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Sweden rules out major festivals this summer

A new government-backed roadmap confirms that large-scale festivals will not be permitted to go ahead this summer

By IQ on 17 May 2021

Sweden Rock will forego 2021 festival season

Sweden Rock will forego 2021 festival season

image © Anders Olsson

The Swedish government’s new roadmap has hammered the final nail in the coffin of the country’s 2021 festival summer by ruling out major events until at least September.

The three-stage plan seals the fate of Swedish festivals – most of which have already pulled the plug.

Way Out West (12–14 August) is the latest major Swedish festival to be called off and follows high-profile cancellations from Sweden Rock (9–12 June), Lollapalooza Stockholm (2–5 July) and Statement Festival (3–4 September).

Regional events including Urkult, Bingsjöstämman, Storsjöyran, Dance Band Week in Malung, Gefle Metal, Putte in the Park (Karlstad and Luleå), Kiruna Festival and Uppsala Reggae previously called time on 2021 editions.

The roadmap, proposed by the Swedish Public Health Agency and commissioned by the government, suggests that from 1 June (stage three) outdoor events can take place with 500 seated and socially distanced attendees or with 100 standing.

Sweden Rock, Lollapalooza Stockholm, Way Out West and Statement Festival have been called off

Indoor events can take place with either 50 seated and socially distanced attendees or just eight standing.

Dates for the next two levels have not yet been given but the Public Health Agency believes that stage two will come into effect later in June or July, which is when outdoor events can take place with 3,000 seated and socially distanced attendees.

The majority of capacity limits will likely be scrapped in early September, which will mark stage one of the roadmap.

The Swedish government has been notably strict with restrictions for live music. In November, it imposed one of the lowest capacity limits in Europe, permitting just eight people indoors – a limit that, according to the roadmap, may not be lifted until July.

Sweden is the latest European market to pull the plug on the 2021 festival season due to uncertainty about the 2021 festival season, following widespread cancellations in Norway, Germanythe UKSwitzerlandDenmark and France.

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