Sweden Comes to Life In Los Angeles For Stockholm, CA … And “I LOVE(D) IT!” HOMEPAGE: Stockholm, CA @ Shrine Expo Hall 10/15/16
On October 14, 2016, Los Angeles played host to Stockholm, CA, a music festival which featured musical talent from the land of Vikings, the “Midnight Sun” and ABBA: Sweden. You can call me out on my bias, but being half-Swedish, I had the time of my life. With tickets secured over two months in advance, and I was more than ready be fully immersed in Swedish Culture at The Shrine, right next to USC campus in Downtown LA.
As soon I set foot on the festival grounds, I could “see” Sweden. Blonde hair, blue eyes, white sneakers, black clothes, was everywhere … Swedish stereotypes be damned, for me, it kinda felt like home. With Sweden being approximately 10% vegetarian, vegetarian Food trucks were to my right, while SAS Airlines, and Pripps Blå beer in little red barn houses to my left made me feel like I stepped right back into my other mother-land. There were even a few signs posted up of small Swedish words with their meaning and translation like, “Skål”, which means “Cheers”. I was thrilled to speak broken Swedish, eat good food, and drink good beer with my two American friends who came along.
The music, obviously, was the main draw of the day. As I wandered and mingled between the two festival stages during Vernoica Maggio’s and Salvatore Ganacci’s respective performances, I spied other recording artists, and Swedish celebs, casually roaming about. Tokimonsta, Noomi Rapace dawning a bright yellow outfit, Erik Hassle, Elliphant, Room8, Little Dragon (Yukimi going incognito with big, red sunglasses and a black hood), Caroline and Aino (aka Icona Pop), Snoh Alegra, and the people who run Ten Music Group were all enjoying the sunny afternoon weather.
Before I continue, I need to clarify that there is this unspoken rule in Sweden. If you are Swedish, and you see or meet a famous Swedish person, it is supremely “uncool” to fangirl/boy and ask for a selfie. One of my American friends, who was completely oblivious to this rule, got a selfie with Icona Pop and Snoh Alegra, chatted with Erik Hassle, and spoke to one of the co-founders of Ten Music. I tried to keep it as “#SwedishAF” as possible, but with so many of my favorite recording artists all in one place, I relented and ended up swallowing my Swedish pride to ask for selfies with Elliphant, and Snoh Alegra. Förlåt! (translation: “Sorry”).
On Cloud 9, my friends and I headed to the bar and danced with two other Swedish girls at the DJ booth with Nause on stage. Getting loose, my American friends kept telling me how tall and attractive everyone was, how nice and happy Swedes are, and how I’ve easily, yet unintentionally convinced them to visit Sweden in the very near future. Clearly, if it was Stockholm, CA’s objective to get open Americans interested in Sweden and Swedish culture, mission accomplished.
This was Stockholm, CA’s first Swedish Music Festival, and I have to admit, it was a huge success. It was extremely fun, and somehow, simultaneously very relaxed. I loved being able to expose my American friends to “my other half”, and having them enjoy my culture as much as I do. As a dual citizen of both Sweden and America, with half of my family still living in Stockholm, Sweden holds a very special place in my heart. When I can only visit Sweden once every three years or so, experiencing a day like this makes me feel right at home, and incredibly proud to be Swedish. With a plethora of popular Swedish recording artists, I can only anticipate the possibilities for next year. Lykke Li? Robyn? Tove Lo? Zara Larsson? Seinabo Sey? ABBA? My, my, my .. I’m getting excited for 2017 already.
Tack so mycket! (translation: “Thanks so much!”).
BELOW ARE LINKS TO ARTIST PERFORMANCE RECAPS AND PHOTO GALLERIES. CHECK THEM OUT!
Emilie Svensson is an LA local who directs movies, and online video content. She attends concerts often and writes about them occasionally.