I decided ages ago that I was going to write about the three days me and my friends spent at my favourite festival, but for some reason I never got it done. Today I’m writing it, it’s time to stop being lazy.
Törebodafestivalen is a music and family festival that happens every third year in a small town in Sweden called Töreboda. It has a bit over 4000 inhabitants and is in general not a place many people know a lot about. However, every third year, when it’s time for the festival, the amount of people living there increases a lot, and people come from everywhere in the country to join the party. This year there were in total 45.000 people visiting the festival, only 5.000 less than the most popular festival we have in Sweden, and that, my friends is something really amazing.
I’ve been at every festival from the very first one back in 2000. My dad usually volunteer there together with his folkrace club and it’s been natural for me and my sister to be there as well. We haven’t missed a single one, and we haven’t planned on ever missing out on one either. This festival is very special to us, we grew up in the town it’s arranged in, we went to school there and to me it’s always going to be like coming home. Not the town itself, because I didn’t have the best years living there, but the festival is very special to me, and I couldn’t imagine missing out on one.
This year was a bit different to me, though. This year my dad wasn’t working there, and it sort of felt a bit weird to know that this time he wasn’t close by if something would happen. Not that I was ever worried, this festival is a very calm one and the security is absolutely amazing. They do such a great job and very few people get hurt during these days, and so far nothing major has ever happened. Still, it felt a bit odd that he wasn’t there.
It was also a bit different because this time I was going to live on the Festival area. Yes, you read that right, right in the middle of everything. One of my best friends, Frida, or Fai as we call her, lives in the middle of the town, and we had since long decided that I would live with her during the festival. It was perfect, you just stepped outside the door and then you were there, on the festival. We didn’t have to go through the main entrance with security digging through your purse, we could just go straight to our favourite spot without trouble, and to me that was absolutely perfect. Also, having your own bathroom and shower was like heaven. No lines, no disgusting toilets that thousands of people had been using, just go to Fai’s apartment and do your business in peace. Big plus, in my opinion.
Day one was by far the best one. We were there from the inauguration with Otto speaking, something that many thinks is boring but is to me a part of the whole thing. Then we listened to Elisas, who I’m not a big fan of, but since Elisa herself is a local celebrity you still feel somewhat proud when you see her on stage, because she’s truly lovely up there, it’s just the music that isn’t really my cup of tea. She once started out on the small stage on the festival, back in year 2000, and she’s been on stage every year since then. The difference now is that she’s not on the small stage anymore, she’s on the main one, and man is she amazing. She’s one of those artists that sort of has to be there. She’s always been and it would be extremely weird if she wasn’t. She’s truly a part of Törebodafestivalen, and I couldn’t imagine one without her.
That day we also saw Loreen, Stiftelsen and Twisted Sister, and man, it was the best festival start I have ever experienced. Loreen was so amazing on stage, she kept talking sweetly to the crowd, joking with them and all that comes with a great performance. She’s really something Sweden can be proud of, and her voice is absolutely stunning.
Stiftelsen wasn’t really something I liked to listen to. To be fully honest, we were mostly laughing at their lyrics. It was… well… interesting, to say the least.
Twisted Sister. Now we’re talking good music, and extremely amazing performance on stage. I’m gonna be fully honest and tell you I don’t normally listen to them. The only reason I wanted to see them live was because this might very well be the last time they play in Sweden. They’re retiring and well, of course you have to see them at least once in your life. It was therefore absolutely perfect that they would come to the festival, because it’s not like I would actually buy tickets to see them.
Or well, now I would. If I had the chance.
I can honestly say that I have never, never seen a better band live. Never. I’ve seen lots of bands and artists on stage, since I’ve been to bunch of festivals and a few concerts in my life, but never before have I seen a band so amazing as Twisted Sister. Let’s just begin with the part how they, like every other big artist, had no idea what to expect from small Töreboda, and how they had thought they wouldn’t have anyone listening to them. “We expected six motherfuckers here, not this!” and yeah, I can’t blame them. Töreboda is not a famous town, why would anyone think people would go there for a festival that isn’t even happening every year? People don’t get it. People don’t even believe it until they’re there.
They kept on communicating with the crowd in a way I have never experienced before. They joked with people, pointed out a fan who apparently have been following them to different places for years, always in the front row, they kept repeating how they could see the ones in the back, how they saw everyone, how important every person there was. There wasn’t a boring moment while listening to them, and me, who don’t even listen to their music normally, fell in love with the sound. They were amazing, simply amazing, and they were so right when they said they were going to rock so hard that no other band could beat them during these three days.
They were clearly the best part of the festival, and to be honest, it made the other three days feel like they just went downwards. I still loved every single day, but nothing could beat day one.
On day two Fai and I went down to grab our spot on the grass around six or so. We weren’t very interested in the early bands, and it was too hot to walk around on the area. We were mostly sitting in the shadows in the park, which was a perfect spot for us who aren’t interested in standing in the crowd. You hear everything perfectly, and you don’t have to worry about the hot sun. In total we were six friends being there together, so there was always someone to watch the blankets for us, meaning we always had our spot.
On day two we watched Rydell & Quick, Jill Johnson, Tomas Ledin and Queen Tribute. I wasn’t very interested in either of these, but we were there for the social part of hanging out together, and some music doesn’t hurt.
Rydell & Quick is another band that’s been there every single festival, if I remember correctly. They do covers and are in general pretty ok. I don’t think either of us were interested enough to listen properly to them, but I know they have quite a lot of fans and people are always happy to see them back at the festival.
Jill Johnson I didn’t really listen to at all. We were busy talking and eating and having a good time, so can’t really say anything about her.
Tomas Ledin was… well, here’s the thing with Ledin. He does summer music. Everyone in Sweden knows that when Ledin is playing, it’s summer. It was the typical Swedish summer evening, people were sitting in the park, enjoying good company, nice food and cold drinks, and Ledin was playing in the background. People sing along, because that’s what you do when his songs are playing, and everyone knows the lyrics to pretty much every single song, even if they never really listen to his music. We use to joke and say that you’re no real Swede unless you can sing along to Ledin.
After a while he got extremely annoying though, and for every new song he started singing people went “oh come oooooon!” He stayed on stage for longer than he should have, and in the end people just tried to block it out.
Because of him staying on stage for longer than he should, Queen Tribute, the last band of the day, was on stage later than they should, and since they could only play until 1:30am for people to not miss the last bus home, they could only be on stage for 45 minutes, which sucked. They even had to skip the whole “one more time” thing, because they simply didn’t have time. So they told us “we don’t have time for the whole one more time deal, so we’ll just play our last songs now and then that’s it, okay?” and well, we didn’t have much to say about that. The festival had to close at 1:30 or people wouldn’t be able to stay for it all. So yeah, second day was a it ruined by Ledin being on stage for way too long.
Last day Fai and I started with meeting Sanna and Lena for Doughnut breakfast! Yes, it’s as unhealthy as it sounds. We bought doughnuts, went down to the canal, and enjoyed some time together. We don’t meet Lena often, and now she’s going away to China soon, so of course we had to spend some time with her.
The rest of that day we spent with Boud and Niwy, as all the other days. We met up for lunch and then we went to our normal spot in the park. This day we listened to Eric Saade, Ola Salo and Europe. Fai and I also went to watch H.E.A.T at the other stage, together with one of Niwy’s friends, but the rest of the time we spent on our blankets in the park.
I’m not really gonna talk much about the bands we saw this day, because neither of them were something I was really interested in, except for Europe, who I had been looking forward to to see for months.
Unfortunately, they were a huge disappointment. They were pretty boring on stage, the music wasn’t that good live, and well, the only song that really got us going was, of course, The Final Countdown, which was amazing. But except for that… well, I’m a bit sad they ended they festival. It would’ve been soooo much better if Twisted Sister had been the last band, because in my opinion the festival should end with the very best. However, Europe did end it with one of the most amazing songs in the world, so therefore it was still a quite good ending.
So yeah, three absolutely amazing days with great people. We had a wonderful time, and as always, we’re already looking forward to the next one. If there will be a 7th round of Törebodafestivalen, we’ll all be there!