We have put together a pretty amazing music festival guide for your convenience – so you don’t have to look anywhere else to get ideas and make plans for your festival year.
We have included the best music festivals taking place in Stockholm this year – plus as a bonus we’ve added a couple of non-music but all-about-fun festivals the city has to offer.
The list also includes some festivals outside of Stockholm you should definitely not miss.
And for the most adventurous souls who love music just as much as traveling, we have included some of the best city music festivals from 9 European capitals.
This is your 2016 year-round Festival guide to enjoy the best of your city through music + more.
FESTIVALS IN STOCKHOLM
- Sónar Stockholm / February 26-27 Nobelberget – INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF ADVANCED MUSIC
Topping our list for being one of our favourites – but also because it inaugurates the festival year in our city. Sónar Stockholm finds the renowned Barcelona festival redefining itself in a smaller and more intimate venue. This year moving to its new home at Nobelberget, a unique industrial space of grand proportions; cavernous ceilings meeting concrete walls. The special warehouse atmosphere combined with its sheer size makes it the ideal space for Sónar Stockholm to manifest its vision.
Sónar Stockholm’s full program includes 28 acts, performing on three stages during two nights.
The line-up will include a balanced mix of both international artists and the greatest talents from the thriving Swedish and Nordic music scenes.
The two-day festival is an event for those who truly seek an undefined and unique music experience and know that it’s not always the largest stage and the biggest crowd that matters, but also the special relationships that form and the memories created.
A night at Sónar will get you into the summer festival feel-good mood that will make you forget the cold and the darkness of February.
And if you’re there, come and say hello, as we will be providing full coverage of the festival just for you.
Annie Mac, AV AV AV, Duvchi, Fatima Yamaha, Fjäder, Gander / Örnell, Holly Herndon, Hudson Mohawke, Ida Engberg, Jackmaster, Jessie Granqvist, Jessy Lanza, Johanna Knutsson, Kablam, LE1F, Maya Jane Coles, Mura Masa, Nadia Tehran, Niki & The Dove, Oneohtrix Point Never, Rødhåd, Samanta, Squarepusher, The Black Madonna, Toxe, Youth Lagoon, Yung Lean, Yung Sherman
- Kulturnatt – April 23
On 23rd of April Stockholm Culture Night rolls out the purple carpet and the makers of all types of culture throughout the city stand united offering a buffet of art, music and dance to celebrate Stockholm’s cultural diversity.
Lose yourself in a breathtaking ballet performance, dance your heart out to the fresh sounds of a up-and-coming DJ, socialise with a glass of merlot to soothing live music or travel back in time at a museum exhibition, the choice is yours. With over 400 events and countless participants, we invite you to join us on one of the most magical nights of the year, and the admission is free!
- Summerburst Festival Stockholm / June 10-11, 2016 Gärdet Open Air Venue, Valhallavägen, Sweden.
- Summerburst Festival Gothenburg / May 27-28, 2016, Nya Ullevi, Ullevigatan Gothenburg, Sweden
Summerburst is Scandinavia’s premier contemporary music event! The emphasis is on electronic music and star DJs.
It’s a two day music extravaganza being held in both Gothenburg & Stockholm.
David Guetta, Alesso, Icona Pop, Kygo, Nervo, Steve Angello, Artifact, K8, W&W, Mashup Jack, Masters Elite, Noize Suppressor, Radical Redemption
- Weekend Festival / August 5-6 Östermamls IP
Weekend Festival is coming to Stockholm for the first time this year, it started in Finland 5 years ago. It’s the biggest EDM-festival in the Nordic regions.
Previous years famous names like Tiësto, Armin van Buuren, Martin Garrix, Hardwell, Avicii, Afrojack, Calvin Harris, David Guetta, Showtek, W&W, Tungevaag & Raaban, have given the festival visitors unforgettable days filled with music. In 2015 Weekend Festival Baltic & Finland had over 160.000 attendees. Both where sold out.
Weekend Festival has always been focusing on activities and in Stockholm this will be the case as well. Everything from amusement rides, from a ferris wheel to bungee-jumping, where you get an amazing view over the festival area. Also professional art performers will be there to liven up the Weekend spirit!
Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Fatboy Slim, Martin Garrix, Steve Aoki, Tiësto, Bassjackers, DVBBS, Lost Frequencies, Rebecca & Fiona, Redfoo [US], Infected Mushroom, DJ Bl3nd, Jack Perry, Matisse & Sadko, Mr. Belt & Wezol.
- Make Musik Stockholm / June 11 Södermalm
For the seventh year, music will take over the streets of Södermalm.
Make Music Stockholm is a festival where musicians get space to bask and the music elicits true enjoyment!
What makes Make Music Sthlm unique is that most concerts take place on the streets, squares and parks which make the festival accessible to all. The event is a free one-day summer festival in Stockholm.
The festival is inspired by the “Fête de la Musique”, a French festival that takes place throughout France and in 460 cities around the world.
Want to play during the festival? Sing up before the 18th of April!
- Stockholm Street Festival / June 30 – July 3
Time is ticking and the sixth annual summer success, Stockholm Street Festival, will soon go off like a bomb. Join the fun at Kungsträdgården and be sure to have a blast.
Like in previous years, some of the world’s most skilled street performers will gather around to offer the audience truly spectacular entertainment. Be prepared for magicians, acrobats, comedy and the kind of fun that is too peculiar to put down in words. As always, there’s entertainment for the entire family.
- Stockholm Music & Arts / August, Skeppsholmen
The festival on Skeppsholmen offers an urban environment with a touch of the archipelago, and lots of nice food and drinks to enjoy beside the music and the arts. The artist line-up usually caters to a slightly more mature audience than other festivals in town, with previous headlines such as Tori Amos, Prince or Björk. The festival also offers visual arts and theatre. This year’s line-up is to be announced later.
- Kulturfestivalen & We Are Stockholm / mid-August
Stockholm Culture Festival fills the streets and squares with all kinds of culture in all genres, for all ages. 600 program items during six vibrant August days. All in the middle of the city center and with free admission. From Sergels Torg to Gustav Adolfs Torg, all the way over the Norrbro bridge and finally to Skeppsbron with treats and samples of all the culture that Stockholm has to offer all year round, with performers and guests from all corners of the world.
- Popaganda / August 26-27 Eriksdalsbadet, Södermalm
Popaganda is the festival that takes place at Eriksdalsbadet in Stockholm during the last weekend of August.
As usual, it marks the end the summer festivals with peace and love, swimming, dancing and the best pop music. The line-up is usually very up-to-date on the up’n’coming artists as well as the biggest Swedish stars. with a few international names thrown in for good measure.
Last year’s higlights included Seinabo Sey, Angel Haze, Robyn with La Bagatelle Magique and MØ. This year’s line up is to be announced later.
- Stockholm Fringe Festival / October 5-15
Stockholm Fringe Festival (Stoff) stands for artistic freedom and gives artists and performers a chance to test new ideas in front of a new audience. Stoff’s main goal is to elevate and promote especially new, emerging artists and creative units. The festival aims to be a compliment to the existing cultural landscape and offer platform for innovative stage, performance, photo and installation art.
Highlights from previous years have included John Malkovich and the British performance group Forced Entertainment. There is music as well, like last year’s unique collaboration between the Weeping Willows and several of Sweden top stand-up comedians.
- Stockholm Jazz Festival / October
Stockholm Jazz Festival is one of Sweden’s oldest festivals. It is a festival with a solid reputation in the music world and considered one of Europe’s most well-kept and pleasant festivals which for a while has had its home on the island of Skeppsholmen. Since 2012, the festival is housed indoors, on the best stages around Stockholm. In 2014 the festival expanded to 10 full days. Attendance exceeded 21,000 and some of the notable highlights included Jamie Cullum, Angelique Kidjo and the Wayne Shorter Quartet. The latter concert was broadcasted live by the renowned French television channel Mezzo to over 16 million households in 46 countries!
- Stockholm Film Festival / August and November
Ok, this is not a Music festival but we wanted to mention it since it’s a festival that YLC never misses out on and you shouldn’t either.
The aim for Stockholm International Film Festival is to broaden the selection of films in Sweden with creative new films of high quality and to offer the visitor an orientation within modern film to stimulate a continuing debate. With seminars, opportunities to meet actors and filmmakers during Face2Faces along with the extensive catalogue, all means are given to make the film experience come full circle.
Each year the festival’s organization has expanded until it reached its current state of an all year round festival with outdoor screenings in the summertime, imports, distribution venues and monthly membership screenings.
FESTIVALS IN SWEDEN OUTSIDE OF STOCKHOLM
Now for some recommendations of the best music festivals outside Stockholm. Make sure you make your way to at least one of these this summer.
- Sweden Rock Festival June 8 – 11 Solvesborg
Rock & metal festival established in 1992 and one of the most important festivals in Europe in the genre. During the years, names like Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne, Guns ’n’ Roses, Def Leppard, Judas Priest and Whitesnake have played there.
82 bands, five scenes. Classic rock, hard rock, metal and some blues – something for all tastes. Clean and tidy, safe and secure. Seafront location, cozy grassy slopes, real toilets and minimal queues. But above all, a pleasant and convivial atmosphere, as one big “family” with members from over 50 countries. The world’s best audience simply.
Anthrax, Queen + Adam Lambert, Twisted Sister, Sabaton, The Hellacopters, Slayer, King Diamond, Avantasia, Megadeth, Foreigner, Shinedown, Blind Guardian, Halestorm, Sixx:AM, The Hooters
- Bråvalla Festival / June 30 – July 2 Bråvalla Flygfält, Norrköping
Since the start in 2013, Bråvalla has been the biggest music festival in Sweden with some of the biggest and best bands and artists in Sweden as well as the world playing.
Rammstein, Mumford & Sons, Volbeat, Tenacious D, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Nightwish, A$AP Ferg, Action Bronson, Afrojack, Angel Haze, August Burns Red, Band of Horses, Bastille, Biffy Clyro, Blues Pills, Bring me the Horizon, Bullet for my Valentine, Don Diablo, Editors, Five Finger Death Punch, Icona Pop
- Into The Valley / July 29-30 Rättvik
Surgeon Hedlund and Dalhalla present Into The Valley, a two day celebration of Electronic music where one of Sweden’s most unique venues is rebuilt to an open air club.
Abell, Axel Boman , Dixon, Ellen Allien , Fredrik Stjärne & Cindy Norrby, Gerd Janson, Jamie Principle, John Talabot, Joy Orbison, Kerri Chandler, Kink, La Fleur, Levon Vincent, Marcel Dettmann, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Nina Kraviz, Omar S, Raresh, Tama Sumo, Young Marco.
- Way Out West / August 11-13 Göteborg
This is one of our favourites outside Stockholm, taking place in the beautiful Slottsskogen park with all its greenery and freshness of the forest without even leaving the city of Gothenburg. It holds a promise of great acts and fun to remember for a lifetime.
Check out below our video ¨Way out westerns talk flow¨ that we made at a previous edition of Way Out West.
Anna Von Hausswolff, The Last Shadow Puppets, Chvrches, Jamie XX, Jason Isbell, M83, PJ Harvey, Seinabo Sey, Sia, Stormzy.
FESTIVALS IN EUROPE
And now let us take you abroad with our extension to our year round music festival list. Here are our picks of the best festivals to visit around Europe this year.
- Sónar Reykjavík / February 18-20 Reykjavík, ICELAND
Sónar Reykjavík happens just one week before Sónar Stockholm. Its Reykjavík showcase takes place at Harpa Concert and Conference Centre, featuring five stages with the best of electronic music.
Holly Herndon, Hudson Mohawke, Boys Noize, Squarepusher, Angel Haze, !!!, Floating Points, Oneohtrix Point Never, Ben UFO, Kiasmos, Lone, Ellen Allien, Zebra Katz, Le1f, Recondite, Mumdance, Larry Gus, Annie Mac, Koreless, Kiasmos.
- Primavera Sound / June 2-4 Barcelona, SPAIN
We have to confess that we are crazy about this year’s Primavera lineup which is packed up with hugely famous bands such as Radiohead, Sigur Rós and LCD Soundsystem as well as promising musical talents.
The festival is held at Parc del Fòrum on the waterfront at the northernmost end of the city, which is an incredible site for the festival, nothing beats having a cold beer in warm Barcelona, listening to your favourite band, facing the sea as the sun sets.
Primavera has just got it all and we will not be missing it, we’ll bring you all details directly from the shows as well as the crowds as it’s hard not to mention that the Primavera Sound has the most interesting, original and extravagant crowd every year. Stay tuned for our coverage!
Radiohead, LCD Soundsystem, PJ Harvey, Tame Impala, Sigur Rós, Animal Collective, Beach House, The Last Shadow Puppets, Brian Wilson, John Carpenter, Pusha T, Neon Indian, Ty Segall & The Muggers, Julia Holter, Savages, Air, Action Bronson, Vince Staples, Explosions in the Sky, Moderat, Drive Like Jehu, Dinosaur Jr., Deerhunter, Chairlift, Kamasi Washington, Battles, Thee Oh Sees, Holly Herndon, Protomartyr, Sheer Mag, DJ Koze, Empress Of, Beirut, Dâm-Funk, Parquet Courts, Shellac, Hudson Mohawke, Floating Points, Titus Andronicus, Nao, Freddie Gibbs, U.S. Girls, Black Lips, Evian Christ, Beak, Jenny Hval, Royal Headache, Car Seat Headrest, Wild Nothing, Mudhoney, Cass McCombs, Tortoise, Suede, Downtown Boys, Alex G, Jay Rock, The Chills, Moses Sumney, Dungen, DJ Richard, White Fence
- We Love Green / June 4-5 Bois de Vincennes, Paris, FRANCE
Summon your flower power for this eco-friendly rock festival, an annual two-day jamboree that places equal emphasis on musical quality and eco credentials. As ever, the bins will be recyclable, the stages built from 100% natural material and the site dotted with the stands of tree-hugging NGOs, while the summery setting means that the beautiful young partiers can recharge their rave juice by basking in the sun. Tacky merchandising is replaced with organic food and wine stalls, and kids are catered for with a range of games and workshops.
PJ Harvey, LCD Soundsystem, PNL, AIR, Hudson Mohawke, Hot Chip, Kelela, Floating Points.
- Field Day / JUNE 11-12, 2016 / London, ENGLAND
Field Day turns 10 in 2016. The festival takes place over two days at Victoria Park in London’s east end.
PJ Harvey, Beach House, Cass McCombs, Bicep, Dean Blunt, Goat, Deerhunter, DJ Koze, Dusky, Optimo, Floating Points, Four Tet, Thurston Moore Band, Holly Herndon, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Mount Kimbie, Roman Flügel, Skepta, Wild Nothing, Youth Lagoon, Sleaford Mods, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Gold Panda, Yeasayer, Novelist, Nao, Kelela, Parquet Courts, Tourist, Little Simz, Metz
- Sónar Barcelona / JUNE 16-18, Barcelona, SPAIN
Barcelona is the original home and place of birth of the Sónar movement and its reproductions around the globe.
Sónar Barcelona’s activities are divided into two main locations: Sónar by Day, located in Fira Montjuïc, concerts and dj’s, showcases and Sónar+D; the international congress focused on the digital creative industries and dedicated to creating professional, business and networking opportunities.
Sónar by Night is located at the Fira Gran Via de L’Hospitalet, and hosts live shows and dj sets from the biggest names in international music.
New Order, Fatboy Slim, ANOHNI: Antony and the Johnsons + Oneohtrix Point Never + Hudson Mohawke, Skepta, King Midas Sound & Fennesz, Oneohtrix Point Never, Acid Arab, Four Tet, James Blake, The Black Madonna, Matias Aguayo, John Talabot, Jamie Woon, Boys Noize.
- Roskilde / JUNE 25 — JULY 02 Rosklide, DENMARK
Roskilde Music Festival began in Denmark in 1971. The fest now attracts 100,000 fans each year to see 175 acts across eight stages.
New Order, PJ Harvey, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tenacious D, Wiz Khalifa, Action Bronson, Foals, Mac DeMarco, Skepta, Sleep, Aurora, Cate Le Bon, Colin Stetson & Sarah Neufeld, Courtney Barnett, Dusky, Odesza, Sleaford Mods, Sturgill Simpson, Vince Staples
- NOS Alive Festival / July 7- 9 Lisbon, PORTUGAL
NOS festival is celebrating a huge milestone this year: its 10th birthday and it comes along with a blast of big names in its lineup.
The Chemical Brothers, Pixies, Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters, The 1975, Wolf Alice, John Grant, Radiohead, Tame Impala, Foals, Two Door Cinema Club, Years & Years, Hot Chip, Father John Misty, Courtney Barnett, Arcade Fire, M83, Grimes, José González.
- Sziget / August 10-17 Budapest, HUNGARY
Sziget is a weeklong festival in Budapest. It takes place on Óbudai Island, which is dubbed “Island of Freedom.”
M83, Sigúr Ros, MØ, Bring Me the Horizon, John Newman, Kodaline, Naughty Boy, Parov Stelar.
- Flow / August 12-14 Helsinki, FINLAND
Flow Festival Helsinki is held at an old power station built at the turn of the century. It features big name artists from around the globe and a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere.
Chvrches, Descendents, Four Tet, Hercules & Love Affair, New Order, Jamie xx, M83, Sia, Stormzy, Thee Oh Sees
- Lollapalooza / September 10-11 Berlin, GERMANY
Germany joined Lollapalooza Chile, Lollapalooza Brazil and Lollapalooza Argentina as the fourth international Lolla location, in addition to the original U.S. Festival in Chicago’s Grant Park. This festival is relatively new in Europe, it was Lolla’s first European edition and took place at Tempelhof Airport, in September 2015. Lollapalooza Berlin followed in the tradition of Lollapalooza U.S. bringing incredible music, food, art and social responsibility to a location in the heart of Berlin.
We know you’re just as crazy about music as we are, so we’re pretty sure we’ll be coming across each other at one festival or two. See you on the festival fields!