The Choir Festival
– a part of the European Capital of Culture year

Umeå2014 is a window to all of Europe, where we show that we are one of the most culture-driven cities in Europe. A Choral Midsummer Light's Dream is a part of the European Capital of Culture year.

When Umeå was chosen to be European Capital of Culture, the jury pointed to Umeå's drive to make the city and the north of Sweden more visible in Europe and to use culture as a driving force in regional development. The jury was unanimous!

Umeå makes it simple

Behind the arrangements during the year as European Capital of Culture is of course Umeå Municipality, with an unusually small and tight team coordinating and backing. But Umeå was a really good cultural city even before 2014. Because of this, there are many interested parties and sub-projects during the year, where societies, organizations, cultural institutions, and other participants—for example, the Choir Festival—arrange many activities!

During the year, there will be an amazing mix of, for example, dramatic art, dance, music, architecture, fashion, festivals, and exhibitions. Many organizations also arrange camps, conferences, excursions, and have European collaborations.

The 8 Sami seasons

The Samis—the EU’s only indigenous people, have always regarded the northern region as a borderless country. Ubmeje (the Sami word for Umeå) is a part of Sápmi—the lands inhabited by the Sami people—and the capital of culture year is therefore divided into eight seasons that embody the Sami’s calendar.

Dálvvie (deep winter) – The season of caring

Gijrradálvvie (early spring) – The season of awakening

Gijrra (true spring) – The season of returning

Gijrragiessie (early summer) – The season of growing

Giessie (summer) – The season of contemplation

Tjakttjagiessie (early autumn) – The season of harvesting

Tjakttja (true autumn) – The season of desire

Tjakttjadálvvie (early winter) – The season of a journey

The opening of Umeå2014 coincided with the beginning of Dálvvie, deep winter, and every new season will be celebrated in its special way. The season Gijrra (true spring) changes into Gijrragiessie (early summer) on Friday, June 20th, on the Swedish Midsummer Eve. The Choir Festival will then treat all of Umeå to a concert with, among others, the host choir, the Sångkraft Chamber Choir.

Experience more of Umeå's culture!

Umeå is simmering of sights. For those of you that have the opportunity to arrive a few days early—or linger for a while—there is a lot to see. Below is only a few suggestions of shopping, culture, entertainment, and sights.


You will find a selection of shops in the center of town, at the mall Strömpilen, and at Ersboda shopping area. Particular shops in the center of town are, for example, Handelsgården (handicraft), Hemslöjden (handicraft), Duå Delikatessbutik (delicacy shop), Hjärtero (interior decoration), Frukthörnan (chocolates), Kii (fashion), Armyshopen, and Kopparhatten (handmade hats).


Guitars The museum was opened in February and might be the largest collection of guitars in the world. It has been given great attention way beyond the Swedish boarders.

Bildmuseet – for pictures, photographs, sculptures, collages and much more, is situated in the middle of Umeå's new Arts Campus by the shores of the Ume River. Free admission.

The City of walksUmeå is also a proper city of walks?. Stroll along the river, find the sites in the books by Stieg Larsson or follow a guided city tour in Swedish, English or German.

Swedish: Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 4 pm.

English: Wednesdays and Fridays at 4 pm.

German: Sundays at 4 pm.