Day 5: Way out West


In Sweden, Göteborg is infamous for its tendency to enjoy puns. Many famous people from here sit in national TV and play with words in a way that nobody really appreciates outside Göteborg. Naturally then, Way Out West is an orgy in bad puns: Stay Out West (that’s what you do after the last band exits the stage and you go on clubbing), Way Out Fest (that’s what you do before the first band, when you’re in a park or a beer tent) No Way Out West (that’s what you do if you don’t go at all). At one point, a guy even made an attempt at a limerick about Mae West.

To the average Swede, Göteborg is known for puns and for one more thing. That thing took the stage at eight tonight, after the crowd had been building up in front of the stage for a full hour before Håkan Hellström made his comeback. And then nobody was disappointed. This was a very special gig, celebrating the 10 year anniversary of Håkan’s legendary debut album Känn Ingen Sorg För Mig Göteborg by playing the record in its entirety. Many of the songs had rarely been played live and, given the album’s huge impact on Swedish music, almost every song was known by heart by almost everyone listening. More than once, the crowd took over the song and made Håkan stunned and flattered because he didn’t have to sing himsfelf. In the last song’s crescendo, the place exploded in confetti, making a proper finale for this year’s biggest music happening in northern Europe.

After Håkan, indie pop star Lykke Li and legendary Chemical Brothers, among others, delivered the goodbye for this year. The great majority of the visitors did however probably leave the area with a lasting impression of the local hero’s comeback.

For the forth year in a row Way Out West was sold out and besides some whining about standing in line at times (and the tropic rain opening the club night on Thursday), it has to be considered a great success once again. Clearly, a city festival is a novel way of enjoying culture and company, providing you with that boheme feel for a while but still leaving the options to take a nap, a shower and a resturant meal. In short: we’ll see you next year!

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