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Politics in Sweden: The two main events you shouldn't miss this summer

Emma Löfgren
Emma Löfgren - [email protected]
Politics in Sweden: The two main events you shouldn't miss this summer
Social Democrat leader Magdalena Andersson at last year's Järvaveckan political festival. Photo: Fredrik Persson/TT

The Local gives you the lowdown on the political events to add to your calendar in the summer of 2023.



Järvaveckan (Järva Week) was founded in 2013 as a tiny film festival with only a few hundred people, but it has grown to one of Sweden’s biggest political events in the last few years.

It now attracts tens of thousands of visitors every year, with representatives from every major party attending. Held at the Spånga sports field in Stockholm’s northern suburbs, it is still young and vibrant enough to feel less elite than its older cousin, the Almedalsveckan (Almedalen Week) festival.


Which politicians are speaking? Liberal leader Johan Pehrson and Social Democrat leader Magdalena Andersson will take the stage on May 31st, followed by the Green Party’s Per Bolund and the Sweden Democrats’ Linda Lindberg on June 1st, the Centre Party’s Muharrem Demirok and the Left Party’s Nooshi Dadgostar on June 2nd, and the Moderates’ Gunnar Strömmer and Christian Democrats’ Jakob Forssmed on June 3rd.

In a sign of how popular this festival has got, the only parties not represented by their party leaders are the Sweden Democrats, Moderates and Christian Democrats. As The Local reported last week, Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson has cancelled his attendance at Almedalsveckan too, choosing instead to take a long summer holiday.

There will also be a bunch of panel talks on everything from tech and talent growth to housing and equality, as well as several cultural events and food trucks.

When: May 31st – June 3rd

Getting here: Take the SL commuter train from Stockholm City to Spånga or the metro from T-centralen to Tensta and walk from there. Alternatively, there are also buses from both Spånga and Tensta to Spånga IP, where the festival is held.

Moderate leader Ulf Kristersson speaking at last year's Almedalen Week. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT


In the summer of 1968, Olof Palme (then education minister, later prime minister) gave an impromptu speech off the back of a truck on his summer holiday on the island of Gotland. It was the start of Almedalsveckan – Sweden’s main political festival, also known as Almedalen.

More than 40,000 people typically attend Almedalen every year, 95 percent of them coming from outside Gotland, where hotel prices shoot up every summer. But interest in the event has been declining in recent years, with critics dismissing it as a week where the political elite mingle and sip rosé rather than the democratic festival it aims to be.

It used to dedicate one day to every party, with the party leader giving a keynote speech in the evening from the stage in the Almedalen park. Today, the party leaders share the days, with Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson speaking on behalf of his Moderates at 11am on June 28th, followed by the Green Party’s Märta Stenevi at 7pm on the same day.


The Social Democrats’ Magdalena Andersson and Centre Party’s Muharrem Demirok will take the stage on June 29th, the Left Party’s Nooshi Dadgostar and Christian Democrats’ Ebba Busch on June 30th and the Liberals’ Johan Pehrson and Sweden Democrats’ Linda Lindberg on July 1st.

The mood at Almedalen this year may be more sombre than previous years, as visitors mark one year since a far-right extremist killed a prominent Swedish psychiatrist at the 2022 festival. He had also planned to attack then-Centre Party leader Annie Lööf.

Almedalen will be harder than Järvaveckan to pay an unplanned visit to unless you already live on Gotland, as hotels and transport are usually booked up months in advance, but the political speeches are usually televised with commentary from experts.

When: June 27th – July 1st

Getting here: Fly to Visby Airport or take the ferry from Nynäshamn.

Politics in Sweden is a weekly column looking at the big talking points and issues in Swedish politics. Members of The Local Sweden can sign up to receive an email alert when the column is published. Just click on this “newsletters” option or visit the menu bar.


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