United (available for tablets on Apple and Android) is designed for watching together with others. 

And to think – all of this hysteria is ultimately for the simple purpose of selecting a three-minute to represent the nation. Yet in the list of cultural institutions that make Sweden Swedish, dancing round the Midsummer maypole, a smörgåsbord for Christmas dinner and huge bonfires on April 30th – watching Melodifestivalen with the family with crisps and lördagsgodis has become a quintessentially Swedish tradition.

To watch the grand final of Melodifestivalen tune in to SVT1 on Saturday 12 March at 8pm. The show is also available to listen on Sveriges Radio P4 and via SVT Play globally.

If you would rather not have to test your Swedish skills you can also tune into SVT Play where Bella Qvist and Olivia Le Poidevin, will be providing English commentary live.

To vote you have three options. The most popular method is to download the Melodifestivalen App, where you are able to cast up to five votes for free to each song. There are televoting options as well, one which costs 3.60 kronor and the other 9.90 kronor. The more expensive number donates all of that money to Radiohjälpen, which is donating all proceeds made from this week’s show to helping those in Ukraine.

Ben Robertson is covering Melodifestivalen 2022 for ESC Insight.

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‘Don’t wear bright colours’: Eight tips on how to dress like a Swede

Swedes have an international reputation for dressing well, with Scandi style a popular trend outside Sweden. The Local asked Swedes and foreigners living in Sweden to try and figure out the best tips and tricks for how to dress like a Swede.

'Don't wear bright colours': Eight tips on how to dress like a Swede

Black is best

When asking several Swedes their top-tips on how to dress like a Swede, many agreed – wear black.

Young professional Tove advises to keep it “all black, minimalist”. Uppsala newspaper columnist Moa agrees: “Wear a lot of black clothes and DON’T wear sneakers or ‘comfortable’ shoes, like running shoes, with dresses.”

Black is a neutral colour and, in general, if you get the neutral colours right you have got a long way in following the Swedish style. 

Neutral colours and a lot of knitwear is a good starting point. Photo: FilippaK/

Stay neutral 

Sweden might be saying goodbye to hundreds of years of neutrality by joining Nato, but Swedish fashion maintains its strong neutral stance when it comes to colour combinations.

Generally speaking, in autumn and winter Swedes tend to wear darker colours, as Sharon put it: “lots of beige, grey, black and ivory knits or wool. Jeans black or any shade of blue. Black tights with white sneakers for skirts and dresses”.

“Swedes in general will wear black and navy together which I’ve not seen before,” she added.

However, as the weather gets warmer, things change, as half-British half-Swedish Erik explained: “in summer/late spring Swedes change shape and personality,” adding a bit more colour to their wardrobe.

“Lots of colours yet still somewhat monochrome,” he said.

Most Swedes don’t wear a tie at work. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Follow the news trend, drop the tie

Nils, a reporter and presenter for public broadcaster SVT in western Sweden, does not always wear a tie in front of the camera – and he said his colleagues on national news don’t wear ties either.

“It’s not a must,” he said.

A blue shirt, no tie, top button open, beige chinos and a grey dinner jacket is the look he chose when presenting the evening news a few weeks ago.

Nils Arnell presenting the news on SVT Nyheter Väst. Photo: Nils Arnell/SVT

On a day to day basis Nils, who stressed that he’s “not a fashion expert”, gave the following advice: “As long as you manage to dress in a neat style, you can get away with quite a lot.”

“A white t-shirt and an overshirt work well in most situations and look stylish.”

Stay classy, even in class

Engineering student Erik (not the same Erik quoted previously) recently returned to Sweden from a one-year exchange at Birmingham University, where he noticed a big difference in student style between the two countries.

“The first thing that comes to mind is that on university campus there are so many people wearing work-out clothes, at least where I was”, he said.

“In Sweden, it’s more common to wear jeans than tracksuit bottoms, compared to the UK”. 

It’s also common to see a difference in styles even between departments at Swedish universities. The law and economics departments, for example, tend to wear more formal attire with a higher number of students wearing shirts and polos than, say, social sciences or engineering students.

Many students seem to wear a toned-down version of what they might be expected to wear in their future workplace.

When in doubt, think Jantelagen!

Equality and conformity are important concepts when it comes to many aspects of day-to-day life in Sweden, including the clothes you wear.

This doesn’t mean you have to do exactly the same as everyone else, but more that being too flashy or over-the-top can be frowned upon.

This can be traced back to Jantelagen, “the law of Jante”, a set of 10 rules taken from a satirical novel written by Danish author Aksel Sandemose in the 1930s, which spells out the unwritten cultural codes that have long defined Scandinavia.

Jantelagen discourages individual success and sets average as the goal. It manifests itself in Swedish culture not only with a ‘we are all equal’ ethos but even more so a ‘don’t think you are better than anyone, ever’ mindset.

And this is seen in Swedes’ attitude to clothing, too. Flashy, expensive clothing with obvious logos or brands designed to show off your wealth breaks the first rule of Jantelagen: “You’re not to think you are anything special”.

‘Stealth wealth’

This doesn’t mean that Swedes don’t wear expensive clothes, though. They’re just not in-your-face expensive.

Felix, a podcaster from Stockholm describes it as “stealth wealth”, saying that Swedes would have no problem buying and wearing “a black jacket without any tags for 10,000kr”. 

Despite living in Sweden his whole life, he said that it’s not always easy to get the style right.

“I’m struggling myself,” he admitted.

He suggested taking a look at fashion blogger and journalist Martin Hansson for inspiration on how to dress. 

“Do NOT use bright colours,” Felix added.

Birkenstocks with socks. Photo: Carl-Olof Zimmerman/TT


Most of those we asked said that Swedes are a fan of white trainers, most commonly Stan Smiths or Vagabonds.

With the shoes being popular all year round for men and women, this can cause issues at house parties – as Swedes take off their shoes when they come inside.

This inevitably results in confused guests at the end of the night trying to figure out just which pair of white trainers belongs to them – and trying to find one missing shoe the next day because someone accidentally walked away with one of yours is more common than you might think. 

Vans trainers are also popular amongst more alternative crowds (black of course). At work, dress shoes are popular in the winter and loafers or ballerinas in the summer.

In the summer months, you’re likely to see Birkenstock sandals on men and women. Most Swedes wear Birkenstocks without socks – unless they’re off to do their laundry in their building’s tvättstuga.

Birkenstocks are also popular as indoor shoes all-year-round, both at home and at work. It is common to have a “no outdoor shoes” policy in gyms, schools and some offices. This is to avoid bringing a lot of dirt indoors, especially in the winter months when there is snow, rain, grit and salt on the streets.

H&M’s then-CEO Rolf Eriksen wears colourful socks at a press conference in 2006. Photo: Björn Larsson Ask/SvD/SCANPIX/TT

Don’t forget the socks!

As you often take your shoes off indoors in Sweden, your socks are visible.

This has led to an unexpected trend for colourful socks with interesting patterns, which are a great way to break the monotone of neutral colours and conformity by expressing your personality – in a lagom way, of course.

A pair of colourful socks or a playful pattern will get you noticed and likely be a conversation starter at a dinner party.

What’s your best advice for dressing like a Swede? Let us know!

This article is based on the responses we received from Swedes and foreigners in Sweden on what they think you should wear if you want to follow Swedish fashion trends.

If you have any tips of your own which you think we’ve left out, let us know! You can comment on this article, send us an email at [email protected], or get in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram: @thelocalsweden