Culture

Your ultimate guide to this summer’s best Nordic festivals

By Doris Daga
Orange scene danmark

Photo: Getty

Summer air and heavy bass go hand-in-hand, and thankfully festival season is here. From tried and true Roskilde to Uppsala's Reggae festival – here's the lowdown on what to see

Music festivals are the best part of any summer, and no one does it quite as well as the Nordics. With our endless summer nights, there is no better setting to celebrate music. The region, which is known for its incredible contribution to pop music across the globe, is ready to host some of the biggest artists of the world.

From local legends a-Ha to Dua Lipa and the Gorrilaz, the best of the best for the last couple of decades are all coming to celebrate in Scandinavia this summer. So, to ring in the warmer months here's your need-to-know on the most notable music festivals across the five countries.

Roskilde, June 25-July 2, Denmark

Roskilde is one of Denmark's oldest towns, going all the way back to the Viking era when it was an important hub for trade. These days, however, it is home to one of the coolest, most important music festivals in the world. Spanning over a whole week, Roskilde is the heart of Scandinavia's live music scene. Dua Lipa, The Strokes, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Sigrid, and Tyler, the Creator are only some of the incredibly many artists ready to take on this week-long music extravaganza.

Palmesus, 1-2 July, Norway

What do ASAP Rocky, Astrid S, and David Guetta all have in common? They're all playing Palmesus festival in Kristiansand in Norway this July. Dubbed "Scandinavia's Largest Beach Party," the main stage is set right on the beach in Norway. Switch out your rainboots for sandals as you take a dip in the North Sea while watching your favourite artists from across the globe.

Lollapalooza, July 1-3, Sweden

Lollapalooza is one of the most famous music festivals across the globe, starting in Chicago in 1991. Since then, this touring festival makes stops across the major cities in Europe and South America. Set up in the middle of Stockholm, the line-up features some of the world's biggest artists as well as local favourites. From Post Malone and Veronica Maggio headlining the same night, to Pearl Jam and Lorde, this is guaranteed to be one of the best weekends to celebrate summer-in-the-city.

Ruisrock Festival, July 8-10, Finland

This Finnish festival's motto is: "Ruisrock exists to make the world a happier and more joyful place." If that is not reason enough to go, this line-up in the midst of the beautiful Finnish summer is unbeatable. Major Lazer, Clairo, Playboi Carti and Megan Thee Stallion all gather in this coastal town, so get your dancing shoes on!

Uppsala Reggae Festival, July 29-30, Sweden

Known since 2001 as ”Scandinavias Reggae Mecca," Uppsala Reggae Festival is Scandinavia's first (and biggest) Reggae Festival. After a few years of hiatus, the festival has once again returned! This is where the best of the best of Reggae artists gather, both international as well as stars from the local Reggae scene. Whether Reggae expert or not, this festival is a celebration of music at its very best.

Øyafestivalen, August 9-13, Norway

Since 1999 when Øyafestivalen first launched, it has become Norway's biggest and most important music festival. Taking place in Tøyen Park in Oslo, the festival is a whopping four nights from Wednesday to Saturday. Covering all kinds of genres, from electronic to rock and punk, there is certainly something for everyone. Aurora, The Gorillaz, H.E.R., and Suede are just some of the few that stick out on the jampacked line-up.

Way Out West, August 11-13, Sweden

Another one of Sweden's biggest music festivals takes place on the country's west coast in Gothenburg. Yes Robyn famously cancelled her set, but we're not letting that bother us as the line-up is still equally magnificent. Tame Impala, First Aid Kit, Yung Lean, and Girl in Red all take to the stage the second weekend in August. A staple in Swedish summer festivities, it is as exciting as it is a relief that WoW is back on the schedule.


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