Trästock festival, Skellefteå. Photograph by Adam Jonsson.

Welcome back, Trästock!

One of the major highlights in Skellefteå’s cultural calendar is back this summer and it couldn’t be more welcome. When was the last time you went to a festival, asks Rehana Lothian. 

Trästock festival, Skellefteå. Photograph by Ludwig Eriksson.

Trästockfestivalen, two days of music and performance in the city at Nordanå, a unique festival created and built by Skellefteåbor, is returning after a two-year hiatus. Sweden’s biggest free festival, it has hosted a number of rising stars whose careers have since blossomed. First Aid Kit, Miriam Bryant and Sweden’s most recent Eurovision entrant, Cornelia, have all featured in previous line-ups.

This festival stands out from the crowd because of its organic feel. Originally conceived in the early 1990s by a group of local musicians as a platform for the local music scene, the festival is free and aims to mix local acts with Swedish-wide acts and cover a range of alternative genres. A core of members of the original indie scene it began with remains. Many of the original organisers are still with Trästock, which relies on volunteers to make it happen. In addition to the music, there’s a range of other cultural activities planned by the organisers, including theatre, dance, performance art, and comedy – all part of the mix of the festival vibe. When I speak with one of the festival organisers, Jonathon of Norén Brännström, he’s keen to emphasise that there’s something for everyone from indie kids, hip-hope heads and folk fans to metal and hard rock fans.

As I write, new bands are being continually added to the line-up, so don’t worry if your particular brand of 1970s prog rock or electronic krautrock hasn’t appeared yet; everything’s possible here. Acts will also include bands involved in the Skellhell Exchange tour. If you came along to the Skellefteå leg of the tour, you’ll recognise Here Today, Artificial Dance Party, Twin Souls and Öly. They’ll be travelling from France and the Netherlands to add their different genres to this DIY sweetie shop of alternative sounds, funky vibes and inclusive diversity.



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