16 Jul 2024
Pop Queens Reign Supreme in Uppsala
Culture Festivals Music

Pop Queens Reign Supreme in Uppsala

Zara Larsson

The Queens of Pop festival brought a line-up of 10 female artists to Uppsala, and of course we had to be there…

But first let’s rewind things back by three years… Zara Larsson has truly taken over with Lush Life and is the most played artist of the year in Sweden. She is booked to play the biggest music festival in the country, but has a thing or two to say about how male artists are always the default headliners even when female artists would be just as deserving or more popular. At least half a dozen male acts have better time slots than her (or any other female artist), and have their names in bigger type in the festival posters. Zara gets the usual hateful comments all over social media for speaking her mind…

Fast forward back to 2018 when Zara is a superstar of international proportions and is headlining an all-female line-up going under the name of Queens of Pop at two very special locations, the Sofiero Castle in Helsingborg and the Botanical Garden in Uppsala, overlooking the majestic castle. Zara is undeniable Swedish pop royalty and she is joined by an interesting mix of both established stars and up’n’comers.

The festival grounds were at the Botanical Garden overlooking the Uppsala Castle

So naturally, we took the chance to see the Queens in Uppsala. And what did we see? Every single artist gave great performances, but the festival was so much more than just girl power and great musical experiences provided by inspiring artists.

It was a remarkable festival with the nicest atmosphere. People of all ages, mothers and daughters, teenage girl gangs, Stockholm influencers and whole families spending time together and spreading their picknick blankets on the lawn. And how about that 30+ couple, who were dancing like Uma and John? Or the lady who brought the artists portraits she had made out of perler beads…?

We also saw Finnish pop phenom ALMA and crew chilling in a giant inflatable unicorn before the crowds arrived, setting the expectations for a laid-back mood. And later on, when ALMA was on stage, we spotted Rhys in the crowd, singing along to every song like a proper pop fan should. Janice told she was moved to tears by Sarah Klang’s touching performance, and Anna Ternheim was nodding with approval when Janice herself led the young girls in a sing-along to “we are queens, we deserve everything…”. Molly Sandén got personal on a first name basis with the kids in the front row and gave them memories for life. Icona Pop got the whole big crowd partying and moving side to side like in a line dance formation. And Queen Zara herself oozed with confidence as she served hit after hit and just basically showed everybody she was born to be up on that stage and owning it.

Just take a moment now to imagine what all this must be doing to all the young girls, especially the ones for whom this was their first ever festival experience… just wow!

And what else can I say… I may be from the 70s, but I love these 90s bitches queens.


So let’s pay tribute to all these amazing women with our photos of the whole line-up!


Julia Adams
Julia Adams kicked off the festival soon after the gates opened. The early-birds in the audience were treated to plenty of fine pop.


Sarah Klang
First up on the main stage was Sarah Klang, who calls herself the Saddest Girl in Sweden. A touchingly unique voice and a melancholic sound.


Back to the smaller Garden Stage… Promising pop singer LOVA has a charmingly fresh pop sound. Have a listen to “You, Me and the Silence” – we love it!


Finland’s coolest pop export ALMA joined the Swedish queens on the line-up. Her brand of pop is slightly more rough around the edges, but still catchy as anything. International collaborations are paving her way to stardom.


Anna Ternheim
The more adult portion of the evening was brought to us by Anna Ternheim (here with Martin Hederos). “What Have I Done” really touched a nerve.

Molly Sanden
Molly Sandén took over the Castle Stage with total confidence and showed she is a super performer live.


Janice is a a true queen of pop (and indeed Queen of Everything), she really plays this ballgame at an international level.


Icona Pop
Aino and Caroline of Icona Pop really got the crowd in an exhilarating mood with their massive party bangers.


Rhys got the honour of closing the Garden Stage and had the audience singing along to her big radio hits.


Zara Larsson
Queen of the Queens and the superstar to outshine them all was of course Zara Larsson.


All photos © Nina Uddin


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