Right Now: Marstrand Turning into Sweden’s Sailing Hotspot

This week, the quaint little fishing village Marstrand turns to a boiling, bustling hotspot when Stena Match Cup Sweden – Sweden’s largest international sailing event – comes to town. More than hundred thousand visitors come to watch the best match racing sailors in the world in spectacular archipelago surroundings.

Match Cup in Marstrand. Photo: Emilia Björk

The popularity of the event has increased steadily since it was introduced the first time, almost twenty years ago. Today, it is not only about sailing – Marstrand becomes a place where the tops of the Swedish business life meet and mingle, where jetsetters party, where well known artists perform and where private sailing boats herd.

The sailing competition is one of ten World Championship events arranged around the world, being part of the World Match Racing Tour. And arguably, this event might be the best, at least from an audience point of view. The location of Marstrand with its surrounding protruding skerries and cliffs results in an extraordinary spectator’s arena. The narrow water on the south side of Marstrand lets the audiences come within meters of the boats and the shifting height of the rocks gives a good overview. In addition, the windswept, barren archipelago in the outer part of Bohuslän’s coastline provides the sailors with plentiful wind to create the intense sailing the spectators expect to see.

Match Cup Sweden Marstrand. Photo: Emilia Björk

More information.

By: Emilia Björk

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.

Continue reading…

Way out West: Spotted Kirstin Dunst

way out west

Yesterday’s euphoria and massive downpour are gone but not forgotten. The weather is clearing up just as the festival area opens its gates. Discussions about yesterday’s pregame night
are ubiquitous (”After we saw Harlem, we tried to go Port du Soleil but couldn’t get a cab in the rain so we just dropped in at some jazz bar where the owner allowed smoking indoors”) but the focus quickly shifts to the real deal: Way Out West – the proper, daylight version.

After the legendary hip hop-act Wu Tang Clan made 10,000 people wave their hands in one synchronized motion, the festival really felt officially alive and the lines to the beer tents exceeded 5 kilometers.

The general impression is that the visitors mainly come from all over Sweden. The downtown central station has been flooded with travelers on their way towards the festivities and now there are enough people at the area to make you think you’re in Tokyo. A lot of foreign visitors mixed with the native crowd; including them Hollywood stars such as Kirsten Dunst. Your correspondents took a stroll around the area, got our feet muddy and spoke to some people.

way out west

Erik, Manager/Hustler

What’s the single best part of Way Out West, in your mind?

The concerts, hopefully. There are a lot of different stuff going on, but I feel the clubs and parties have to be secondary.

Were you bothered by the rain?

What rain?

Way Out West Live Blogging: Världskulturmuséet

WAy out West 2010Famous even before its opening, Världskulturmuséet is a very special building. It was designed by world renowned architect Gert Wingård and opened officially in 2004. This year it has once again been included as one of Way Out West’s “club scenes”, meaning that after the last concert at the Slottsskogen area, we will all fight for entrance to the museum in order to stay awake all night and enjoy live acts and DJs. Before that, though, we had to try out the place on Thursday night’s “sneak preview” – one day before the actual festival started.

The night included three live acts, in addition to the resident DJ, and after running around six different bars we arrived at Världskulturmuséet just in time to see jj enter the stage. The crowd waiting for hours in line had to discover the hard way a bitter fact about Göteborg – once it starts raining, it never really stops…

Inside, it was hot, humid and crowded. Once JJ got on stage, the place went bananas and never came back. On big screens, everything from vacation pictures to Youtube clips of Zlatan was streamed and the crowd went nuts. Jj, being a local act, did all they were supposed to and delivered a dancy yet subtle performance. When they finished, the place was quickly emptied and the crowd shattered. Your correspondents left for Park Lane, one of the other club venues, and the night went on for a long, long time. And so did the epic rainfall, symbolizing Gothenburg. There’s not a dry pop soul in the city tonight. Some cried from jj, some couldn’t afford the tax ride home and had to walk.

Live Blogging Way Out West: DAY 1

There’s no big ceremony with balloons and fireworks, but the 2010 edition of Way Out West is now officially alive and kicking. The three day festival in Göteborg starts off with a club night that brings together all of the city’s bigger clubs as well as 25 different live acts, but the actual festival area does not open until tomorrow. Friday and Saturday are the major dates, when the city’s biggest park Slottsskogen will teem with hipsters, teens and tourists looking for a world class music event but of course also for a true west coast experience.

This long weekend in August is when Sweden’s second city shows itself from its best side, especially since its synchronization with Kulturkalaset , a citywide fiesta aimed at the crowd not so very interested in beer, loud music and muddy sneakers. The two events combined mean that Göteborg is turned into something very different for a while. The clubs and cafés stay open longer, the city squares are filled with improvising musicians and behind every apartment door there’s a party going on. Many hours before the festival schedule officially starts, the city is literally filled with music, as shown by this clip we just shot from Kungsgatan, one of the shopping streets normally not occupied by pop musicians:

Untitled from explore westsweden on Vimeo.

The Explore West Sweden blog will be your confident guide during the next couple of days, providing concert reviews as well as interviews and vivid accounts of Way Out West’s beer and shellfish selections. Tonight we will sample the club night, taking place at 10 different venues around the city. Stay tuned!

Way Out West: The XX, Local Natives, La Roux…

Image Via Way Out West

Winter is brutal. Which is why we focus on the positive, like the warmth of Summer, the unbelievable sunshine and the fast approaching Way Out West Festival this year! Yes, we realize August seems very far away; however, Way out West just announced some of their headliners and the show is bound to be epic.  The headliners include Local Natives, an L.A. based band that has been making some serious waves. We absolutely love their single “Airplanes” a sweet love song about pining after love lost.

Also on the bill is the always high energy Brit pop star, La Roux, we recommend her song “Bulletproof” which feels like a ‘ just broke up with my significant other and I am fine’ anthem.  The big players include LCD Soundsystem and indie veterans Pavement. Though the band we really, really, really CANNOT wait to see has to be The XX, the Lo-Fi pop four set took New York City by storm, playing to full houses of hipsters nationwide.We say early bird gets the worm, or the tickets, er? Either way, we’ll see you there.

The Details

When: Friday 13th and Saturday 14th August, with club performances from the evening of Thursday 12th until Saturday 14th
Where: Slottsskogen city park in central Gothenburg.

Tickets: 1,390 Swedish crowns (£115) for a full two day festival pass including club performances. Ticket sales at Eventim: Telephone +46 771651000.