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Sweden is a well-furnished market where venues are concerned, and ASM Global-owned Stockholm Live leads the line in the capital.
Its seven venues comprise the country’s key arena (and the world’s largest spherical building), the 16,500-cap Avicii Arena; two stadiums, in the 50,000-cap Friends Arena and 40,000-cap Tele2 Arena; the 68-year-old, 9,000-cap ice hockey stadium, Hovet; and three smaller venues – the 2,000-3,400-cap Annexet and the Södra Teatern and Kägelbanan in downtown Stockholm. Also in action through the summer months, starting this year, is Betongparken, a fenced outdoor area on the south side of Tele2 Arena, with a capacity of 5,000 visitors.
“The beginning of the year, and especially the spring, has been great for us and all our venues,” says Daniel Stålbo, Stockholm Live director of marketing and corporate communications. “The last couple of weeks, we have had big shows like the premiere of Beyoncé’s world tour at Friends Arena, Depeche Mode at the same venue, and then Sam Smith, Eros Ramazzotti, Post Malone, Wu-Tang, Peter Gabriel, and Cirque du Soleil at Avicii Arena. Now we are looking forward to The Weeknd at Tele2 Arena next week.”
“The beginning of the year, and especially the spring, has been great for us and all our venues'”
In terms of developments, Stålbo points to three key ones. “The first is the modernisation of Avicii Arena, which will take place during the whole of 2024 when the venue will be closed,” he says. “We are now planning this in detail with the city of Stockholm, and it is a fantastic project that will make Avicii Arena a must-see venue when it opens again in January 2025, with all-new premium spaces and a fantastic arena bowl.”
Also on the cards is a major update of digital signage at Friends Arena, Tele2 Arena and, next year, Avicii Arena. “A lot has happened when it comes to digital signage the last couple of years, and this is a project we have conducted with our international colleagues in ASM Global to get the best benchmark and make the best choices,” says Stålbo, who notes that the third big priority is the development of Stockholm Live’s in-house food & beverage operations at the Avicii Arena, having taken over the task from a third-party last year.
“A lot has happened when it comes to digital signage the last couple of years, and this is a project we have conducted with our international colleagues in ASM Global to get the best benchmark and make the best choices”
Outside Stockholm, Sweden has other key venues in the 15,500-cap Malmö Arena, which was inaugurated in 2008. 2023 shows include Peter Jöback, First Aid Kit, John Fogerty, Darin, and Till Lindemann. The arena will find itself in the spotlight if Malmö is successful in its mooted bid to host the Eurovision Song Contest 2024 – already destined for Sweden, with interest also expressed in the capital and other locations.
Also throwing its hat into the ring is the vintage 14,000-cap Scandinavium in Gothenburg, whose calendar includes Darin, Jöback, First Aid Kit, and Pet Shop Boys.
The 12,500-cap Sparbanken Lidköping Arena and the 10,000-cap Göransson Arena in Sandviken are also on the broader live circuit, particularly for Swedish artists, though Britney Spears played the latter in 2018.