Malmöfestivalen: Let the summer festivities begin
By John Sempill | Photos: Malmöfestivalen
Northern Europe’s oldest city festival is gearing up to gather over a million visitors over eight festive days this summer. With a packed programme of over 1,000 scheduled events, there’s something for everyone at Malmöfestivalen.
“We finally have a summer to look forward to,” says co-project organiser David Östberg. “We’ve released our first batch of artists and we can already sense the enthusiasm. We hope it will be a big celebration for Malmö and its visitors in August.”
The first festival was organised in 1985, taking inspiration from the world of sailing. “I wasn’t even born then so I don’t know what it was like,” says Östberg with a chuckle. “What I do know is that the politicians of Malmö had a study trip to the German sailing event Kieler Woche, and said: ‘let’s do something similar in Malmö, in our own way’.”
The idea took off and they’ve already established several traditions. One is the crayfish party on opening night. A combined table length of almost a kilometre on Stortorget square will host a feast of traditional crayfish and sides. “Invite your friends and loved ones, bring a load of crayfish and we’ll provide the entertainment on stage,” explains Östberg. “You don’t even need to book a table.”
Experienced guests know the tables are set in the early hours. “People start arriving at 7am, and the party doesn’t start until 7pm!” he adds.
With some 70 eateries to choose from, you may have a hard time deciding. However, the festival is eight days long; why not try them all? “They all contribute in displaying Malmö’s international tone,” says Östberg. “We have a broad food culture – something our visitors appreciate a lot.”
Another much-loved element is the variety of Swedish and international music artists. Östberg proudly tells us that Denmark’s biggest band, The Minds of 99, will play on Saturday: “It will be their first show overseas. It’ll be a wonderful evening.”
Great music and mouth-watering food aside, did you know that the festival area is the size of 90 football pitches? Or that several shows are interpreted for the hearing and visually impaired? The festival has even been awarded several prestigious European awards for its environmental focus and work.
If you find yourself in Malmö between 12 and 19 August, pop by, and share your memories using the hashtags #malmöfestivalen and #mf2022. And did we mention the festival is free, too?
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