August 15, 2017

Stockholm Cultural Festival (Kulturfestivalen)

Concert at Gustav Adolfs torg
Photo by Emma Grann/ Studio Emma Svensson
Today, August 15th, is the first day of the Stockholm Cultural Festival (Kulturfestivalen) and it runs all week until Sunday August 20th. This is a large festival with over 600 events on the program and there were 750,000 visitors last year. Best of all... there is no admission and it is all free of charge, with the exception of a few guided walks. On the program you will find all sorts of different forms of culture: music (jazz, opera, classic, rock, pop, etc.), dance, art, literature, theatre, street art, photography and more. Every year they have a theme for the festival and this year it is India. I am guessing that this is due to India celebrating 70 years of independence this year. You will also find food and drink tents there so you can have lunch or dinner without having the leave the festival area.
Festival area at Skeppsbron
Photo by Stockholm Kulturfestival
The festival is in different squares in the downtown area, especially at Skeppsbron, Gustav Adolfs torg, Norrbro, Sergels torg and Karl XII torg. With over 600 events in their program over 6 days, it is a bit hard to list what is going on here in this article. To make it a bit more complicated, the festival website (with online program) is in Swedish, though there is a Google translate function... just click on "Meny" in the top right hand corner. You can download and print some highlight information in English by clicking here. I would also suggest visiting their information tent at the Stockholm Visitor Center and talk to them directly, or stop by and talk to me if you are staying at the Rival Hotel.
Artist group Jhanjhariya with Sunita Singh
Photo by: Kristian Reuter
Two other festivals are going on simultaneously in the city. In Kungsträdgården you have the We Are Sthlm festival which is a festival geared for young adults (13 to 19 years old). Free admission with lots of music and activities! The other festival going on is the outdoor cinema put on by the Stockholm International Film Festival. Every evening this week (Wed through Sun) a film is screened in Rålambshovs Park. Free admission. The movies start at 9pm but there are staff there starting at 6pm selling popcorn, drinks and more. A lot of people take picnic baskets with them. The theme this year is the 1980's! Keep in mind that the movies are all shown in their original languages with Swedish subtitles.

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