The Gothenburg Music Scene
The Gothenburg music scene is an eclectic mix that includes heavy metal, experimental electronic music, and laid-back progressive rock. Maybe you’ve heard of acts like metal bands In Flames, At The Gates, or Hammerfall; electronic music wizards The Knife or Little Dragon; singer/songwriters Jens Lekman and José Gonsalez; or progressive rock bands Den Stora Vilan, Union Carbide Production, or Soundtrack of Our Lives? They all come from Gothenburg!
Kyrkogatan 13, 411 15 Göteborg, Sweden
At the far end of a charming courtyard is this tiny café that is also a record store and a record label. So please don’t hesitate to comment on the music while ordering your coffee and homemade biscuits or enjoying your lunchtime soup. Sometimes Höga Nord arranges concerts with bands from their own label, Höga Nord Records. Expect psychedelic and Swedish prog rock. Sometimes the owners of Höga Nord can be found behind the DJ booth of restaurant Folk, which means unknown and unusual music like Serbian synth rock will be played that night.
Soup kitchen by day, rock club by night: Pustervik is the former theater that has become the heart of the Gothenburg music scene. Local bands as well as international acts like Drive By Truckers, Future Island, and Billy Bragg fill the stage. And sometimes there are club nights with names like the Ping-Pong club. Yes, that means you can play table tennis while drinking your beer.
Stigbergstorget 8, 414 63 Göteborg, Sweden
This cultural center with studios and offices for musicians is also a restaurant that focuses on hot dogs (yes, and they are very good!) and a music venue for alternative and world music. Totally relaxed with a nice little garden outside.
Stigbergstorget 1-2, 414 63 Göteborg, Sweden
This record store is an iconic destination for music aficionados, and also a place where many artists have signings when their record is released. If you are looking for recent releases or vinyls of the more exclusive kind, this is the place to be. The front café with its stage is the first venue many Gothenburg bands ever play.
Enter the former health foods store and you have moved back to the early ‘80s. This is a place where punk never died. Have a vegan sandwich and a beer with the Crippa label, and maybe—if you’re lucky—there will be an acoustic concert on the small stage. Acoustic punk, you say? Well, yes. And other music styles, if Crippa likes the band.
Djurgårdsgatan 13, 414 62 Göteborg, Sweden
This old brick building in the area of Majorna houses rehearsal rooms for many bands, and is very much where it all began for a lot of the leading acts from Gothenburg. It is also an occasional concert venue, dance hall, and poetry event host, and has a small café. It’s a nice hangout for laid-back alternative music and culture lovers.
Andra Långgatan 4, 413 03 Göteborg, Sweden
This is a classic record store with a focus on vinyl and includes a small coffee shop that hosts occasional acoustic concerts. Local bands set up their instruments in a corner and play for the store and café visitors. It’s one of those places that feels like it has always been there.
Kaserntorget 9, 411 18 Göteborg, Sweden
This is a local favorite and the ultimate hangout for musicians in Gothenburg, a store where you can spend hours talking to owner Bruce Ems and browsing among the Hagström guitars and synthesizers. The name MUG on the sign is short for Musik Utan Gränser—Music Without Borders.