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Luger’s silver bullet

When a trio of friends decided the only way to see bands they liked was to organise the shows themselves, one of Scandinavia’s most influential music companies was born…

By IQ on 23 Nov 2016

Way Out West, Luger

Way Out West is the jewel in Luger's extensive Nordic crown

The towns of Gävle and Sandviken, a two-hour drive from Stockholm, were not exactly the centre of the musical universe back in 1991. But thanks to three former residents, the health of Sweden’s live music sector – and beyond – has since benefitted massively following the birth of an organisation that music industry professionals around the world view with a mixture of envy and admiration.

2016 marks the 25th anniversary of Luger, but the celebrations in their relaxed Swedish offices haven’t exactly been extravagant. “Is it really 25 years? 1991… yes, well I suppose it is,” says founding partner Ola Broquist. Business partner Patrick Fredriksson laughs: “How can it be 25 years, when I still think of myself as being 25? That’s almost depressing.”

That dry sense of humour resonates through everything at Luger, whose roots in the punk scene are evident to this day, with a collective desire to nurture new, exciting talent. Indeed, the ethos at the company is to work hard and play hard – a mantra underlined by the company’s latest plans to launch a new festival in 2017. But more on that later.

“How can it be 25 years, when I still think of myself as being 25? That’s almost depressing”

Looking back at life pre-Luger, Broquist tells IQ: “In the beginning, me and Morgan [Johansson] lived in Sandviken, while Patrick was in the next town, Gävle. We knew about each other and that we liked the same music so we started working together to bring bands to our towns, because nobody else was organising shows for the punk and hardcore music we liked.

“It’s common in Sweden to have nonprofit cooperatives running music shows, so we got involved in that and started bringing bands to play in our tiny little venues. We quickly got to the point where we needed to find better venues, because we were basically using living rooms. There was no stage and the sound, the lights, everything, were basically shit. But the local authorities didn’t seem willing to help. We tried everything, even occupying buildings and stuff, but the process just dragged out and we were getting nowhere.”


Read the rest of this feature in issue 68 of IQ Magazine.

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