Two of Sweden’s leading festivals will not take place next year, it has been confirmed.
Lollapalooza Stockholm will “take a break” for 2024 to give promoters time to “re-evaluate and make improvements across the board”, while organisers of Malmö’s Big Slap have opted to call it a day after 10 years.
Staged by co-creator Perry Farrell, WME, C3 Presents and Live Nation Sweden/Luger, Lollapalooza Stockholm launched in 2019 to become the third Lollapalooza event in Europe following spin-offs in Paris, France and Berlin, Germany. Its most recent Swedish edition, held from 29 June-1 July, was headlined by Travis Scott, Kygo, Lizzo, Zara Larsson, Mumford & Sons and Lil Nas X.
However, HBL reports the domestic market has shifted away from major festivals – referencing the now-defunct Hultsfred, Bråvalla and Peace and Love – in favour of more niche events such as Live Nation’s Way Out West and Sweden Rock Festival (LN also axed this year’s Summerburst, saying it had “decided to focus on the other festivals”).
But despite the country’s struggles with high interest rates and inflation, communications manager Alexander Kihlström denies the economic climate is to blame for Lollapalooza Stockholm’s hiatus.
“I cannot say more details about when the festival will return”
“We’ve had three fantastic festivals so far and it’s entirely possible to do events in Stockholm and around Sweden, which we can see not least from our friends Sweden Rock and Way Out West, who are going like a train again this year,” says Kihlström. “I cannot say more details about when the festival will return. There is a desire and an interest in festivals that have very big international acts.”
Elsewhere, Big Slap, which launched in 2013, was acquired by Nordic giant All Things Live in 2020. But organisers have decreed that its 2023 edition, which welcomed acts such as Burna Boy, Swedish House Mafia, 3 Are Legend, Steve Angello, Rita Ora, Armin Van Buuren Bebe Rexha and Hardwell in August, was its last.
The electronic music festival had grown from a one-day 15,000-cap affair to a 52,000-cap, two-day event in 2022 when it was headlined by Justin Bieber. But citing a desire to go out on top, founder Ali Eftekhari tells Sydsvenskan the festival has reached a “maximum limit” in terms of its development.
Swedish audiences’ propensity to gravitate towards new festivals over established brands is well documented, and a social media post hints that a fresh festival concept is in the works by the Big Slap team.
“A new journey will now begin with a new brand, format, and a new vibe sooner than you think”
“Since 2013, we have been dreaming of making Big Slap bigger and better each year,” reads the statement. “We have achieved all our goals and fulfilled our dreams, all thanks to you.
“Some journeys end at the top! A new journey will now begin with a new brand, format, and a new vibe sooner than you think! Stay tuned.”
Sydsvenskan reports that new festivals are in the offing for next summer in Malmö and Lund, while Live Nation is resurrecting Stockholm’s Sthlm Fields concert series. The June/July series will comprise around 10 shows and feature in the region of 30 artists. Confirmed headliners so far include Doja Cat, Greta Van Fleet, Molly Sandén, TOTO and The Hives.
In addition, Summerburst co-founder Anders Boström is partnering with event manager Navid Kabiri and nightclub guru Samin Adjoudani to launch Drömmen – a one-day celebration of Eurovision and schlager music – at Stockholm Olympic Stadium on 25 May. Plus, promoter One Wknd Only Productions is teaming with Snowman Agency to create two-day music festival Thunderfield in Jönköping from 31 May-1 June.
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