News about: Events

Since 1980, the Göteborgsvarvet Half Marathon has been a major festival for runners in Gothenburg. This year, however, it was replaced by a virtual race, where runners from 24 different countries ran the race from home – an example of how a global crisis has accelerated the development of digital services.

Suldan Hassan, Ullevi FK, during his vitrual race at Hällered outside Borås. Photo: Dino Soldin och Polestar.

For Annika Knutsson, the race director of the Göteborgsvarvet Half Marathon, March 11 was a day on which everything was turned upside down. It was then that the decision was made to cancel this year’s race. The event, which each year attracts 80,000 runners who participate in at least one of the races during the week, as well as hundreds of thousands of spectators, usually fills the streets of Gothenburg.

“This event means so much, both for the runners and for the city, so it was a really tough decision to make. At the same time, however, we had already begun planning to organise virtual races – this just sped up the process”, explains Annika Knutsson.

In Gothenburg’s role as European Capital of Smart Tourism, digitalisation has been a priority area. For this reason, there has been great interest in the development of virtual events, concerts and other cultural experiences. Another example is El Sistema’s Side by Side music camp, which last year attracted more than 2,000 participants to Gothenburg from all around the world. This, too, will be held digitally this year.

With regard to virtual races, Europe currently lags behind USA, where these have become relatively common in recent years. Göteborgsvarvet Virtual Race 21k was one of the first large-scale such events to be held on this continent.

As always, the distance was 21.1 kilometres, and the registered participants had to run this distance during the weekend of May 15–17. With the help of a downloaded app, the distance run was registered on the runners’ mobile phones or GPS watches.

A total of 3,336 runners, from 24 different countries, completed the race. Together, they ran a combined distance of 70,643 kilometres, and the fastest times were 1:10:30 for men and 1:19:24 for women.

Annika Knutsson, race director.

“It worked really well – particularly considering that this was the first time. We will continue to arrange virtual races at various points in the future, and with different distances. This is something we believe the runners will want to be involved in”, says Annika Knutsson.

The hope is that the Göteborgsvarvet Half Marathon will return in 2021, once again filling the streets of Gothenburg with runners and spectators over the course of an intensive week in May. “Yes, we really hope this will be possible. The virtual race is a good complement, and is good both for public health and for the race, but it cannot replace running together in front of a large crowd of spectators. In 2021, Gothenburg will be celebrating its 400th anniversary, so we will be arranging both the regular Göteborgsvarvet Half Marathon and a special full-length marathon in September, for which several thousand runners have already registered.”

Conditions within the tourism industry have undergone a fundamental shift, and we feel warmly for all those who have been affected. Rarely has cooperation been as important as it is right now. We take our role as a collaborative platform extremely seriously, and we are working hard to provide as much help as we possibly can. Here, you can find out more about what actions Göteborg & Co is taking in the current situation.

During the weekend of 14–15 December an initiative that is part of Christmas City Gothenburg gave locals a chance to sit down and get to know a stranger at the Central Station. To break the ice and pave the way for stimulating conversations, they were given specially prepared questions to ask each other.

Gbg Talks at Gothenburg Central Station. Photo: Dear Studio/Mattias Vogel.

To encourage residents of Gothenburg to join in and talk to each other, several meetings between strangers were filmed beforehand. To watch the subtitled videos, check out: 

“Our aim is to get more people to discover and choose Gothenburg, and to help make Gothenburg a sustainable destination in every way. We are convinced that meaningful conversations lead to greater tolerance and understanding of each other,” says Peter Grönberg, CEO of Göteborg & Co.

Gbg Talks puts the emphasis on human encounters and also aims to promote organisations that work with such issues, such as Språkvän Göteborg (language mentoring), Stadsmissionen (Gothenburg City Mission), Kulturkompis (Culture Buddies) and Kompis Sverige (Buddy Sweden).

Christmas City Gothenburg is now in its 16th successive year and runs from 15 November to 6 January. A wide range of activities, from illuminations to Christmas markets, concerts, gift shopping and Christmas at Liseberg, attract residents of Gothenburg and visitors to the city during November and December.

This autumn’s program for Student Göteborg kicked off on September 17th with a big welcome ceremony at the Museum of World Culture, where around 700 students participated in the evening’s activities.

Photo: Göteborg & Co

It is really packed at the Museum of World Culture tonight where all new students in Gothenburg are gathered for the launch of Student Göteborg’s autumn activities. The evening starts with food and drinks, followed by speeches of Chalmers’ rector and the University of Gothenburg’s vice rector. Various art and music performances will complete the evening. Some students came in group, others came to the launch by themselves to meet and mingle with future classmates.

We meet Lucie, Bérénice and Charles who arrived in Sweden a month ago. They came from France to study architecture at Chalmers and look forward to the next nine months in Gothenburg. All three are excited about the activities the program has to offer.

− It is really nice that so much is arranged for the students! says Charles. While Lucie looks forward to the football match between IFK Gothenburg and IK Sirius, Lucie chooses to focus on art and the museum tours arranged in October. Boat trips also seem to be fun, everyone agrees.

Lucie, Charles och Bérénice came from Paris, France,to study architecture at Chalmers. Photo: Göteborg & Co

We leave the trio and meet Ophelia, who has come here from Shanghai, China, to read a two-year Master in Strategic Human Resources Management at the University of Gothenburg. She admits that she doesn’t know much about Gothenburg yet, but has signed up for many welcome activities to get to know the city in an exciting way.

– I am very happy to be here and feel a very warm welcome from Gothenburg. Student Göteborg and other activities organized by the university help students explore the city as well as meet and mingle with persons that one would not have met in other circumstances, says Ophelia.

Ophelia thinks that Student Göteborg offers a nice way to discover and explore the city. Photo: Göteborg & Co

Student Göteborg started in 2006 with the aim of making it easier for new students to get to know each other and discover all the city has to offer. The program organizes welcome activities and creates meeting places for national and international students. Student Göteborg is an investment from the Trade and Industry Group at Göteborg & Co in collaboration with the University of Gothenburg, Chalmers and the student unions.

For the first time ever, Sweden will be organizing a Champions League final. This was decided by the UEFA Executive Committee when they appointed Gothenburg as host for the UEFA Women’s Champions League Final 2021.

Photo: Per Pixel Petersson

– This is a milestone in Swedish football history. As of this year, the Women’s Champions League final is a separate event, and the final played in Budapest in May showed the positive progress for women’s football, says Swedish Football Association’s chairman Karl-Erik Nilsson.

– Gothenburg will once again host a major sporting event and the fact that it’s about women’s football makes us extra happy. We are also looking forward to paying attention to Gothenburg’s 400th anniversary with the help of the UEFA Women’s Champions League Final 2021, says Magnus Hallberg Director of Events at Göteborg & Co.

The final will be played in May 2021 at Gamla Ullevi, the Swedish women’s football national arena.

You are invited to Sweden’s first beer week on 5–13 April! How about a tour on a Paddan canal boat, stopping at various breweries along the way? Or walking the dog from the Beerbliotek to Brewdog breweries? Or enjoying an IPA session, tap-room party or beer crawl in central Gothenburg? The possibilities are almost endless.

Photo: Peter Bergqvist

Gothenburg is often called the beer capital of Sweden. And for good reason. The number of breweries has rocketed in Gothenburg and the surrounding area. The highpoint is GBG Beer Week, which was the idea of Petur Olafsson and Fredrik Berggren and is about to take place for the fifth year in a row.

“The aim of GBG Beer Week is to make the city’s beer culture thrive and grow even stronger. For one brilliant week in April we celebrate the diversity of Sweden’s rejuvenated beer culture,” says Petur Olafsson.

Every brewery has a place at GBG Beer Week: small or large, local or international, broad in appeal or specialist.

“Together we have set in motion a series of events, arranged by breweries, importers, restaurants, pubs and associations, that get the whole city fizzing with refreshing experiences. The culmination is A Beer & Whisky Fair, a two-day event that attracts over 23,500 visitors,” continues Fredrik Berggren.

So why has Gothenburg become the Swedish beer capital?
“Gothenburg has always been a beer city with a proud history of brewing. That tradition continues today, in a unique cooperative spirit as new and established breweries help and encourage each other. Many of these breweries are leading the way internationally, in quality, innovation and ambition,” says Petur Olafsson.

By the way, it is probably not so strange that Gothenburg should be called Sweden’s beer capital. As reported in the regional newspaper, Göteborgs-Posten, in February, two 400-year-old beer taps were unearthed during the construction of the Västlänken rail link in the area around Skansen Lejonet. Beer taps like these were originally used to serve beer from barrels. In those days the people of Gothenburg brewed and drank a lot of beer. A tradition that the people of Gothenburg still hold close to their hearts!

To find out more about Gothenburg’s microbreweries:

GBG Beer Week, 5–13 April:

A Beer & Whisky Fair, the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre, 12–13 April:


The Swedish Ice Hockey Association has announced that they intend to start the final negotiations with the City of Gothenburg regarding the World Junior Championship in ice hockey in 2022. The plan is that the championship will take place in Scandinavium and Frölundaborg on December 26, 2021 – January 5, 2022.

Scandinavium. Photo: Jorma Valkonen

– We are very happy and proud of the possibility that such a large international event as the World Junior Championship in ice hockey will come to Gothenburg. The event will also be a fantastic display window for the conclusion of Gothenburg’s 400th anniversary in 2021, says Magnus Hallberg, Managing Director Events at Göteborg & Co.

The World Junior Championship in Ice Hockey has grown into a very popular event that attracts international visitors and international broadcasting. 2019 the championship was held in Vancouver, Canada, and the last time it was held in Sweden was 2014, in Malmö. In 2022, it’s time for Sweden again and this time in Gothenburg.

– It feels very good that our long-term cooperation with the Swedish Ice Hockey Associations has yielded results and we look forward to full stands and a hockey fest in Scandinavium and Frölundaborg, says Lotta Nibell, CEO at Got Event.

Ten countries participate in the IIHF World Junior Championship and over 30 matches are played. The work of getting this championship to Gothenburg has been a collaboration between Göteborg & Co, Got Event, Gothenburg Ice Hockey Association and Frölunda HC.

– Congratulations, Gothenburg and Swedish hockey! WCJ is a fantastic tournament and to experience the world’s best juniors, the next generation star players, at home is a unique opportunity. Hopefully we’ll see some young Gothenburg players chasing the World Cup title in the Tre Kronor player dress, says Christian Lechtaler, Frölunda HC and Patrik Norrman, Gothenburg’s Ice Hockey Association.

Attendance capacity
Frölundaborg 7 520
Scandinavium 12 000


The Swedish Karate Federation has been selected by the European Karate Federation,
EKF, to host the Senior European Championships in 2021. The tournament will be held
in the arena Scandinavium in Gothenburg, the second largest city in Sweden, 12th – 16th
of May 2021. 

– We are very proud to host a karate championship at such a high level in Gothenburg. Karate is a lifelong practice and it’s fantastic that it includes women, men and para. We are also pleased that the organizer will arrange activities outside the arena, which makes it more open to the public, says Magnus Hallberg, Director City of Events at Gothenburg & Co.

The championship contains the two main disciplines of Kumite (fighting) and Kata (form and technique) as well as Kata categories in Para-karate, i.e. for athletes with disabilities. Para-Karate is kata for wheelchair athletes, visually impaired athletes and athletes with mental disabilities.  About 1500 competitors, officials and more are expected to join the event, from the 53 member countries of the EKF. An international congress will also take place during the event week.

– We are very proud that we have received the trust of the EKF to host the 2021 championships. Then it will have been 38 years since a tournament of this size has taken place in Sweden and also then the European Championships were held in Gothenburg.
The city of Gothenburg has a lot to offer and is situated on the beautiful west coast of Sweden. We look forward to arrange a really nice event and the opportunity it will bring to promote karate, both in Sweden and internationally, says Mr Urban Andersson, President of the Swedish Karate Federation.  A positive thing is also that Gothenburg will celebrate 400 years, and we will be able to take part in the festivities with different activities.

Since Sweden is not as yet one of the common countries to host international karate championships, Urban Andersson continues, we also look forward to present us as not only competent organizers, but in the whole as a country with good core values, such as democracy, sustainability and equality, which we hopefully will be able to share.

The Swedish Karate Federation will arrange the championships in collaboration with Gothenburg & Co and Got Event.

Together with the EKF the work of finalizing the details and proceedings leading up to 2021 will now start.


Gothenburg Design Festival starts today and will carry on until the 27th of October. It is organized by HDK – the Academy of Design and Crafts at the University of Gothenburg. The theme “openness” in design, form, architecture and arts and crafts will be discussed and analyzed trough exhibitions, shows and events arranged by teachers, researchers, students and design and crafts practitioners all around the city.

Photo: HDK – the Academy of Design and Crafts at the University of Gothenburg

Gothenburg Design Festival is an open platform for collaborative learning that uses artistic processes to reflect upon and experiment with design as an agent of change in the creation of socially sustainable futures. It explores new ideas for learning, work and social equality.

Participants are welcome to listen, talk to and conduct experiments with students, teachers as well as national and international practitioners to see how design can be essential in creating a socially sustainable future.

The festival organizes different workshops and seminars during the entire week in several places in Gothenburg. The audience can for example create physical representations of the internet or build models in small scales. The cultural center Blå Stället will reflect upon how textiles can be perceived and used in architecture. The need to reintroduce the human perspective in public discussions, as well as diversity in artistic education will also be discussed during the week. Everyone can even discover the graduation work of HDK’s master’s students or artworks created by newly graduated creators that are auctioned at Göteborgs Auktionsverk.

All the activities under the Gothenburg Design Festival are free of charges. See the full program at:

The festival is organized by HDK – Academy of Design and Crafts, University of Gothenburg – in collaboration with, among others, the cultural center Blå Stället, Kultur i Väst, Chalmers Architecture, Röhsska museum for Design and Crafts, Lindholmen Science Park, ICIA – Institute for Contemporary Ideas and Art, IASPIS, Public Art Agency Sweden, City of Gothenburg among others. The festival is carried out with the economic support of the Trade and Industry Group at Göteborg & Co.

Program Gothenburg Design Festival 2018

Gothenburg will host World Master Athletics Championships in 2022, a decision that was made today during the ongoing championships in Málaga, Spain. The two other candidates were Tampere, Finland, and L’Aguila, Italy. Representatives from Swedish Athletics, Gothenburg Athletics and the city of Gothenburg received the news down in Málaga, where a conference on future championship organizers was held, during the championships.

The Swedish delegation celebrating. Stefan Olsson and Anna Linner Bassani from Svenska Friidrottsförbundet. Bo Edsberger, Niklas Wallenlind, Goran Delic and Annika Knutsson from Göteborgs Friidrottsförbund. Åsa Borvén and Anna Mjörnvik from Göteborg & Co. Mattias Sunneborn, Anna Eek and Karin Schön from the national team.

“During the week we have met with delegates from all around the world, in order to promote our concept before the voting today. We believe that our long and broad experience of organizing large scale events and our close collaboration with Swedish Athletics and Gothenburg Athletics were decisive factors. We happy and honoured that the delegates, through the election today, show us the trust and confidence to arrange the championships. Thank you!” Says Åsa Borvén, event manager at Gothenburg & Co.

World Master Athletics Championships is an event of large scale, going on for two week and engaging about 8000 participating athletes, all over 35 years old, representing over 100 nations. Including athletes and their travel companions, the organizers estimated that around 20 000 people will visit Gothenburg during the championships, which is plan to be held 17-27 August 2022.

“We are really excited that World Master Athletics is coming to Sweden! The interest for master sports is increasing, so the timing is great. We also feel that the championships will be embraced by and inspiring for athletic lovers in Sweden, young and old. The Championships is a major event, but we feel comfortable and happy with the cooperation with the city of Gothenburg and Gothenburg Athletics, as they both are well experienced event organizers” says Stefan Olsson, General Secretary, Swedish Athletics.

Sweden has hosted World Master Athletics Championships once before – in Gothenburg 1977. Gothenburg has also hosted three other major athletics championships before – World Championships 1995. European Championships 2006 and European Indoor Championships 2013.

For further information:


It has now been confirmed that Lebanese superstar Nancy Ajram will perform in Götaplatsen square at Gothenburg Culture Festival on 17 August. 34-year-old Nancy, whose singing career began 20 years ago, is one of the biggest stars in the Arab music world.

“It feels absolutely fantastic that we will finally see such a pop icon at Gothenburg Culture Festival this summer. I’m looking forward to an unforgettable evening for all our visitors,” says Tasso Stafilidis, General Manager for Gothenburg Culture Festival at Göteborg & Co.

This will be the fourth year in a row that a top Arab performer has appeared at Gothenburg Culture Festival, reflecting a strong and targeted cultural initiative.

“I am so proud that our bookings are helping to spark visitors’ interest in culture, as well as offering terrific Arab pop performances. We have succeeded in making people feel a stronger sense of belonging in our community. This is what integration is really about,” says Tasso Stafilidis.

Nancy Ajram comes from Lebanon and has been called the Britney Spears of the Middle East. She began her career as a child and released her first studio album at the age of just 15. A further eight albums have been released since then. Nancy Ajram has won a string of international and regional awards and served as a judge on Arab Idol.

Top Arab world performers who have appeared at previous Gothenburg Culture Festivals include Elissa, Najwa Karam and Nawal El Zoghbi.

The concert by Nancy Ajram is being funded outside the regular budget of Gothenburg Culture Festival and has been made possible thanks to support from Västra Götaland Cultural Affairs Committee and the Trade & Industry Group at Göteborg & Co.. Like all the other events at Gothenburg Culture Festival the concert by Nancy Ajram is free and open to everyone.

The 2018 Gothenburg Culture Festival and EuroPride 2018 will both take place on 14–19 August and the programme content and event spaces will be coordinated in central Gothenburg.

Start cultivating an interest in natural sciences from an early age, provide more role models, encourage lifelong learning and work together to strengthen influence. These were some of the ideas discussed during the round table discussion with politicians, business leaders and academics.

Photo: Göteborg & Co

Just over an hour before the opening ceremony of the International Science Festival Gothenburg at the Draken cinema in Gothenburg, Heléne Hellmark Knutsson, Swedish Minister for Higher Education and Research, met representatives of trade & industry and academia at a round table meeting. The group discussed the collective steps that can be taken to support people and meeting places against growing disinformation and resistance to facts. This is a question that everyone present felt was important.

During the hour-long conversation they discussed the importance of fostering an interest in science at an early age and giving everyone opportunities to choose science later in life, regardless of where they live, their family background, financial opportunities, gender, etc. It was also stressed that those who do not choose science should have easy access to academic knowledge. Having good role models in science is also important, and one suggestion was to set up a prize in the name of a prominent scientist such as Hans Rosling. The group also agreed on the need for collaboration and a shared vision.

The round table discussion was held for the first time during the International Science Festival as a follow-up to March for Science 2017, with the goal of developing new platforms for collaboration between business, academia and politics.


Heléne Hellmark Knutsson, Swedish Minister for Higher Education and Research

Jan-Olof Jacke, CEO, AstraZeneca Sweden

Pia Sandvik, CEO, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden

Maria Knutsson Wedel, Vice President of Education and Lifelong Learning at Chalmers University of Technology

Mattias Goksör, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, University of Gothenburg

Göran Blomqvist, CEO, the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences

Carl Johan Sundberg, professor and chairman of the science council of the International Science Festival

About the International Science Festival

Attracting around 70,000 visits each year, the International Science Festival in Gothenburg is one of Europe’s leading popular science events, and the largest knowledge festival held in Sweden. Since 1997 the International Science Festival has provided a meeting place for sharing knowledge, inspiration and new perspectives. Each year the festival offers three programmes: one for academia, one for industry and one for the public that is accessible and free to all.

International Science Festival in Gothenburg is a sustainable festival that focuses on environmental, social and economic issues.

Sponsors: Chalmers University of Technology, the Trade & Industry Group at Göteborg & Co, the City of Gothenburg, the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences, Swedish Research Council and Vinnova.