Our guide to Scandinavian events for 2023
Add a jazz festival, a world sporting championship or an extreme ski flying competition for extra sparkle on your holiday.
Our region offers a huge variety of events and festivals each summer. Food festivals & markets, big and small, are peppered across the region.
If you are looking at art, fashion & design events, these regular indoor events are generally held outside the main summer months - these events are traditionally held for locals (who are at the beach or their forest cabins during summer). Autumn and winter months suit the locals and the venues better. For instance, Helsinki Design Week is held in the last weeks of September and Copenhagen's fashion show is mid winter.
Outdoor music events and sporting events fill the summer months and here are some suggestions for your summer travels in 2023.
The Øya Festival took over from the Kalvøya Festival, which was held on the island Kalvøya from 1971 to 1997, with legends like Frank Zappa, Jackson Browne and Nirvana on stage. The new festival appeared in 1999 under the name Øya, which means "island", and the name was kept when the festival moved off the island and into the city in 2001. https://oyafestivalen.no/en
Oslo Jazz Festival is a week-long festival held in August every year. For more than 30 years, the festival has offered a broad range of jazz experiences and is a perfect companion to our Scandinavian Gems Premium tour. https://oslojazz.no/
Flow Festival has refined the art of the festival to include top-notch music, innovative art, and a dazzling array of food, including pop-up restaurants, on-site cocktail bars, and craft espresso purveyors. https://www.flowfestival.com/en/
SmukFest was named Denmark’s Most Beautiful Festival. Each year, the eco-minded, non-profit celebration takes over a forest outside of the lakeside city of Skanderborg for four days of international sounds, family-friendly activities, and more. http://www.smukfest.dk/
Held in Gothenburg’s largest park, Slottskogen, near the botanical garden, there’s no crowd surfing allowed, the food is all vegetarian, recycling and litter pick-up is strongly encouraged and alcohol consumption is limited to separate areas (don’t worry you can still see the stage). Just Way Out West’s 30,000 attendees are on their best behavior, doesn’t mean this festival isn’t fun—far from it. This year’s line up includes Belle & Sebastian, Alt-J, Patti Smith, and Sturgill Simpson along with 100 artists and 25 films, meaning there is something for everyone.
Here are some suggestions for sports fans to consider including on a tour of Scandinavian this summer.
Raw Air is a no break ten-day extreme tournament in ski jumping and ski flying in Norway, founded by Arne Åbråten. It's organized as part of the World Cup competition. It is held on four different ski jumping hills in this order: Oslo (Holmenkollbakken), Lillehammer (Lysgårdsbakken), Trondheim (Granåsen) and Vikersund (Vikersundbakken). http://rawair.com/
The Bislett Games is an annual track and field meeting at the Bislett Stadium in Oslo, Norway. Previously one of the IAAF Golden League events, it is now part of the IAAF Diamond League. You get to see European's elite athletes compete on a small stadium in central Oslo. https://oslo.diamondleague.com/home/
The meet is held at the historical Stockholm Olympic Stadium and is a leading track and field meeting and the largest annual sporting event in Sweden. It offers a unique blend of traditional athletics in a small historic arena and a futuristic sports show with a mix of music, sound effects and the latest technology. 83 world records have been set here since 1912 – far more than at any other arena in the world. https://stockholm.diamondleague.com/en/home/
Sweden’s capital offers a relatively gentle marathon course, which attracts many runners looking for a personal best at a large event. https://www.stockholmmarathon.se/en/
Be sure to check local tourist guides before you travel to enhance your Scandinavian holiday.
Scandinavian tour operator 50 Degrees North offers tours that can include these festivals and events.