Couldn't Escape If We Wanted To: Swede Dreams

By Londonist_adrian Last edited 134 months ago
Couldn't Escape If We Wanted To: Swede Dreams

Eurovision selections continue apace all around Europe this week. The biggest and finest selection of them all is that of the mighty Sweden. Melodifestivalen is a Swedish national institution which has been running for almost 50 years. Many people in Sweden claim that the contest is even more important than Eurovision itself, with the show getting huge ratings and generating huge media interest.


Melodifestivalen is a massive affair: 32 songs are in the running (from over 3,000 submitted), whittled down through a series of semi-finals to a grand final of 10 songs. It's like meets Pop Idol meets Top of The Pops meets Everything That's Been Good on Telly Ever. Half of Sweden tunes in for the semi-finals, and the final is regularly the most watched TV show in Sweden each year.

The Swedes love their melodies and bring a great mix of uptempo pop, that special Swedish schlager, ballads, rock and some other surprises. They also love a good show - dancers galore, wind machines, divas strutting their stuff, hunky men in suits. It's got something for everyone.

So before you book your flight to Stockholm to get a front row seat at The Globen Arena, let us tell you about a Londonist connection to Melodifestivalen. The Harcourt, a Swedish bar in Marylebone, has been broadcasting Melodifestivalen for the past few years with huge success. Tickets are now on sale for this year's final, and have already proved so popular that they've sold out but have found a second venue to broadcast the show. Tickets are a mere £5 and you get a free drink and a huge amount of entertaining song and dance.

It attracts a lively mix of enthuastic Swedes (they'll all be singing by the middle of the evening) and Eurovision / Swedish pop fans (they'll all be singing at the beginning of the evening), all of whom cheer for the wonderful key changes. What's more, the bar are asking that everyone dress up eurovision style. Go! We guarantee you'll have fun.

Last Updated 06 March 2007


I'm from sweden and I can guarantee you that this is certainly NOT a pleasant thing. It's MAD! Melodifestivalen includes everything that is totally rotten with pop music, and it's an offense against every intellectual human being. Actually, one of the things I really like with the UK is how this horrible discusting "contest" is something that not many people talk about. Please, please, please... let it stay that way.


Pah! You're no fun, and a disgrace to good name of Swedish schlager!


If *only* the UK took eurovision seriously. There's nothing wrong with good honest pop.


As we are sold out at The Harcourt I suggest you who haven't got a ticket make your way to the Swedish Church just opposite The Harcourt Arms.
See you all on Saturday.


Melodifestivalen in a Church! Amazing. It's like a great big Swedish metaphor.


adrian, If you knew better you would know that swedish schlager has nothing in common with pop music. It has a lot more in common with pokemon.
I pity you. Why are you so evil?


Nothing, you say? Not one thing?

1) Both forms of music.
2) Both are sung by singers
3) Both have lyrics.

There, that's at least 3 things in common. I don't understand your reference to Pokemon, but I don't really want to engage in any type of debate with you given the arrogant and insulting tone of your comment.


Sorry. I do just care to much about the UK for wanting it to become a slave under The Spectacle. Ever read Guy Debord?