Way Out West is the music festival that you should be adding to your ‘to-do’ list if for you, like me, summer just isn’t summer if you don’t spend at least 72 hours with grass under your feet, come rain or shine, with music filling your ears. And did I mention that it takes place in Gothenburg, Sweden’s second city?A festival and a holiday all in one? Yes, please!
If you’re wanting to change things up from the usual British festival experience, then Way Out West is a great choice. It takes place in Slottsskogen, the huge park right in the centre of Gothenburg, so it’s one of the most picturesque settings for a festival you could wish for. You can spend your days lying sprawled in the grass, hanging out beside the park’s lake, and, thanks to the fact that it’s a day festival only, amble happily home at night to a real bed instead of to a tent floating in the middle of a muddy quagmire. But after a day at Way Out West, heading home will probably be the last thing on your mind thanks to the fact that, after hours, Stay Out West begins and the festival takes over the city’s venues for club nights and gigs that run long into the early hours. Not only does Way Out West trade in music: over time it’s expanded to take in film screenings, lectures and art exhibitions. Add into the mix the fact that the festival’s capacity is capped at 25,000 and you’ve got a recipe for an awesome three days. Speaking of which, did I mention that the festival’s 100% vegetarian due to the festival’s emphasis on sustainability and being environmentally friendly? You’ve got to love those Swedes. No wonder Way Out West won an MTV O Award in 2011 for being the Most Innovative Festival.
This year yet another a fantastically great line-up will play across the festival’s four stages. The big headline names playing this year include Morrissey, PJ Harvey, Massive Attack and Grace Jones, who are joined by the likes of The Avalanches, M83, Eagles of Death Metal, The Last Shadow Puppets, ANOHNI, Jamie XX and Chvrches. If Swedish acts are your bag — and they should be on your list, given how vibrantly the Swedish music scene is thriving at the minute — there’s a great range of native acts playing. The Tallest Man on Earth, Daniel Norgren and Anna von Hausswolff are just three names that I’m not going to miss.
If you want to find out more about Way Out West, then head on over to the festival’s official website where tickets for this year’s festival are still available. To treat your ears to a preview of the music that’ll be on offer this year, check out the Way Out West playlist on Spotify. See you in Sweden? I hope so!