I was at the Stockholm Jazz fest last night. A mixture of conceptual jazz, jazzfunk and acid jazz was on offer. The festival is held on Skeppsholmen, an island in the harbour. From this island, Stockholm really does show its best side, with its magical mixture of blue water, big sky and lush greenery. But last night, the weather gods were not on our side. Biting winds, black clouds and chilling rain dominated the evening, and festival visitors sat huddled around tables, swathed in blankets and drinking wine out of plastic cups.
In Sweden, when the summer comes, you sit outside even if the weather is appalling. You might need a fleecy jumper, a scarf and a blanket, but it’s the summer. And in the summer you go to festivals, sit outside and enjoy it.
The main artist of the night was rap star Missy Elliot. She bounced onto the stage at around 11.30 with gangster dancers and ‘hiphop hotboys’. The crowd jumped up and down hysterically – mostly to keep warm. And the heavens opened, and the rain came tumbling down.
Missy’s show was great, a real highlight. At one point she shouted in her microphone ‘Someone told me that Stockholm is the hottest place on the planet!!!’
That could only be said by someone who hadn’t sat there shivering for 5 hours.