Almedalen Week
'Tis the time of the year... this weekend a frenzy of political activities breaks out on the island of Gotland. This is a tradition that the late Prime Minister Olof Palme began in 1968, when he improvised a speech from a lorry platform in the Almedalen park in Visby on Gotland. It quickly became a yearly tradition and in 1981 all party leaders were there for the first time. With all top politicians gathered, other kinds of interest groups and other organizations as well saw their chance to be there. The number of seminars and debates have grown and this year, a new record is set with 1,396 official events planned during the one week. It has been called a rock festival for politicians, the week in Almedalen, since the social aspects of networking and mingle is as important as the official agenda. The whole concept is that everything is very open as politicians and journalist are mingling together. This has actually been criticized since the independent and monitoring role of media during this particular week has been questioned. There is an unofficial saying among some: “what happens in Almedalen, stays in Almedalen”, meaning that media does not necessarily report for example if a famous politicians gets too drunk or incidents of similar kind. This loyalty, however, only applies during this week.

Bye-bye Hultsfred
The popular Hultsfred music festival – an annual event – has been cancelled. It is thus time to say bye-bye to what is regarded by many as a classical Swedish festival. This year would’ve marked the 25th anniversary of the festival but since only 5 000 tickets were sold, the organizers cancelled the show and declared themselves bankrupt. Whether or not the 5 000 ticket holders will get their money back is not clear.

Princess Madeleine’s comeback
A tan Princess Madeleine made her comeback in London after some difficult months following her April break-up from fiancé Jonas Bergström. The Princess, who was hosting a charity event for Childhood Foundation, looked better than ever in a smoke-colored dress. The event took place at The Northumberland, near London’s Trafalgar Square. She refused to answer questions but on the other hand joked that she couldn’t see for all the flashing cameras. Among other people participating in the charity event, was Swedish star chef Marcus Samuelsson.

Liberals like ballet
Liberals are more interested in the performing arts than any other Swedes, and members of the Left Party prefer musicals. That’s one of the results from the study “The performing arts and its audience”, done by the SOM Institute. Topping the list of people most interested in the performing arts are the Liberals, closely followed by members of the Left Party, who in turn are followed by members of the Green Party, Moderates, Christian democrats and members of the Center Party. The Social democrats are the ones least interested in the performing arts. Liberals are most interested in opera, classical music, ballet and musicals, while members of the Left Party prefer theater and modern dance, although musicals are what they like most. Social democrats prefer farce.

Meet Sweden’s no 1 blogger
She is 19 years old and her name is Alexandra Nilsson but she is known to most as “Kissie” – Sweden’s most read blogger. In an interview with Swedish paper Metro, Kissie reveals that she has recorded a single called “Success”, and that she has had several beauty operations (“my boobs, my cheeks, and my lips”) and that she is quite shy in real life. “They fixed my voice in the studio with autotone, it sounds a bit strange now. It sounds like techno or house. But I believe I could sing live. I’ve done it before. I think I have a place in the music business.” When the interviewer says she hardly recognizes Kissie from the photos on her blog, Kissie admits she uses Photoshop quite freely because “it’s provoking”. “I don’t think Sweden has any celebrities,” Kissie continues, “those who people recognize around town are bloggers, I think we’re Sweden’s A-listers. I mean, who turns around to look when Markoolio passes by?” When the interviewer asks Kissie what the most expensive gift she has ever received through her blog is, the answer is a pool so big she has to have it delivered to her parents’ house and put it in their garden. “I can’t remember who gave it to me. My friends aren’t jealous of the stuff I get, I hope they’re not anyway. But I would be, if others got as much as I do.” You can find Kissie’s blog here: www.kissies.se