The annual summer festival called Gothenburg Cultural Festival 2019 witnessed a bouquet of spectacular events and immense participation of residents and visitors. Gothenburg Cultural Festival (GCF), earlier called Göteborgs Kulturkalas, started on 6 August and concluded on Sunday, 11 August. Alongside the cultural events, there was also the European Choir Games which saw many singers from different countries of Europe. Except for the last two days which saw rainy weather, the other days had a warm and sunny weather which added to more members participating in many events.
The cultural festival saw 700 different activities in the festival related to music, dance, photography theatre, contemporary circus, among others.
LINJE 17: THE YOUTH MUSIC BAND
One of the outcomes of Gothenburg Cultural Festival is the birth of a young music club called Linje 17. The band of 9 members with the average age of 18 performed at different venues across the city during the cultural festival, and it was supported by Göteborgs Stad. www.gothenburg-400.com spoke to one of the club members named Viggo Norman. He said, “We play good music. There are good people around. Nice people and good music.”
“It could be fun but is a rough business,” responded Viggo Norman when asked whether he wanted a career in music. “Tough market but it could be cool. Hard market,” he said precociously.
The local government, Göteborgs Stad, and its tourism wing Göteborg & Co were the main force behind the cultural festival. One of the important events at the festival was språkdisco: discos were held at Bältespännarparken in which young DJs played their favourite music in Arabic, Dari & Persian (Afghanistan and Iran), Somali (Somalia) and Tigrinya (a Semitic language spoken in Eritrea and Ethiopia). Many young Gothenburgers of immigrant background took advantage of the event for it was about only about dance and music of their cultural heritage but without any political message.
“For the third year in a row the Language disco nights are back,” said Stefan Gadd, press and information officer, Göteborg & Co. “The four major languages among new arrivals to Sweden are currently: Arabic, Dari, Somali and Tigrinya,” he noted.
According to Stefan Gadd, the total budget for the festival was 20 million SEK, whereof the city funds around 15 million SEK.
The next year’s event is expected to be more diverse and grander as it comes closer to the celebrations of 400th birthday of Gothenburg. To this effect, www.gothenburg-400.com is working on a project ‘400 THINGS TO DO, TO SEE, TO FEEL in Gothenburg’ for the benefit of residents, to promote local tourism, and to reduce the carbon footprints in the wake of climate change to enable people to discover local destinations and experiences.