Five things we learned about Stockholm’s Summerburst Festival
Summerburst welcomed 30,000 festival attendees over two days to historic Stockholm Stadium with a line up including Steve Angello, Steve Aoki, Sebastian Ingrosso, Alesso, Hardwell, Otto Knows, Arty, Madeon, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike and Feed Me…to start. Europe might not be our dominant market quite yet, but we were on the ground to tell you exactly what is up in the globe’s unofficial home for progressive house.
1. Madeon steals the best set of the festival – Although Summerburst welcomed an impressive lineup of Swedish producers back to their home turf, it was Madeon’s set that stood out among contenders. The young French producer used his elite mixing skills to keep the platinum blonde crowd on their toes. Dropping classics like his ubiquitous “Raise Your Weapon” remix to his famous “Pop Culture” mix to the Torro Torro remix of Zeds Dead & Omar Limx’s “Cowboy”, it’s his erratic yet perfectly positioned technique which commands the crowd in a different way than the rest. His exceptional young talent in both production and mixing seems like an anomaly these days and certainty did not go unnoticed.
2. Steve Angello, Sebastian Ingrosso headline for patriotic home crowd – Swedish House Mafia have become international superstars, yet their fellow countrymen have felt slightly miffed along the way. The focus has been placed on promoting Angello and Ingrosso overseas, especially in the States, while shows in their home country have been minimal. Swedish House Mafia (as a group) played their first and last performance in Sweden during their One Last Tour back in November, while Summerburst stood as Steve’s first solo act in his home country since 2008. The crowd howled throughout their individual sets with pure, organic excitement, especially when being addressed to in their native tongue. Angello promoted new Size material with a mix of Swedish House Mafia classics, while Ingrosso played his upcoming Refune hits with “DYWC” and “Save the World” safely intact.
3. Where are the neon-clad ravers? – As a North American in Sweden, it was interesting to note the change in crowd dynamics. Instead of the kandi bracelets, furry boots, bright sunglasses, and extravagant costumes, the majority Swedes were dressed up in their finest attire in the GA section. I even noticed a couple full suits which was definitely different to see when you’re used to creative, individualistic outfits. I must admit, I sort of missed the creepy dudes trying to impress with their finger lights, or the PLUR revelers sharing bracelets and hugs, proving the crowd really does have a strong effect on the ambiance of a festival.
4. General Admission blues – Insomniac cleverly markets its festivals with having the general admission crowd as the “headliner” leaving everyone to feel privileged and coddled. Summerburst unfortunately spent its effort catering toward the VIP crowd, leaving GA feeling desolate in comparison. With Premium, VIP, Cabana VIP and super-ultra rooftop VIP sections in tact, I felt like I was lost in some elaborate caste system. While the music exceeded my expectations, limited food and beer tents, 40-minute queues accompanied by strict security guards diminished the GA experience.
5. The Swedish sun never sets – In Stockholm during the lightest days of June, the sky doesn’t go completely dark until 11pm and light again at 2am leaving the sky navy blue for the hours in-between. For the noon to midnight festival, this left only the last set completely in the dark that allowed for special effects like LED lasers and fireworks. Luckily, the festival was greeted with some natural effects including an astonishing double rainbow across the entire Swedish sky during Aoki’s set. The festival was a simple counterpart to American behemoths, yet full of innocent Scandinavian charm.
Photo Credit: Stureplan.se