Think ABBA was the culmination of Stockholm’s music scene? Think again. With all due respect to that monument of 1970s pop, the scene has reached new heights in recent years, thanks to an exciting influx of innovative Swedish artists like The Knife and The Hives. But there’s no good music scene without good venues, and, fortunately, Stockholm has them in spades. Here’s our selection of the best live music venues the city has to offer.
Any Swedish music fan worth their salt has heard of Debaser Medis in central Södermalm. It’s actually part of a larger group of venues also including Debaser Slussen and Debaser Strand, but Medis has a rock slant the other two lack, putting on shows by groups such as post-rock band Godspeed You! Black Emperor or American rock band Imagine Dragons. There are also smaller, local bands performing, and most of their gigs are free before nine or 10:00 p.m. — a great way to discover new music. The venue itself is quite big, with several stages and bars spread over two floors; there’s even a small cinema on the second floor.
Address: Debaser Medis, Medborgarplatsen 8, Stockholm, Sweden, +46 8 694 79 00
Built in 1985, Annexet has welcomed some critically-acclaimed performers in recent years: New Order, D’Angelo, Steven Wilson…the list goes on. It’s located in Stockholm Globe City, an event district containing four venues for sports and concerts, including Sweden’s indoors arena, the Ericsson Globe. Annexet is the smallest venue there — its capacity is 3,950 people — allowing it to retain a wonderful intimacy between the artist and the audience. Shows there, like at Debaser Medis, tend to be more rock than pop, but there’s also the occasional electronic music group like Major Lazer in October 2015.
Address: Annexet, Arenatorget 1, Johanneshov, Sweden
Not really into rock or pop? For high-quality live jazz, soul, and world music there isn’t a better place than Fasching, near the Central Station. Opened in 1977, Fasching has been bringing local and international talents to central Stockholm, amazing jazz enthusiasts with artists like bassist Christian McBride and American jazzman Gregory Porter. There are also many up-and-coming artists performing there, making for a great exploration of the local jazz scene in a relaxed and cozy atmosphere.
Address: Fasching, Kungsgatan 63, Stockholm, Sweden, +46 8 20 00 66
Classical music is live music too! While the Main Concert Hall is the obvious place to look for good classical music in Stockholm, the Berwaldhallen is actually home to the Swedish Radio National Orchestra, one of Europe’s foremost orchestras. The venue is also notable for its design and excellent acoustics: it has won a Europe Nostra architecture award for being an “admirably sensibly designed concert hall.” Here, too, there is an admirable range of genres: classics like Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, but also Ukrainian orthodox music and even the occassional Björk appearance.
Address: Berwalrdhallen, Dag Hammarskjölds väg 3, Stockholm, Sweden, +46 8 784 18 00
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