A hard rock festival founded and managed by Sabaton since 2008.
The Sabaton Open Air festival is considered to be THE ultimate Sabaton experience and the place to be each year for a very special Sabaton show, tons of other great bands, and the place to meet your metal brothers and sisters from all over the world.
The festival is also held on one of Europes greatest venues for such big events, and the nearby town Falun have all the service missing on many other bigger festivals.
The short story
Sabaton members Pär & Joakim started this festival along with their newly recruited webmaster Krister. The first festival (under the name Rockstad: Falun) was held 2008 inside an old military exercise building and was from the start only a planned release party for the 2008 album “The Art of War”, but more or less accidentally it became a 1-day festival and the founding trio just had to make this an annual event…
From that year the festival have gone thru some major changes, in 2009 it was moved outside and down town Falun, in 2010 it was moved to the Lugnet venue and became a 2 day festival with camping facility etc. In 2013 the name was changed into “Sabaton Open Air” and in 2016 the festival added the pre-party and became a 4 day experience.
Since we are located in Sweden, there are mainly Swedish visitors at Sabaton Open Air, but every year we attract people from over 35 countries to visit our festival and the latest years we see a huge increase of people from Germany, Norway, Finland and Belgium.
In 2016 we had visitors from all continents on location for the first time.
Average age is around 24 years old, and almost 50% of the visitors are female visitors.
Since we have no age limit, a lot of children is visiting us during the early hours and it’s not that uncommon to bump into a whole family with 4-5 generations represented.
The festival venue
In Falun there is a large multi sports facility called Lugnet. At Lugnet there is a ski stadium that have held the world championship Cross Country Skiing for 3 times, the latest was in 2015 when this part of the facility also went thru a massive restauration witch included infrastructure beyond our expectations and also a brand new building with water toilets and huge storage possibilities.
We have had our festival at Lugnet since 2010 and can make a festival area exactly as we like it there. We have all the space needed, and a perfect dialogue with the venue if we need anything special in the last minute.
Our first time visitors often get’s stunned by the view from the 2 large ski jumps on the hill, and of course the beautiful Swedish nature thats surrounding the festival area.
The bands and the music
Main focus on bands are in the power metal & classic hard rock genre. Each year we try to book a few bands that stands out from that genres and we always try to please the visitors wishes as good as possible.
From 2 stages around 25 bands are performing in 3 days (Thursday to Saturday) outside. With the stages placed next to each others we never have 2 bands playing at the same time.
The 4:th day of the festival is a pre-party on Wednesday night with a few bands performing in the bar area on the venue. This night is also free of charge for all visitors and here we focus mainly on bands from the local region. The age limit due to Swedish laws in the bar area is 18 years old.
The sound level is also restricted by Swedish laws. We follow these laws by the book of course, and keep the limit to 100db, at all times.
The bar areas
In Sweden we have many laws and regulations to follow. One of them is the regulations regarding alcohol and how it’s served. Each local municipality can more or less decide on their own how an event like ours should do things, and here in Falun we have to serve alcohol in a closed bar area, and have a strict 18 year limit for accessing it.
This sounds very strange for all foreign visitors, and to be honest, we can understand that after all these years visiting great festivals around the world without these limits.
But, this is actually not that bad.
We make this bar area huge each year. And its located on a small hill, in the middle of the venue, from where you have a really good view over both stages and the whole festival area.
In there we serve beer, cider, wine and drinks along with non-alcoholic drinks and high quality food.
A special V.I.P area is also located next to the bar area, and in there we have an even better variation of drinks. To this area we sell only a strict limited amount of tickets each year. Most of the visitors in there are invited guests, partners, record labels, friends and family, artists playing etc. Also here it’s a strict 18 years age limit for access.
The food and drinks
We try to have a great variety of food available on or festival. Each year up to 9 external food trucks are hand picked by us, and from 2016 we have our own restaurant hosted by the well known Chef Cuisine: Görgen Tidén on location.
The external food trucks are all located on the main festival area, close to the stages. From them you are able to get all from classic festival food like hamburgers, kebab and pasta, to vegan and non lactose / gluten dishes, asian food and much more.
All food trucks serve only non-alcoholic drinks. And they all accept both cash and card payments. Some even accept Swish payments (Swedish cellphone payment service).
Our own restaurant is located next to the bar area and serves a very special menu based on ecological and locally produced food. The Chef Cuisine Görgen has a genuine passion for food from the Dalecarlia region and offers both meats, vegan, non lactose / gluten dishes. In here you can also get a cup of good quality coffee or tea.
This restaurant is also accessible from within the bar area.
A regular dish costs around 100 SEK (Approx €10) in all food stands.
The camping areas
If you want to stay in a tent during the festival all you need is to get a ticket with camping included. With that ticket you have access to our own tent camping, the place to be for the ultimate festival experience.
In there you can party with your friends all night long, and enjoying your stay close to the beautiful Swedish nature, only a 5 minute walk from the festival area.
In that area fresh water is available, there are toilets and a dedicated area for you to use when cooking food, and we will also sell some sandwiches and non-alcoholic drinks in the camping entrance. Nearby there are free hot water showers available, and a swimming pool that all visitors have a special discount to if they want to use.
Feel free to bring your own alcohol here, but we will not allow any glass bottles in this area. More regulations for the camping area is to be found here in the FAQ section.
For campers who wants to bring their caravan or trailer we cooperate with the company Lugnets Camping who takes care of all bookings.
If you do not want to camp at all, we recommend Scandic and First hotel Grand first. And of course the local visitors centre who will help you with all kinds of questions regarding where and how to stay while in Falun.
The people behind Sabaton Open Air
In the top of this page we explained how it all started with the founding trio etc. Back then it was the band Sabaton, and a very few close friends managing the whole project.
Today the festival organisation consist of over 400 persons.
Most of them are volunteers who basically work for their own festival access and the feeling of belonging to the best festival crew in the world.
A handfull of persons are also hired to lead all the work, and a handfull of external contractors are hired to do special tasks. All staff is hand picked by the festival management.
Joakim & Pär from Sabaton is still around doing various tasks before, during and after the festival. They are both involved in the band booking process and the total feeling in Falun during the event. But nowadays they mainly focus on doing their most spectacular show ever, every year.
To be a part of this fantastic crew, all you need is to apply here, and a team leader will contact you as soon as possible.
Why visit Falun & Sabaton Open Air then?
I can think of many reasons.
And to explain it for everyone, it is maybe easier to do a small list of the most important reasons:
- Sabaton fans from all over the world.
If you are a huge fan of Sabaton, this is the place to be!
You have probably seen them perform on other places. Like the rock club nearby, or headlining a huge metal festival somewhere in the world.
But if you have not seen them in their hometown Falun, you have a big reason to travel here some day.
- All other bands.
Some might think that we only book a few bands to fill out the line-up each year. Thats really not true. We put a large amount of effort booking bands that we know Sabaton fans would like to see, and of course some other bands that visitors not that interested in Sabaton would like to see. A good variety in bands should attract a large number of heavy metal fans, thats the spirit we try to have each year. And we always let the larger bands have the possibility to do spectacular shows including fire and pyrotechnics + signing sessions and meet & greets.
- The sprit of Sabaton Open Air.
We have heard this so many times. That we have an unique sprit in Falun and on our festival. We are considered to be the most friendly festival in Sweden and people are picking us in front of many other events just for that sake.
- The Falun area.
In Falun, an old town that have a fantastic history from the 14th century, you can find a lot to do and discover while not head banging on the festival.
A few things is a must to do and the old copper mine is a visit you will not regret. The city centre have all the shopping you can imagine and some very good restaurants and coffee shops that welcomes metal heads with open arms.
- All other reasons.
I often get the question: “Why visit your festival?”
An easy answer for me would be: “Why not?”.
And thats pretty much what i feel every time i got this question. We have from day one made this festival exactly as we would like it to be as a visitor, and since we have seen a bunch of other great festivals around the world, we have always aimed to pick out all the good things from them and apply it back home in Falun. Thats a lot of reasons to come here. 🙂
With those closing words i would like to invite you to the 10:th anniversary of Sabaton Open Air in Falun, Sweden 2017.
– We will not make you disappointed.
/ Krister Lindholm – Festival manager & co-founder.