Having never covered an overseas festival before, I didn’t know what to expect. Popaganda is a festival that taken places each year in Stockholm Sweden and its lineup is not short of talent. With the likes of First Aid Kit, Franz Ferdinand, Parcels, Pale Honey, the festival caters to a range of genres and really serves a platform for rising artist. While the first day graced me with rain, the second day had completely turned around and I was truly happy that I decided to travel to Sweden.
Day 1 – A Rainy Day In Sweden
Not exactly the greatest weather to be photographing but how could I be upset, considering I’m in one of the most amazing places right now. After a few minutes of being lost in an Uber, I had finally reached Popaganda. I first met up with Pale Honey who is a band from Sweden. While we all share a few umbrellas around we try and find a quiet place to chat. They are a band who have popped up in my inbox of the past few years and I had a genuine love for their music. After our chat, they then got prepped to go on stage. An early slot isn’t always the easiest but there was a great crowd with ponchos on having a great time. After wrapping up with Pale Honey, I then walked around the festival and was surprised at the difference between here and festivals back home. If you’re in a photo pit at an Australian festival you find yourself getting drenched in flying beer.
Sarah Klang had the whole crowd enchanted.
I’d never heard of Sarah Klang before Popaganda, but after the first song, I found myself truly mesmerised. I was torn between continuing to photograph or just stop to enjoy the music. There was something quite comforting about her voice and after that, I instantly became a fan.
The first time I ever heard these guys was on a Mac Miller track. Getting to watch them perform was an amazing experience. They definitely know how to get the crowd pumping. Not gonna lie, after that night I headed back to my hotel room and listened to their music non-stop.
What a set! Even though it was in Swedish, this set went off. I only decided to photograph one song, then immersed myself within the crowd. It was truly amazing.
I’ve never really been a massive Franz Ferdinand fan, but these guys know how to play a live show. With the night getting rainier and colder, they still managed to pull a massive crowd and keep them all engaged.
It’s nearly the end
It was up to the second last act and I had already decided to stay near one stage. The rain was getting heavier and I was completely drenched. I headed to the backstage area where I found a bit of shelter under some massive trees. After a while I spot Klara from First Aid Kit, this is probably the most nervous I’ve been since meeting Haim back in 2013. Then the internal battle of whether to ask for a photo or not, I mean who really wants a lens in the faces. I settle my nerves and quickly asked her nicely if she and Johanna would be okay to take a photo, which she replied: “of course!”. It was the most overwhelmed I’ve felt, getting to meet the band I’ve listened to since high school and grown up with. We chatted for a bit, I asked they were happy to be coming back to Australia for Falls Festival, Klara replied “Super excited! We love Australia”. Moral of this story is First Aid Kit are not only great musicians but genuinely wholesome people.
The Final Act
This was it. The band everyone had been waiting to see, First Aid Kit. As soon as they come on stage the crowd erupted in cheers. They kicked things off with Rebel Heart and you could tell they were having the best time on stage. A few surprised guests included Sarah Klang, Seinabo Sey, and Silvana Imam. There truly was no better to end day 1 of the festival. After their final song, heart-shaped fireworks went off. And that’s how it’s done, folks.