Summer festivals in Stockholm

Summer Festivals in Stockholm

If you’re heading to Stockholm this summer, Lola A. Åkerström suggests planning your trip around these summer festivals in Stockholm.

Kulturfestival in Stockholm - Photography by Lola Akinmade Akerstrom

Editor’s Note – This article will be continually updated each year to reflect where to experience summer festivals in Stockholm. Last updated – August 12, 2018.

I stand by the fact that it’s extremely difficult to get a Swede out of Sweden during the summer, and those who’ve visited during this time of the year can understand why. Long pleasant summer days with mild temperatures, warm blue skies, and the largest puffiest white clouds.

When summer rolls around, residents head out into the archipelago or out into the countryside, and for those who stay behind in town, you can usually catch us at one of many fairs and summer festivals in Stockholm going on between June and August, especially the ones highlighted below.

All summer long

In parks throughout the city, you’ll find musical acts and theater groups performing as part of Parkteatern (Park Theatre). From June through August, this free outdoor theater which has been running since 1942 showcases concerts, music, circus shows, modern dance, classical performance and everything in between including Swedish folk music and dancing.

Location – Various (check website below)
Websitewww.stadsteatern.stockholm.se


June – July

Stockholm Early Music Festival

Stockholm Early Music Festival

Stockholm Early Music Festival is the largest historical music festival in the Nordic countries, and it features music and performances spanning baroque, renaissance, and medieval eras. Its program features both known and unknown music from all over the world by Swedish and international artists. The festival has been held annually in the historical setting of Stockholm’s Old Town since 2002 with a variety of concerts, seminars and masterclasses.

Location – Gamla stan
Website – www.semf.se

Smaka på Stockholm – Taste of Stockholm

This popular food festival, the largest food event in Sweden, draws thousands of revelers. It is held every first week of June in Kungsträdgården (Kungsan), or ”King’s Garden” with about 300,000 visitors digging in over the festival’s five day run. Roughly 25 restaurants serve up 170 types of dishes in 200,000+ portions washed down by 160,000+ bottles of beer and cider, 70,000+ glasses of wine, 10,000+ glasses of champagne, 22,000+ cups of coffee, and 36,000+ glasses of soft drink and water.

Needless to say, Taste of Stockholm remains one of the city’s beloved and heavily frequently event for foodies. Click here to see our photos and experience from the festival.

Location – Kungsträdgården
Website – www.smakapastockholm.se

Digging_in_at_Taste_of_Stockholm - 05

Make Musik Sthlm

Make Musik Stockholm is a live and open celebration of music. It started in France in 1982 and it has become an international phenomenon celebrated on the same day in more than 460 cities in 110 countries including New York, Berlin, London, Tokyo and Sydney. On June 11 from 12 pm to 20 pm, musicians take over every street, sidewalk and park of Södermalm.

Location – Södermalm
Websitewww.makemusiksthlm.com

Summerburst Stockholm

Summerburst turns the city into a nightclub with DJs spinning house music and electronic beats. Started in 2011, Summerburst is dedicated to electronic music and pulls in top DJs such as David Guetta, Avicii, Eric Prydz, Sebjak, Adrian Lux, John Dahlbäck and many more. Spanning two days, Summerburst brings in over 60,000 in both Stockholm and Gothenburg, and will be played to an estimated packed house in Stockholm’s historic Olympic Stadium – Stadion.

Location – Stockholm Olympic Stadium
Websitewww.summerburst.se/stockholm

Midsummer in Stockholm, Sweden - Photography by Lola Akinmade Akerstrom

Midsummer

No other celebration brings otherwise reserved Swedes out of their shells more than the summer solstice festival of Midsummer. While its roots are traditionally pagan, Midsummer is celebrated by all classes of society and you’ll find people wearing handmade wildflower wreaths on their heads as they dance and hop around the maypole (majstång) decorated with flowers and greens singing traditional Swedish folk songs.

Along with dancing and singing, locals also dig into hearty smörgåsbord which include various flavors of pickled herring (sill), gravad lax (cured salmon), yellow almond-shaped potatoes, and a wide range of alcoholic snaps and aquavits to loosen up the nerves and get people into celebratory spirits.

If you find yourself in Stockholm under Midsummer, head over to Skansen on Djurgården for the city’s most popular venue.

Location – Skansen
Websitewww.skansen.se/en/kategori/midsummer-skansen

Stockholm Street Festival

Now in its fourth year, Stockholm’s Street Festival feels like a jaw-dropping, head-scratching collision of street buskers, magicians, acrobats, comedians, and other peculiar performers and entertainers. The stage is set in Kungsträdgården and over its three day run, acts from Canada, France, Holland, Australia, Japan, and many more including Sweden will entertain, wow, and maybe confuse audiences with various street performances.

Location – Kungsträdgården
Website www.stockholmstreetfestival.se

Busker - Street Performer in Stockholm - Photography by Lola Akinmade Akerstrom

Wira Spelen

Wira Spelen is an outdoor theater that is based on Swedish historical events during the 17th century when Wira Bruk was an important blacksmith village and how it survived war and unrest. Perfect for families, the play covers Swedish history and drama involving live music, over 100 actors, and live animals like horses, goats, and chickens. During the play, you’re transported to 1700s Wira Bruk and the everyday lives of its villagers.

Location – Wira Bruk, Åkersberga
Website – www.wiraspelen.se

Stockholm Pride - Photography by Lola Akinmade Akerstrom

Stockholm Pride

Since its inception in 1998, Stockholm Pride Week remains one of the city’s largest and most popular festivals which spans five days. The largest gay Pride celebration in Scandinavia, Pride week brings out everyone from politicians and celebrities to doctors and soldiers and thousands of people waving rainbow flags, engaging in lively debates, and enjoying music, performances and other forms of street entertainment..

Location – Tantolunden park, Södermalm
Website www.stockholmpride.org

 

Stockholm Skateathon

An organized skateboard race where skateboarders and longboarders compete against each other around a 12km track on Kungsholmen (Stockholms biggest island). The contest is a competition where everyone who can stand on a skateboard may compete without having to do any tricks. Whether you are street, bowl, longboard, downhill or vert rider,  you can join Stockholm Skateathon.

Location – Rålambshovsparken, Kungsholmen
Websitewww.stockholmskateathon.com

 

Mamma Mia – The Party

For ABBA enthusiasts, Mamma Mia – The Party is held at Tyrol at Gröna Lund, and the location has been converted into a Greek taverna complete with a Mediterranean buffet and a variety of ABBA songs performed by a large ensemble.

The English version of the show is playing from July 27 to August 21.

Location – Tyrol at Gröna Lund
Websitewww.stockholmskateathon.com


August – September

Stockholm Folk Festival

Weekend Festival Sweden

Weekend Festival is the biggest festival concept in Northern Europe with a huge production and over 50 international artists and DJ’s appearing each year.

Performing artists for 2016 include Tïesto, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Fatboy Slim, Steve Aoki, Martin Garrix, among others.

Location – Fiskartorpsvägen 2, Stockholm
Website www.weekendsweden.com

Stockholm Folk Festival

Stockholm Folk Festival is usually held at the 17th century Hesselby Castle and will bring together local troubadours and international folk artists. Music lovers will enjoy tunes that were played around the mid-1700s. Over three days, this classic venue hosts a summer festival with folk and world music, folk rock, Irish blues, and many other genres. There are programs for children and families as well as an open stage for impromptu jam sessions with your own instruments.

Performances take place across five different stages including two outdoor stages in the park, a dance floor, and the castle’s terrace with a large restaurant tent. The park also hosts a wide range of traders from far and wide selling everything from musical instruments, CDs, T-shirts to handicrafts, candy and much more.

Location – Hesselby Slott, Vällingby
Website – www.stockholmfolkfestival.se

Stockholm Music & Arts Festival

Held on the island of Skeppsholmen, the Stockholm Music & Arts festival celebrates (in its own words) “strong musical artistry” and it aims to draw high-quality talents. In 2012, the festival’s musical highlights included Bjork, Patti Smith, Antony & The Johnsons and Emmylou Harris. This year, its main acts include Prince, Regina Spector, First Aid Kit, and many more.

Location – Skeppsholmen, 11149 Stockholm
Website
www.stockholmmusicandarts.com

Kulturfestival in Stockholm - Photography by Lola Akinmade Akerstrom

Stockholm Kulturfestival

Stockholm Kulturfestival offers a mix of music, theater, and other artistry connected to culture – from jazz acts and rock bands to African beats, and you may run into the occasional bleeding zombie walking by as part of the city’s Zombie Walk. During culture week, Stockholm will be filled with artists, musicians, various performers, acrobats, and a procession of zombies.

Location – Kulturhuset, Sergels torg
Website kulturfestivalen.stockholm.se

Stockholm Pride Festival - Photography by Lola Akinmade Akerstrom

Popaganda

Another festival focused on indie bands, Popaganda is an outdoor music festival geared towards a younger crowd (think 20s) and held at the Eriksdalsbadet swimming pools on Södermalm.

Location – Eriksdalsbadet, Södermalm
Websitewww.popaganda.se

We Are Sthlm

We Are Sthlm is the largest festival in Europe aimed specifically for young people. Teenages aged between 13–19 years old are invited to get involved and influence the content, perform on stage,  or enjoy various attractions in culture, sports and entertainment.

Location – Kungsträdgården
Website – www.wearesthlm.se

Nytorgsfesten – Street festival at Nytorget

This street festival has been compared to a light version of London’s famed Notting Hill Carnival. Held on the island of Södermalm, there will be live music, theatre, flea markets, and more. On Friday, August 17, there will be a carnival procession through all three parks within the festival area. You’re invited to bring your own instruments to join along.

Location – Nytorget, Södermalm
Websitewww.nytorgsfesten.se

Baltic Sea Festival

Baltic Sea Festival is a display of world-class classical music with orchestras, conductors and soloists from the countries around the Baltic Sea.

Location – Berwaldhallen, Dag Hammarskjölds väg 3
Website – 
www.balticseafestival.com

Stockholm Oktoberfest

Yes, this is actually held in August or early September here in Stockholm!

If you’re looking for that rare opportunity to dust off your Lederhosen and Dirndl, Oktoberfest has come to Stockholm. Fashioned after the 200-year old beloved tradition held every year in Munich and all over Germany, Stockholm sets up its own tents with waiters and waitresses dressed in native Bavarian folk costumes serving beer and initiating sing-alongs.

For Oktoberfest purists, their beer is brewed according to the German Purity Law and has about 5.0% alcohol by volume. Plus if you’re not a proud owner of your own Lederhosen or Dirndl, you can rent one for SEK 300.

Location – Stockholmsmässan, Mässvägen 1
Website –
www.stockholm-oktoberfest.se

Sthlm Street Food with Food Truck SM

On September 8, the Stockholm Street Food with Food Truck Championship will be held at everyone’s favourite meeting spot – Kungsträdgården. It is open to the public and once the competition is over, you can buy great street grub from participating trucks all day long.

Location – Kungsträdgården
Websitewww.sthlmstreetfood.se

Kulturfestival in Stockholm - Photography by Lola Akinmade Akerstrom

 

Have you got a favorite summer festival you enjoy in Stockholm? Please share below.

Author: Lola A. Åkerström

Lola Akinmade Åkerström is an award-winning writer, photographer, and travel blogger, and is also the Founder/Editor-in-chief of Slow Travel Stockholm. Her photography is represented by National Geographic Creative. She tweets at @LolaAkinmade.

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