Interview: Thoughts of a Festival Organiser

Imagine all your greatest friends, dancing and celebrating life together  at a festival where you are listening to your favorite hand-picked music. You get to choose the location, decide when the party stops and have included all the best aspects of festivals you have attended in the past.

For most of us the idea of running your own festival is merely a dream, or a thought had whilst you have your faced pressed against the glass of your vehicle as you are exiting the festival grounds. However,  Peter Schröder  made this dream a reality which he gets to relive annually at Gagnef Festival, Sweden.


How did you get involved with Gagnef festival?

I was one of 150 guests when a great friend of mine turned 30 in 2001. Mattias Norström founded the Festival and since then it’s been a big part of my summers.   I have always arranged shows and parties, so the organizing part for the festival, came naturally to me.


Peter (Right) pictured with Mattias the Founder of Gagnef Festival.

Why is it important for you to engage an international audience?

We want to be in constant change, and also offer this fantastic (and for foreigners very exotic) place and event to new people. Most people in Sweden that we want at the festival know about us by now, so it’s good to get new blood. Also it’s important to create meetings, for a better understanding between different cultures etc.

What’s the best thing about attending Gagnef?

To meet people, probably one of the friendliest festival crowds on earth, and also to have a fantastic time where you can discover new music, art, food etc.

Alex Backstrom

Visual Writer Alex Backstrom was a featured artists at Gagnef 2017.

Describe Gagnef in 3 words to international guests.



Laughter and smiles are not hard to come across amongst the crowds and art at Gagnef.

What is your favourite festival you’ve attended and why?

I wish I had seen more festivals, there seem to be many good ones out there. A few that have affected me alot was Lollapalooza in -92, Roskilde in -93, Lollipop in -96 (short-lived outside of Stockholm) and Summer Jam in Cologne in 2001.

What advice would you give anyone interested in organising their own festival?

Be patient and let it grow organically, don’t reach for too many attendants the first year(s). Try to get a large number of great people feeling they are a part of it and making them feel responsible.


The Crowd enjoying the chilled vibes at Gagnef 2017.

We would love to hear about your Festival Experiences. Connect with us on Facebook and Instagram to share your pictures and experiences.

Thinking of attending Gagnef next year? Check out our Gagnef feature here. 



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