Sweden is the world’s third-largest pop music exporter per capita, after Great Britain and the US, and the center of that is Stockholm. For those unfamiliar with the city’s booming music scene, you probably only link Stockholm with music because of ABBA, a world-famous Swedish pop group formed in the Swedish capital in 1972.
However, the city’s music scene has reached new heights in many years, thanks to the great influx of talented Swedish artists and excellent live music venues in Stockholm. To celebrate this, the city hosts some of the best Sweden music festivals, including the iconic Stockholm Early Music Festival. These events bring together some of the biggest names in the industry, numerous homegrown talents, and emerging artists to perform in front of enthusiastic crowds.
No matter your favorite music genre, Stockholm has a range of events, festivals, dances, and live music venues to keep you partying all night. A perfect example is Fasching, a renowned concert venue, restaurant, bar, and nightclub in the city center, where you can expect local and international jazz acts. Nalen is another venue worth visiting, which has been providing a range of good live music since the 1930s.
You don’t know what you’re missing out on until you attend a music festival in the city. So when planning a visit, schedule it around a music fair, whether you’re traveling alone or with loved ones. Leave your bags at Bounce luggage storage in Stockholm, and you’re good to go! Remember to read our guide on how to get around Stockholm, too, so you can see the sights and not miss a beat!
The best music festivals in Stockholm in 2022
Stockholm Early Music Festival
Stockholm Early Music Festival is the biggest international festival in the Nordic region for Medieval and Renaissance music. SEMF was first celebrated in 2002 and operated at the cultural policy level. Today, it offers a massive celebration of the diversity of early music from all over the world.
Taking place in the Old Town in central Stockholm from June 1st to 6th, the SEMF 2022 is the best way to start the summer season. It offers a program filled with popular and unknown music performed by international and local artists.
Kicking off the 2022 show at The German Church is Etienne de Goneville, Ambassador of France to Sweden. Then it is followed by a performance by conductor and harpsichordist Christophe Rousset, a renowned artist known for his remarkable passion for opera and Europe's musical heritage.
The Stockholm Cathedral Parish Hall is another venue for the 2022 Stockholm Early Music Festival, where a famous Swedish radio personality, Vassilis Bolonassos, makes an appearance. Children's songs and instrumental music will tickle the ears of younger audiences and the young at hearts with performances from freelance musician and recording artist Heidi Rohlin Westin and organ player and choir conductor Alexander Lundberg.
If there’s something that Sweden's music festivals are known for, it’s their electricity and boundless energy. The Summerburst Festival is the perfect festival to represent this trademark because incredible music lineups grace the festival stage every year. But for 2022, superstar DJs and EDM artists are bringing the house down with their fiery tunes and viral hits. June 3rd and 4th are the dates for this year’s edition, which marks the 11th anniversary of one of Sweden’s largest music festivals.
Dutch DJ and music producer Afrojack, who entertained thousands of music fans during the Eurovision 2021, performs his greatest hits like Ten Feet Tall and Summer Thing. Norwegian EDM artist and record producer Alan Walker also performs his critically acclaimed smash hit Faded, while the legendary house DJ David Guetta also makes an appearance.
Other notable performers at this year’s Summerburst Stockholm are Marshmello, Disclosure, Bassjackers, and Oliver Heldens. Summerburst is arguably the fastest-growing of all Sweden music festivals and has grown by over 800% since its inception.
Known as the world's first climate-positive music festival, the Department Festival in Stockholm brings together world-class artists to perform for the preservation of nature. This gathering and celebration, which is one of the most popular Sweden music festivals, is held every first weekend of June, 2022 being June 4th and 5th.
The alluring sandy beach of Långholmen in central Stockholm is hosting this year’s edition, featuring Cuban-American techno musician and DJ Awards winner Eric Estornel. Joining this powerful lineup is English EDM artist and post-rock band Fridge founding member Four Tet, who’s making his first gig in Sweden in ten years. You can also expect the Ukraine-based SoundCloud superstar, Alinka, who will bring a unique vibe to the party.
All proceeds from this year’s Department Festival will go to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to help people who are escaping war-torn Ukraine. This initiative is in addition to the Department’s engagement in local UN-led projects for the conservation of rainforests in Indonesia. Since its founding in 2017, the Department Festival has become one of the most sought-after musical events in the Scandinavian region, largely due to its noble cause.
There’s no doubt 2022 is another year of jam-packed concert experience with the return of Lollapalooza Stockholm. The Swedish edition of one of the largest and most iconic music festivals in the world is happening at the Green Park Gärdet. Since 2019, the world-class international festival has found its seventh home in Stockholm, with the first edition attracting more than 56,000 fans from Sweden and all over Europe. This three-day event is known for featuring lineups with the biggest stars, like Travis Scott, Lana Del Rey, Eric Prydz, and Billie Eilish.
Eddie Vedder and the rest of Pearl Jam perform at the 2022 show from July 1-3. They’re joined by three-time American Music Awards-winning rock band Imagine Dragons and multiplatinum rapper, singer, and songwriter Post Malone. You’ll also witness acts by New Zealand-based global music superstar Lorde and 2021 breakout artist The Kid LAROI.
Lollapalooza has been a fan-favorite music festival since its founding in 1991 in the state of Chicago and started touring the world in 2010. After over a decade, it continues to bring together large crowds enjoying incredible music worldwide.
Alegria do Norte Festival
Taking place on Reimersholme, one of the city’s many islands, the sixth edition of the Alegria do Norte Festival will bring a long weekend of music and dance from July 15th to 17th. Expect three evening celebrations, including outdoor afterparties and two pre-parties.
The Friday pre-party will take place at Vintervikens Trädgård café and restaurant. A series of dance workshops led by established personalities will also take place. As with the previous years’ lineups, 2022 will also see an impressive set of performers.
Headlining the 2022 Alegria do Norte Festival is Juliana Braga, Europe’s Queen of Forró community. The Amsterdam-based dancer and teacher will be joined by Ian Martinelle, a specialist in Forró and Samba de Gafieira. Johanna Sontheimer, a homegrown Swedish traditional couple dance expert, will also show off her talent and share her knowledge and expertise in one of the scheduled workshops. São Paulo artist DJ Sampa and Paris-based musician DJ Jam are also taking part in this year’s festivities.
If you’re still in the city at the end of the summer season, be sure to check out this year’s Popaganda Festival. It’s one of the most prominent Sweden music festivals you don’t want to miss. Head to Stockholm University grounds on August 26th and 27th and enjoy quality pop and rock music and party with independent local and international musicians.
The excellent lineup includes the Swedish singer and songwriter Seinabo Sey, who makes her comeback to the festival with fellow hometown star Augustine. They are joined by American synthpop band Future Islands, Sydney-based singer-songwriter and Seekae original member Alex Cameron, and Californian violinist and singer Sudan Archives.
The first Popaganda Festival happened in 2002. Since then, it has become a massive gathering of world-class live acts and thousands of music fans. During its first four years, it has drawn an average of 12,000 attendees.
In 2007, organizers began incorporating outdoor swimming pool attractions into the event. As the years went by, more personalities performed at the festival, including Grammy-winning Canadian indie rock band Arcade Fire, Dancing On My Own singer Robyn, and electronic dance music DJ trio Major Lazer.
IMPRA Jazz Festival
Jazz fans, it's your time to shine with the return of the IMPRA Jazz Festival at the renowned jazz club, Fasching. The 2022 show will be held on August 27th and will feature notable names in the world of jazz music. Silent Fires, a Norwegian-Italian electroacoustic ensemble, will share their exciting and different musical excursion. Another jazz supergroup Mykorhiza, composed of musicians from different parts of the globe, is also performing in this one-night-only event.
European vocal jazz will display her dynamic range and charisma in this year’s show. He’s joined by his partner-in-crime, masterful guitarist Krister Jonsson. The ambidextrous producer-artist Liselotte Östblom, more popular as Smiling Lis, will also make an appearance and will captivate the attendees with her fresh and vibrant energy. A live drawing by Swedish illustrator, motion designer, and animator Jenny Svenberg Bunnel will add another layer of artistry to the festivity.
Stockholm Jazz Festival
Be part of one of the country’s oldest festivals and one of the city’s biggest events. Stockholm Jazz Festival will be back in the middle of the spring, from October 14-23. This ten-day event will be bigger than ever, spreading jazz music to more than 60 venues across Stockholm. These include The Stockholm Concert Hall, Fasching, Musikaliska Kvarteret, Stallet Världens Musik, and more.
Ellas Kapell, Ulla Fluur, Nina Persson, Martin Hederos & Nils Berg, and many other jazz experts are set to perform on the first day of the festival. You’ll also witness live acts by Horncraft, The Beat from Palookaville, Becca Stevens, Henning, and many more.
For a festival with a strong reputation in the world of music, Stockholm Jazz Festival only delivers the best acts from local and international artists. Since 2012, it has been housed on the best stages in the city, attracting tens of thousands of visitors each year.
Sound of Stockholm
In November 2022, one of the most beloved Sweden music festivals is coming back with a bang. Sound of Stockholm is a music festival that brings together some of the biggest live acts in contemporary classical music.
This musical event was initiated by composers Henrik Strindberg and Peter Lindroth as a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the chamber music society in 2010. Since then, Sound of Stockholm has attracted thousands of classical music enthusiasts all over Sweden and beyond through a series of live performances by world-class ensembles and seminars led by world-renowned orchestrators.
Over the past twelve years, some of Sweden's most prominent contemporary music institutions have participated in Sound of Stockholm. Peärls Before Swïne Experience, a former winner of The Society of Swedish Composers Interpreter prize, has graced the event a few times. The Stockholm Saxophone Quartet is also a frequent performer at this music festival. Well-established composers like Annie Gosfield and Trevor Wishart have been featured in the past as well.
This year, world-class musicians are expected to showcase their captivating performances. The exact venue and dates are yet to be announced, so you can expect a huge surprise as November comes close.
Planning to stay some more days in Stockholm?
If your main reason for visiting Stockholm is to attend one or two of its music festivals, it doesn’t mean that’s the only thing you’ll do in this lively city. The Swedish capital is a gorgeous city with some of the world’s best museums and cultural adventures.
So after participating in the festivals and events in Stockholm, make the most of your trip by taking the time to explore its beautiful attractions and enjoy its food. Then discover its main shopping strips, boutiques, and malls to buy souvenirs, vintage items, and gifts for your friends and loved ones at home.
If you're planning to stay longer in Stockholm, take a look at our other Stockholm guides for other fun activities!