Gothenburg Events and Festivals

(Gothenburg, Vastergotland, Vastra Gotaland County, Sweden)

Picture of Viking boatCelebrations, festivals and events take place all year round throughout Sweden and the city of Gothenburg is no exception to this, providing plenty of things to do whenever you choose to visit.

However, it is during the summer months when many of Gothenburg's biggest festivals and most popular events take place.

These include the Hammarkullekarnevalen carnival each May, the Midsommar (Midsummers Eve) celebrations and Göteborg Music Festival in June, and the hugely successful soccer tournament that is the Gothia Cup, held each July at the Ullevi Stadium, where massive rock concerts are regularly staged.

Other prominent festivals and sports events are staged at venues such as the Nya Ullevi Arenta, the Scandinavium Arena, the Svenska Mässan Exhibition Hall, and the Slottsskogsvallen Stadium, which has played host to athletics since the 1920s and is known for its tall wooden towers.

Gothenburg Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015


  • Göteborg International Film Festival - late January to early February, currently one of the largest film festivals now held in the whole of Scandinavia, screening in excess of 500 movies, both international and Swedish


  • Gothenburg Horse Show (Göteborg Horse Show) - mid-February, an event for equestrian lovers everywhere, held at the Scandinavium Arena over a period of four days


  • Bokrean - early March, a popular book sale offering the chance to find some unusual books and many genuine bargains. Expect long queues, particularly when the participating shops first open their doors


  • Chalmerscortègen (Cortègen) - late April, an enjoyable parade of humorous carnival floats created by the students at the city's Chalmers Technical High School, part of the University of Gothenburg
  • International Science Festival - mid-April, exploring the many ideas behind the social sciences and modern day technology
  • Garden Show at Liseberg - April / May, four days of colourful floral displays and horticultural-themed exhibits at the Liseberg amusement park
  • Feast of Valborg (Valborgsmassoafton) - late April / early May, an enjoyable mixture of bonfires and performances by some of the city's very best student choirs, also known as 'Walpurgis Night'


  • Första Maj (First of May) - May 1st, a national holiday in Sweden and often featuring a series of local events
  • Göteborg Basketball Festival - early May, some 500 different basketball teams compete in this renowned championship, held at dozens of sporting venues around central Gothenburg
  • Göteborgsvarvet - mid-May, a short marathon attracting many thousands of runners and always watched by huge crowds of excited spectators
  • Lilla Göteborgsvarvet - late May, a short 'fun run' for children, held the day after the city's Göteborgsvarvet marathon
  • Hammarkullekarnevalen - late May / early June, a popular Swedish carnival lasting three days and featuring colourful processions, salsa dancing and music with a definite Caribbean theme


  • Nationaldag (National Day) - June 6th, commemorating the election of Gustav Vasa as King of Sweden
  • Midsommar (Midsummer's Eve) - mid-June, held on the longest day and the shortest night, this really is a time to party and Midsommar is now one of the biggest celebrations in the whole of Sweden
  • Göteborg Music Festival (Gothenburg Music Festival) - late June, those lucky enough to be in the city during the end of June should expect to see marching bands and orchestral processions, particularly along both the Avenyn and the Kungsportsplatsen
  • Pier Pressure - late June / early July, rock concerts offering the chance to dance, party and enjoy an electric atmosphere
  • Match Cup Sweden - late June / early July, sailing boats race in the waters around Marstrand, close to central Gothenburg


  • Nääsville Bluegrass Music Festival - mid-July, scenic open-air jazz concerts close to the historic Nääs Castle
  • Gothia Cup - mid-July, an annual, week-long youth footballing championship taking place at the Ullevi Stadium and attracting teams from throughout the world
  • Fästningsspelen - throughout July, medieval reenactments at the Carlstens Fortress in nearby Marstrand


  • Göteborg Dans and Teater Festival (Gothenburg Dance and Theatre Festival) - throughout August, many different theatrical companies perform on stages all around the city, with shows appealing to a variety of audiences
  • Göteborgs Symfonikers Sommarkonsert - throughout August, crowds gather at the Slottsskogen for an open-air concert performed by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. Expect large crowds and be sure to purchase your ticket well in advance
  • Göteborgskalaset (Gothenburg Party) - throughout August, Sweden's biggest outdoor festival, taking over the entire city for this week of summer fun, all of which is completely free of charge and ideal for visiting families
  • Göteborgs Jazzfestival - late August, jazz lovers all over Sweden descend upon the city of Gothenburg at this time of the year, to enjoy the many visiting international blues groups and homegrown Swedish jazz musicians
  • Finnkampen - late August / early September, a yearly track and field event, with athletes competing in front of enormous crowds of spectators, at the Nya Ullevi Stadium. This is now amongst Sweden's largest sporting championships
  • Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art - late August to late November, held every other year and actively promoting contemporary Swedish art works


  • Fredsloppet (Race for Peace) - early September, a communist race organised by the Proletärens FF and held close by, in the neighbouring municipality of Västra Frölunda
  • Bok and Bibliotek - mid-September, a major book fair which seems to continue to gain both popularity and status each year, held at the Svenska Mässan exhibition centre and often visited by famous authors
  • Live Action Gothenburg - mid-September, a leading art-related event where a large group of international modern artists perform their interpretation of contemporary art in front of large crowds of onlookers, organised by the city's very own Gallery A50


  • Kulturnatta - early October, late night film screening and theatrical performances at more than 100 different venues around the city, starting at 18:00 and continuing until the early hours of the morning


  • Liseberg Christmas Fair, mid-November to mid-December, the Liseberg amusement park is filled with literally hundreds of Christmas trees, fairy lights and decorations


  • Luciadagen (Lucia Festival) - December 13th, a young girl (Lucia) leads a choir parade, wearing a crown of candles
  • Christmas Carol Concerts - mid-December, Yuletide carols are performed at the Gothenburg Opera House, as Christmas Day itself looms around the corner
  • Julafton (Christmas Eve) - December 24th, a night of feasting, smorgasbords and exchanging of gifts