Stockholm Music Festival Travel Guide
The city of Stockholm is gaining more popularity each year. Not only is Stockholm the capital of Sweden, but it’s quickly becoming a center for music festivals! Thats why FestPop has published the first Stockholm Music Festival Travel Guide.
With a booming population of over 2 million people Stockholm is sure to have a festival for you! So what differentiates festivals in Stockholm from other festivals around the world? The answer to that is easy, you’re in Sweden! No just kidding, what makes festivals in Stockholm a little more special is the fact that you get a variety of festivals to choose from all throughout the year!
Festivals take a rapid start in Stockholm. The city is quickly filled with music in the early stages of spring, and transition into summer (perfect timing, for those of you planning a summer vacation)! A special treat for rookie Stockholm visitors is getting to experience a day without a night sky (or a very short night)! Due to the city’s geographical location spring and summer days are longer, while nights become shorter sometimes averaging only a couple hours of nightfall. So Music festival lovers please take full advantage of this, and start planning your summer trips, but don’t forget about acknowledging the rest of the festivals throughout the year!
FestPop’s Stockholm Music Festival Top Picks
“If you are a fan of heavy metal (yes, people in Stockholm don’t just listen to Abba), then May is the month for you! This year STHLM Fields was the first annual rock music festival held at Gärdet. Gärdet happens to be the place where music festivals began in Sweden 43 years ago! With a capacity for approximately 50,000 hard-rockers STHLM Fields provided to be a great success. The location was key for this festival, located at the center of Stockholm; it was easily accessible by public transportation making it easy for people to attend. Hosted by Live Nation, STHLM Fields 2014 was home to a great line up, and not to mention a historical headliner. The lineup consisted of Slayer, Danzig, Mastodon, Ghost, Gojira, Cult Of Luna, Spiders, and to top it off the one and only Metallica! This year was only the beginning for STHLM fields. For more information on the festival, and a gallery of this year’s festivities go to: www.sthlmfields.se
If you are into historical music then The Stockholm Early Music Festival is perfect for a Stockholm June vacation. The Stockholm Early Music Festival is the largest international festival for historical music in the Nordic countries. The festival provides a variety of Game of Throne-ish genres such as baroque, renaissance, and music from medieval times. One of the greatest things about this festival is its diversification, highlighting known and unknown artists and their music. SEMF has been held in the historic Old Town since 2002. This music festival is like no other, providing food, a variety of concerts, as well as seminars and master-classes.The purpose of SEMF is to promote the music heritage based in Sweden and other European musical cultures. This festival gives people of all ages an opportunity to easy access genres of early music. SEMF runs for five days each year, giving guests the option to choose between different acts and performances. For more information about this annual tradition please visit: www.semf.se
The Stockholm Early Music Festival
Now if classical music is not your forte and you are seeking a Swedish EDM experience,Summerburst Music Festival is exactly what you need! Summerburst Festival is also held in the month of June. This festival was first held in 2011 at the Stockholm Olympic Stadium, and was an immediate success! Summerburst is a two day festival, reaching a population of about 30,000 people each day! With its immense success Summerburst 2014 was hosted at Gärdet in order to accommodate all the spectators. Tickets to this event go by quickly, and for that reason are sold 6 months in advance! What acts are people so excited to see that they plan so far ahead? This year the lineup was crazy featuring names such as David Guetta, Calvin Harris, Hard Well, Dada Life, Afro Jack, R3hab, Krewella, Showtek, Aly & Fila, Brennan Heart, Psychotic punks, Zatox, Wildstylez, newest hit sensation Martin Garrix, Sebjak, Rebecca and Fiona, Bassjackers, and more! With a lineup like that who wouldn’t want to party at Summerburst. For more information on this huge summer party head to: www.summerburst.se
Summerburst Music Festival
If you feel like attending another massive festival you could look into the Baltic Sea Festival held August 22nd through the 30th. Here the experience revolves around music, the environment, and leadership. Founded in 2003 this festival has grown to be a great triumph. The festival operates with three main stages allowing people to experience music the way it should be. The creators of this event believe that music is a platform that leads to great discussions, and the resolutions to many problems. Bringing people together in unity is their main goal, and if you would like to be a part of it head to www.sverigesradio.se for more information.
Family-Friendly Baltic Sea Festival
Another great option is Popaganda. Popaganda is a two day music festival that is held in Eriksdal. Eriksdal is a sports center with municipal swimming pools which let you cool off on a hot summer day without having to travel to the beach! This year will be the seventh consecutive year that this festival will be held, and in case you haven’t caught on this is a pop festival (it’s all in the name)! Popaganda will be held from August 29th through the 30th. This two day event will feature 18 musical sensations from Lily Allen to The Veronicas, London Grammar, Pop Icon and more! All the acts will be split between two stages, meaning you will have to plan ahead! For more on this pop filled weekend visit www.popaganda.se.
Stockholm is a city that becomes enchanted by the many different styles of music especially in the summer season. Now many festivals have been mentioned, but if those have not yet caught your attention a little Jazz and Blues might. Stockholm Music and Arts presents, Skeppsholmen in the month of August. Three days are dedicated to Jazz and Blues. This festivity also calls for food and drink lovers. These two assets make for one great socializing experience. Just like STHLM, Stockholm Music and Arts requires a minimum age of 13, and for you non-European readers keep in mind that the legal drinking age in Europe is different. In order to be allowed to consume alcohol a person must be at least 18 years or older. For more information on ticket availability, and to access the FAQ head to: www.stockholmmusicandarts.com
Jumping ahead to the month of October is yet another Jazz festival, the Stockholm Jazz Festival. Imagine 10 days nonstop Jazz on a cool fall night?! The final details of the Stockholm Jazz Festival have not been finalized, but stop by their official website next month for more information! www.stockholmjazz.se
Stockholm Jazz Festival
I know what you may be thinking, most of these festivals are longer than a day, so what happens to your choices for accommodation? Unfortunately, none of the musical festivals above allow people to camp on site, but there are plenty of hostels and hotels to accommodate everyone’s needs.
Other Notable Music Festivals in Sweden
Öresundsfestival – MAY
A festival created and curated by venues and bookers in Malmö and Copenhagen, Denmark, aimed at strengthening musical collaborations between Sweden and Denmark as well as presenting the best music both countries have to offer.
Dans Dakar – JUNE
A two day festival in the Swedish capital Stockholm dedicated to electronic dance music.
Make Musik STHLM! – JUNE
A one day festival based on the French concept Fête de la Musique in venues all around the Swedish capital Stockholm on the Swedish national day.
Sweden Rock Festival – JUNE
The biggest hard rock celebration in Sweden with an impressive line-up of new and classic acts. Located in Sölvesborg on the southeast coast of Sweden.
Clandestino Festival – JUNE
Going down in Gothenburg since 2003 this festival with a social conscience focus on alternative music as well as other artforms and debates.
Baobab Festival – JUNE
A multicultural and socially committed reggae and world music festival taking place in Malmö.
Bråvalla Festival – JUNE
Launched in 2013 and immediately setting the record for biggest Swedish festival with 50.000 visitors, Bråvalla Festival is a big player on the Nordic festival scene.
Metaltown – JULY
Two days of metal mayhem downtown of Sweden’s metal capital Gothenburg.
Norberg Festival – JULY
Situated in an abandoned mining area about two hours drive northwest of Stockholm, Norberg Festival’s musical focus is on electronica in pretty much all shapes and forms.
Storsjöyran – JULY
Launched in 1983 as Sweden’s first city centre festival, Storsjöyran Festival (or The Great Lake Festival) presents a classic festival lineup in the city of Östersund.
Way Out West – AUGUST
Another festival located in Gothenburg, but this one with a more classic festival music profile, presenting all genres.
Stockholm Culture Festival – AUGUST
For six days in August Stockholm Culture Festival presents all kinds of culture in all genres in the middle of the city center and with free admission.
Malmö Festival – AUGUST
One of the biggest and longest running city festivals in Sweden presenting a load of free concerts all week. And don’t forget to try the moose-kebab.
Söderslätts Countryfestival – SEPTEMBER
Two-day festival dedicated to country, folk, blues, americana, bluegrass and rockabilly. A festival for the family with lots of activities besides the music.
FestPop’s Hotel Pick
If you are looking to stay at one the best featured hotels in Stockholm make sure to look into HTL Kungsgatan. HTL provides a comfortable stay giving music fest fans a boutique hotel experience, at an affordable price! HTL Kungsgatan opened in May 2014, offering their guests the essentials of a great hotel along with a digital experience. Here your key is automatically loaded onto your phone or mobile tablet once you check in.
Gül Heper, The HTL Global Commercial Manager, explained Kungsgatan in the following way, “Everything from the website to the hotel experience should be a little more innovative, reflecting on the millennials, which is our target.” HTL has branded their company to give guests the opportunity to live an amazing experience on their own terms. Heper likes to explain their rooms as, “smaller, but smarter,” or the way we like to think of things, quality versus quantity.
Gül Heper, Global Commercial Manager på HTL Hotels
The detail oriented rooms allow you to pay less while still living a great experience and here’s a twist. If their prices still aren’t making you happy you can book a room without a window! This room is known as the Sleeper Room, providing all of the essentials that any other room would while saving you cash! If you choose to book the Sleeper Room don’t worry about not catching any Vitamin D, because HTL is also equipped with a lounge and outdoor patio. Food is served all day, as well as in the evening proving to be a great opportunity to meet new people.
Of course if you’d like to keep to yourself HTL provides free Wi-Fi, letting you comfortably plan your next move! HTL Kungsgatan does not just catch people’s eye because of their great customer service, but because of its location! HTL is only a short trip away from places like the Royal Castle, Gamla Stan, and the water front. There are plenty of gourmet restaurants nearby as well as a market at Hötorget. For all you night owls there are great nightclubbing options a short walk away at Stureplan.
When it comes to transportation HTL gives guests easy access to Central Station and Arlanda Airport, not to mention there are plenty of taxis just outside the front door, or another option taking the train or the tram. To check out prices or book a room direct to the following link www.htlhotels.com.
FestPop’s Restaurant Pick
Now if eating festival food for more than three days does not seem too appetizing, and you are looking for the best dining experience head to Brasserie Le Rouge. Brasserie Le Rouge is an intimate French restaurant decorated with as much crimson and burgundy as a set from Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge. The exquisite cuisine is a result of the collaboration of Chef Marco Baudone and Chef Danyel Couet. Located in the cellars of a grand old house, Brasserie Le Rouge prepares classic French dishes with the occasional Italian note. With a menu written in French above English subtitles, Brasserie Le Rouge focuses on traditional brasserie favorites such as escargots and les huitres, bouillabaisse, and moules frites. Regional Swedish produce is utilized to capture the comforting flavors of classic French cuisine. Brasserie Le Rouge is part of Grupp F12, the restaurant group that was founded in 1994 with the opening of the group’s signature restaurant, the highly-touted, F12. Grupp F12 operates no less than nine themed restaurants located throughout the city, making it possible to dine around Europe without ever leaving Stockholm. At Brasserie Le Rouge, everything is lovely behind rose-colored glasses and a magnum of pink Champagne www.lerouge.se
Something Fun to Do Before or After a Music Festival
One of the biggest questions has yet to be answered. What happens while you wait for your music festival to start, or better yet what does one do if they have extra time to explore the city? That is definitely one of the easiest questions to answer. There is always something to do, or somewhere to be in the city of Stockholm. According to many, the attractions in Stockholm can entertain anyone from a tourist to a local. There are different opinions as to what one should see with their free time, but there is no doubt that the top three attractions that should be visited fall between the Vasa Museum, The Royal Palace, and City Hall.
So what’s so special about these attractions? The Vasa Museum is the only preserved seventeenth century ship in the world! More than 95% of the ship is in its original form, sporting hundreds of carved sculptures and art treasures. The Royal Palace is one of the largest palaces in Europe! This palace is the official residence of His Majesty, the King of Sweden (did you know there was still a king in Sweden?!).
The Vasa Museum
The City Hall of Stockholm is one of the most famous landmarks of the city, featuring the golden Three Crowns. City Hall is one of Sweden’s leading examples of romanticism in terms of its architecture. To experience the designs and beauty of City Hall guided tours are available all year round.
City Hall of Stockholm
Getting to Stockholm from the USA
Getting to any music festival is half the fun. FestPop’s Travel Platform is powered by Priceline so there are many cost effective options. However, if you are music festival fan that resides in Los Angeles, Miami, FL, Orlando, FL, New York City, or San Francisco then we highly recommend flying Norwegian Airlines. Not only are the rates competitive, but Norwegian Airlines recently purchased a fleet of Boeing 787-Dreamliners’.
The best features of the Dreamliner are:
More Oxygen: You’ll step off the Dreamliner feeling fresher as its re-jigged cabin pressure lets more oxygen into your blood.
Mood Lighting: Your body clock will be more in tune wherever you’re heading on the Dreamliner. Why? Because it’s kitted out with a mood lighting system that can mimic things like dawn and dusk.
A Quieter Flight: The Dreamliner will generate 60 per cent less noise than standard planes during take-off and landing.
This of course is just a short list of the hundreds of things the Stockholm has to offer. For some people these may not even be the best things to see! Sometimes the best way to spend your time in a new city is to think like a local. The local lifestyle always offers the best treats. By ignoring the touristic things to do people seem to discover the secrets of any city, Stockholm included. The best advice that can be given is to lose yourself in the culture, and have an unguided adventure. If that seems a little too risky for you probably the next best thing in terms of advice is to visit our friends at the Stockholm Tourism Board. The staff are knowledgeable, courteous, and responsive. Learn more at www.visitstockholm.com and definitely purchase the Stockholm Card for loads of savings.
By Stephanie Torres, FestPop Staff Writer
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