After years of festival experiences and having talked to loyal festival-lovers across the nordic countries in Europe. Better known as Scandinavia. Festivalnytt would like to present the top 10 most unique and memorable festival experiences in Scandinavia.  The countdown is based on multiple surveys and interviews made throughout the past 3 years since 2012 which reflects visitors reviews of their experiences based on atmosphere, line-up, crowd, and overall concept.

Roskilde Festival  (DK) 9.5/10 - ”One time is never enough”.

  • Atmosphere 10/10 The citys within Roskilde festival provide and amazingly creative environment for all to enjoy. Line-up 8/10 It’s a big festival with a strong line-up each year, with much focus on relevant artists. Crowd 10/10 Roskilde festival probably has the most loyal fan base in Europe and they have good reasons why. Concept 10/10 Art Zone, The Ghettoblaster, accommodation choices, and structure is a mix of perfection. 

Distortion (DK) 8.5/10 ”Imagine going to a block party so massive that a rave is the only thing to top it off… Distortion”.

  • Atmosphere 10/10 Although a bit scary if you are not used to such an environment, but the venues and street parties are wisely chosen to give the maximum experience of orchestrated chaos. Line-up 6/10 The line-up is not something you think about when you go to Distortion, think of it more as bouncing around in a concrete jungle from dance floor to dance floor and hanging out at which ever one gives you the best vibes. Crowd 8/10 Cool people who know how to party and live into the moment. The turn out during the day-parties is impressive. Concept 10/10 Distortion gives you every thing you can ask for in a street party, to be honest I have never seen another concept to compare. Its so much more than a block party and industrial rave. The entire city feels like your euphoric playground.

Into The Valley 8.5/10 – ”Unlike anything I have done before”.

  • Atmosphere 9/10 Smaller and more intimate than most experiences. Line-up 7/10 The majority being DJs that play deep house / trance, however missing more established artists. Crowd 8/10 The people at ITV are about as unique as the venue. Most interesting meetings with new people. Concept 10/10 Completely unique concept that takes place in an old mine.

Way Out West 7/10 -”The perfect way to end the summer”.

  • Atmosphere 8/10 Clean festival, safe environment, very commercial, but overall quite cool. Line-up 6/10 Another giant in the industry, but the gap between headliners and smaller artists is too big. Crowd 5/10 WOW is the Coachella of Sweden, perhaps more focus on fashion than the music? Concept 9/10 Eco-friendly focus, events smoothly split up between Stay Out (night) and Way Out (daytime) but hard to find a place to stay. 

Sonar (DK/SE) 7/10 – ”Sets the standard for visuals in live performances”.

  • Atmosphere 9/10 The Sonar installations we have seen in Scandinavia are in Stockholm and Copenhagen, both in venues that scream architecture and design. Much so the team behind Sonar build on that concept and puts you and the music together in the most intimate and creative setting. Line-up 4/10 You will find perhaps 3-4 artists you recognise since its a small event in proportion to the other festivals that made the list, however after the event you will most likely leave with a few new names to stalk on Soundcloud. Crowd 5/10 Is there a word for the level beyond hipster? Ultra Hipsters, Hipster gods… maybe just the place where hipsters go when they die. Hipster heaven? Concept 8/10, here we find Sonars strong points again, they definitely deliver a platform for live-music that is missing throughout the region. So nice that we go twice a year to both Copenhagen and Stockholm.

Bråvalla (SE) 6/10 – ”If your here for the music, you came to the right place”.

  • Atmosphere 3/10, its a very commercial venue that feels very temporary in terms of being there one day and gone the next. Missing artistic expression and a sense of ”home”. Line-up 9/10 Probably the strongest in the game and weighs up a lot of the atmosphere. Where there is good music, it does not really matter where you listen to it. Crowd 7/10 A very young and enthusiastic audience, despite being inexperienced by wearing converse to a mud-fest and forgetting that they needed a sleeping bag, tent and toothbrush they know how to make the best of a dirty situation. Concept 5/10 Good bands and artists but poor planning and we would like to see this festival have a little more soul and something that makes you never want to go home to reality. Would I still go? Hell yeah.


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