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Swedish Radio Focus On Local Live Music In Popstad 2002

One city got its image changed from a dirty and heavy industrial city to a city with a musical and educational environment. In other Swedish cities musicians, who didn’t know or didn’t want to know each other, have been brought together in new communities. Festivals and other musical activities have been born.

Common to all the above mentioned, is that they have come out of the same musical event. Over the past six years, Swedish Radio Channel 3, has together with many local musicians, organizers and other people from the music business, arranged a special live music event with the name Popstad. It all started in Lund in 1996, and last year Gothenburg was the chosen city for Popstad 2001.

This year the city Skellefteå has been chosen as Popstad 2002, and during three days from February 7 to February 9, Swedish Radio will broadcast 23 live concerts from three different stages in the city, where 15 of the best and must promising local bands from Skellefteå will also perform live on a demo stage. The musical program embraces everything from hip-hop, pop, and modern dance music to hard rock. The live shows together with several music related seminars will attract many people from the Swedish music business.

Inspired by BBC

Maths Broborg is one of the people who have been working with Popstad since its start in 1996. He is a music producer at Swedish Radio channel 3 and is the leader of the Popstad project.

– It all started because we got inspired by the British radio BBC, that had a project called Sound City. They were putting on concerts in different places around the country and broadcasting them on the radio. But their events were not rooted in the local music scene, they were not interested in the local music. The Popstad project is in contrary to Sound City based on the local music life. Our project has a strong local stamp on it.

– During the past six Popstad events we have created a winter musical activity, which for representatives from the national music business has nearly the same flavor as the Hultsfred Festival in the summer. Last year in Gothenburg nearly 600 people from the national music industry took part in Popstad 2001, and every year we see that more and more people are coming to participate in the three day event, says Maths Broborg.

Positive outlook to music

The first Popstad took place in Lund in 1996, and since then the project has visited Umeå, Eskilstuna, Sundsvall, Malmö and Gothenburg, and new musical activity has been created at each and every stop.

– The effect of Popstad in the cities that we have visited is very different. In some places the value of the project has been bigger than in other places. But everywhere we can see that, thanks to Popstad, the outside world – politicians and others – have noticed that there are people, who are interested in working seriously with live music. We have created a more positive outlook to music.

– But there are also more concrete effects from the Popstad project. In several visited cities, new festivals are being born. In Sundsvall the project resulted in new musical education and studio facilities, and in Gothenburg, the second largest city in Sweden, there were factions of the music business that didn’t know each other and didn’t want to know each other, but after Popstad they were linked up and started to work together.

– The city Eskilstuna was the first city that used Popstad to change its image. The city was known as a heavy and dirty industrial city, but after Popstad the picture changed and suddenly Eskilstuna became a city with a healthy music life and education environment, says Maths Broborg.

For more information about Popstad: