Scout Niklas Hansson: Rookie – the light that brightens up the dark woods of Småland

Rookie Festivalen, or just Rookie, is an indoor festival that takes place in Hultsfred, Småland. The festival is arranged by students from Linnaeus University of Music’s Event Management Programme and is for showcasing of unestablished bands in Sweden, ‘for rookies by rookies’. The concept is to create an environment for people that are up and coming in the music industry, regardless if they stand on the stage or work behind it.

A festival less recognized than it deserves to be, with a more or less non-existent budget. Rookie have hosted quite a few successful bands in its relatively short lifetime. Among these are Miss Li, Crashdiet, Movits!, Adam Tensta and Sahara Hotnights. Last weekend it was time for the fourteenth edition, and what better way for a Spinnup Scout to spend a weekend? The major acts at this years edition were Fjärillseffekten, Linda Pira, Julia Vero and the headliner of the year, Far & Son, a hip hop duo consisting of Frej Larsson (Slagsmålsklubben, Maskinen) and Simon Gärdenfors (Las Palmas) – known for their weird but phenomenal live shows.

They really lived up to their reputation and gave the Hultsfred audience an
opportunity to combine music and pizza in a nontraditional way. The duo are currently running their ‘Pizza Tour’, were they are baking and handing out pizza to the audience during
their live shows. Frej has this to say about the marketing ploy, “There are more pizzerias in Sweden than record stores, and therefore the Swedish people like pizza more than music”.

But as always at an unsigned festival it wasn’t the big names that delivered the most lasting impression. The act John Bull Band gave an energized rockabilly show that included
everything a rockabilly fan could possibly ask for, including blues and playing standing on the upright bass. The gig that’s going to stay in my mind is Flo, an indie pop act consisting of Lo Johansson Hammarström and Fredrik Danielson, who enthralled me and the audience for half an hour with their soul inspired pop.

Everything in the festival really impressed me from the great music to the professional staff, and I’m really happy to see that the great tradition of arranging music festivals lives on in Hultsfred.