This summer… Sweden belongs to Gyllene Tider
STOCKHOLM – Under clear skies, a capacity crowd of some 32,000 people have gathered in Stockholm’s Stadium to see Gyllene Tider’s triumphant return to the venue that was the highlight of the Återtåget tour in 1996. In a few minutes, the crowd will go wild as the opening strains of “En sten vid en sjö i en skog” are heard and the curtain with the 25th Anniversary cake emblazoned on it rips open to reveal Per and the band.
It’s the biggest rock tour to ever hit Scandinavia. No other act – even the megastar international ones – have attracted such crowds, and none have had such a pervasive impact on an entire Swedish summer.
Sure, Gyllene Tider was popular before. When the group met with their initial success, teenage girls screamed and fainted in the hysteria that surrounded the group. But to an extent unmatched before, the members of Gyllene Tider have become the favorite sons of an entire nation. “All of Sweden is Proud of You” read one poster being waved by a fan in the crowd.
“I feel extremely lucky. We all feel unbelievably accepted by the Kingdom of Sweden,” says Per Gessle.
For some, it’s a nostalgic trip down Memory Lane. The concert set list is full of songs that take Swedish adults back in time to when they themselves were teenagers. But at any concert on the tour, look at the mass of people nearest to the stage, and you’ll clearly understand that this music.. this band… is relevant to today’s teenagers and young adults. In fact, one of the most remarkable aspects of this tour is the demographics: GT’s appeal spans generations. Everyone in Sweden this summer, or so it seems, loves Gyllene Tider.
Marie Dimberg, who is serving as the band’s manager, confirmed to The Daily Roxette that the the entire anniversary celebration had taken on a proportion far greater than what had originally been expected. “Oh my gosh!,” said Per, in English, to one Swedish reporter.
In Halmstad especially, as the opening concerts grew near, the entire city seemed overtaken by an epidemic of “golden fever” – some of it heartfelt, some of it commercially motivated. The local tourist board is promoting a “Gyllene (Golden) Sommar” while restaurants, cafés – even a gas station quickshop – have “Gyllene” items on their menus.
The amount of press that GT is generating as a result of this tour is staggering. Reporters for both national, regional, and local media outlets are covering the tour and its surrounding hoopla as if it were a royal or presidental visit. Newspapers like Aftonbladet and Expressen are devoting multi-page spreads to the story – on a daily basis – covering the tour in detail. Since to a large extent the tour is repetitive as the band moves now from city to city, the reporters have been creative in finding an “angle” to their stories. Special supplements designed to be saved appeared in several newspapers in early July.
Photos: Lars-Erik Olson/TDR
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July 23rd, 2004
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