Dating as far back as the 13th century, Stockholm may be considered as a seasoned, historic city, heralded as the first “green city” in Europe as of 2010 for its high percentage of green spaces and its eco-friendly nature. With the upcoming arrival of the Hybris Sommarfest at the end of this month to the otherwise quiet city, there may come the opportunity to bring in to Stockholm music and art.
Whilst the Hybris Sommarfest itself may be premiering this year, the music label was founded in 2004, and has since developed some of Scandinavia’s most prominent pop artists, which it aims to display at its summer festival on the 30th of July. Featured in the festival’s line-up are the groups wy, Grapell, Lindh and Delagoon, bands whose genre’s extend to post-punk pop, electro-pop, tears-pop and dance music. The plethora of genres and musical modes explored by these bands aim to utilise the rich musical history of both Sweden and Europe.
The festival itself aims to be located outside of the otherwise quiet city of Stockholm nearby in a natural oasis, the Vintervikens Garden in Hägersten. Following the cities ongoing appreciation of nature, Hybris seems to be utilising the nature surrounding their music, employing the natural valley as its stage. Recently, European innovation named Sweden the most innovative country in Europe for its commitment to gender equality, individualism and creation, commitments Hybris Sommarfest aims to maintain through its appreciation of “a fan’s perspective, [rather than] from the traditional music industry’s.”
Music festivals such as this also may enable more development and learning opportunities beyond the contemporary. Stockholm itself seems to offer a vibrant and established musical history, winning the Eurovision Song Contest 6 times, placing them as the second most successful contestants in Eurovision’s 60 year history. One such victory stemmed from the pop group ABBA, heralded by Eurovision as the most successful winner of the contest after they won with “Waterloo” in 1974. Today, Stockholm cherishes their success with its official ABBA museum in the heart of the city, as well as a population of around 1,500 productive artists in the city alone, exemplifying the nations pride and admiration of music and the arts.
Beyond their musical history lies a rich historical narrative which may have made Stockholm the city it is today, including periods of great cultural prowess in the 18th century. This, may however, do little to negate the city’s potential to channel vibrancy and creation, seen in its stint as the European capital of culture in 1998. Whilst visiting the city, festival-goers may have the opportunity to visit many of Stockholm’s historical attractions, such as the 600 rooms of the Royal Palace, Gustav III’s Museum of Antiquities, or the ornate Royal Opera House, which has been the Swedish national venue for opera and ballet since 1773. If architectural and traditional attractions may be of appeal, there is also Stockholm’s famous Gamla stan or “old town”, which is one of Europe’s most expansive and best preserved medieval city centres.
Summer festivals aim to be uplifting and vibrant for communities, and as a brand new festival as of this year, Hybris Sommarfest may be an opportunity for tourism and cultural development. With the premiere of this potentially vibrant musical event, tourists and residents alike may be able to experience how a seasoned city and a modern festival may pair to make a tasteful event.
How might communities bring this union of tradition and new opportunities into everyday lives and society?