Love the idea of going to a festival but not sure if camping out for a full week, Woodstock style is particularly up your sleeve? Then let us introduce you to a Scandinavian summer favourite – the city festival.

Young woman dancing
Get the best and the most out of any city festival with our guide!

Whether you’re looking to chill out to music all weekend or enjoy some local art, the city festival offers the best of both worlds: a full day of interesting activities AND a guaranteed good night’s rest. So if you’re already planning on staying in the city, congratulations – that is the first step to enjoy a city festival! Check. Now, to really enjoy a Scandinavian festival, here is a quick list of things not to forget.

1. Sunscreen, sunglasses and/or cap

Yes, it’s no surprise that the sun can be harsh on your skin, even in Scandinavia. Since most festivals are outdoors, wear sunscreen to prevent that nose from turning into something straight out of a Christmas carol.

2. Umbrella/poncho/plastic bag

No matter how you choose to stay dry, it’s certain that you’ll need some kind of water resistant material enclosing your body. Scandinavian summer and all it’s glory, will probably (very likely) offer some drops.

3. Extra socks

Not only because the festival is going to knock your socks off, an extra pair of socks goes a long way when your feet get wet. There’s nothing that will ruin a good show than standing there with cold, wet feet.

4. Cash!

You’ll probably end up hungry/thirsty (or just eager to spend) a couple of times so it’s a good idea to bring some extra dough. Most festivals have card machines, but it’s always nice to be on the safe side. Plus, these festivals usually have a really good range of nice food trucks and creative drink bars at your service so you might just end up eating two dinners!

5. A sweater/cardigan

Layer up! Again, most city festivals are held outside. So, you’ll need to have a back-up when the evening arrives. If the sun’s been heating your heart all day, you’ll need to keep it like that with a little help from a nice and cosy sweater through the night.

6. Swimwear

Even though most festivals are in the city, remember bodies of water usually surround most Scandinavian cities (they’re never too far away!). So bring a set just in case the sun blesses the festival and go for a nice dip in the water.

7. Refillable water bottle

This is always a good idea, not only to help out the city and festival with waste but so you are sufficiently hydrated. And if you’re in the pit, we wouldn’t want you to pass out.

8. A big bath towel (or blanket)

If you bring an extra large beach towel, after the dip in the water this can also double as your picnic blanket! It’s always a good idea to have one. If it’s warm, you can sit on it. If it’s cooler at night, you can wrap yourself around in it.

9. Mobile phone

Festivals are big places with lots to do and if your friends want to see something different from you, it’s a good idea to bring a phone to find them later. Also, most festivals have charging stations to keep you powered and Instagramming.

10. Your ticket (and program)

This is every forgetful person’s most important tip. If you don’t bring your ticket, you might not get to see your favourite band at all. We wouldn’t want to be a part of NOT warning you about this.

Of course, there are many more we can add to this list, but this is the most basic essentials we think are important for enjoying a Scandinavian city festival. Now, go have some fun!