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Ditch the camping tents – Scandinavian festivals that take place downtown

Get your summer calendars out – here are the latest updates on where, when, and how the most accessible music festivals unfold throughout Scandinavia.

Words: Erik Sedin

Music festivals are usually the only way to access major international artists in Scandinavia. Unfortunately, most big festivals take place on muddy fields, with nothing but more muddy fields surrounding them. Swap camping tents for trendy hotels, muck for cobblestone, and dull fast food for fine dining this summer.


distortion-andreas-holm-d18-norrebro-onsdag-42-1600x1600 Photo: Distortion

Where? All over central Copenhagen, literally. Daytime street parties take place on the streets of Norrebro and Vesterbro, while the evening festivities are located on Refshaleøen (home to some of the world's best restaurants).

Who’s playing? Not yet announced, but expect trendy and conspicuous acts from whatever genre you prefer. Last year’s biggest names were Channel Tres, 070 Shake, Toro y Moi and Slowthai. You get the hang of it.

When? June 3rd - June 7th

Read more here.


2018 - Kjartan Lauritzen - Photo credit Jarle H. Moe Photo: Jarle H. Moe

Where? This open air festival takes place at Bergenhus Festning, one of Norway's oldest kept fortresses. The old castle dates back to the middle ages and is located in a harbour in the city of Bergen, Norway’s second largest city. Unique.

Who’s playing? A fine mix of Robyn, The Specials, Two Door Cinema Club, Dave, Lewis Capaldi and many many more.

When? June 10th - June 13rd

Read more here.


1-f3ccdd27 (1) Photo: Lollapalooza

Where? Just like last year's debut festival, Lollapalooza will play out at the huge park Gärdet in central Stockholm. Gärdet is part of the Royal National City Park and is Stockholm's most visited green area.

Who’s playing? Being one of the world’s biggest festival franchises, Lollapalooza boasts some big names. How does Post Malone, Pearl Jam, Kendrick Lamar, Camilla Cabello, Of Monsters and Men and Zara Larsson sound?

When? June 26th - June 28

Read more here.


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Where? Tøyen Park, right in the middle of Oslo, might be the most central festival venue there is. Go here to enjoy an alternative and indie lineup at Norway's biggest and most respected music festivals.

Who’s playing? Solange, The Strokes, Bon Iver, Princess Nokia, Suede and FKA Twigs and others will keep you company under the August summer skies.

When? August 11th - August 15th

Read more here.

Flow Festival

flow festival 2017 friday c janita autio 3N3A19233 Photo: Flow Festival

Where? The festival area is located in an old power plant right by Helsinki city center. This progressive boutique festival focuses on art exhibitions just as much as concerts, and the industrial surroundings make for a cool backdrop. A true gem.

Who’s playing? So far the lineup consists of names like Bon Iver, The Strokes, Stormzy, Koffee, Mac Demarco and Dj Koze, too name a few.

When? August 14th - August 18th

Read more here.

Way Out West

WOW Web This-is-wow Stay-out-West01 1200x1200px-1 Photo: Way Out West

Where? Gothenburg, Sweden’s second biggest city, arguably hosts the country’s best festival. ‘’WOW’’ takes place in Slottsparken and throughout the city when the festival area closes down.

Who’s playing? Khalid, Burna Boy, Robyn, The Tallest Man on Earth, The Strokes and their colleagues want you to join them in Gothenburg.

When? August 13th - August 15th

Read more here.

Secret Solstice

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Where? This unique festival is located in central Reykjavik, and gives you the opportunity to experience 24 hour sunlight. Because of how close Iceland is situated to the arctic circle, the sun never sets over Reykjavik.

Who’s playing? From throwback classics TLC and Cypress Hill to new exciting artists Lil Pump and Elli Grill, the lineup is nothing short of riveting.

When? June 26th - June 28th

Read more here.

Mayan Warrior at the Twilight Hotel

1185284-650x Photo: Mayan Warrior

Where? It's a secret! Mayan Warrior parties have for a long time been a part of the Burning Man festival, and it only makes sense that this event is a bit secretive. The organizers call the venue “The Twilight Motel”, and the location is yet to be announced. It’s supposed to be set in “breathtaking surroundings” somewhere near Stockholm.

Who’s playing? &ME, Jan Blomqvist, Mira, Dramian, Oliver Koletzki and many more electric artists will be there.

When? May 20th

Read more here.