Thank you for the music, Sweden!

In my last article I already presented you some delights of Stockholm. But Stockholm or whole Sweden has another big delight to offer. And that’s the music. The huge Globen Arena in Stockholm looking like a huge golf ball indeed has something to do with music. The Globen Arena or Ericsson Globe since 2013 was build at the end of the 1980s and is one of Skandinavia’s biggest concert halls. Stars like Bruce Springsteen or U2 already gave concerts in this very music hall. Furthermore the Globen Arena already organized the Eurovision Song Contest twice back in 2000 and 2016. When thinking of Sweden and the Eurovision Song Contest there’s certainly one band that come on your mind: ABBA! It was 1974 in Brighton when they won the ESC. Today it belonges to the biggest legends of music history along with the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley or Michael Jackson. But only few people know that ABBAs way to fame wasn’t as legendary as most of you might think. The begin of the 1970s in Sweden saw the begin of the so called musikrörelse the Swedish Music Movement. People went out onto the streets to protest against the commercialisation of the Swedish music raising banners with slogans like Sjung din egen sång which means Sing your own song. Many independent record companies were created just to produce music in Swedish language and to defend themselves against the dominance of anglophone pop music. In 1975 after ABBAs victory it was Stockholms turn to organize the next edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. At the same day a protest march through Stockholm took place as well as a cultural festival just to degrade the Eurovision Song Contest and the anglophone music to commercial kitsch. Being in Stockholm I wanted to find out more about what pop music really means to Sweden … and of course about the four Swedes named Annafrid, Agnetha, Benny and Björn!

And which location for this lessons in Swedish music is better than the ABBA museum on the island Djurgården. After a delicious scoop of my lovely liquorice ice cream I walked along Strandvägen to the museum. By the way this is Stockholms most expensive and luxurious street. Russian millionaires book suites here just for a weekend shopping tour and even the legendary Swedish tennis player Björn Borg has his own suite here. Finally I arrived on Djurgården the worlds only nature reserve in the middle of a big city. It is also famous for its museums like the legendary Vasa Museum and the place of the popular Swedish TV music programme Allsång på Skansen. When entering the ABBA museum you can here melodies like Dancing Queen or Mamma Mia at the entry. Walking down the stairs you can see the clothes ABBA were wearing during their victory at the Eurovision Song Contest back in 1974. You can also see pictures and short videos of their first appearances in Stockholms bars long before their big breakthrough. Next door you can also visit the Swedish Music Hall of Fame promoting artists like Roxette, the Swedish House Mafia and many more. Standing there and watching all this I started reflecting about one thing. In the 1970s the Swedes protested against the commerce of pop music and today they became the third worlds biggest music market after the USA and the United Kingdom. The supposed curse became a bless for Sweden. They spared us so much great and lovely music that I just want to say: Thank you for the music, Sweden!

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