City Beat: Annual HBT-festival, 1-5 JUNE

2011-06-03. Published in What's Going On?
by Nils Pasi

HBT_festivalenIt is difficult to miss the rainbow coloured flags appearing all over the city since a few days back. But perhaps it is easier to miss the significance of it all. Why, after all, are these flags shown across the city around this time of the year annually? Today, I shall take few minutes form my increasingly busy schedule to sit down and write a few words on that subject.

The flags are basically here to let us know that the HBT-festival has started, or is about to start, as the flags are hoisted a few days in advance. The actual dates of the festival this year are 1-5 June. Founded in 2007, the festival is now a ‘unique art and culture festival’. Unique, no doubt, because of its special focus on lifting to the foreground criticism against norms (things we take for granted) and, to quote the official festival website, ‘hbt people’s situation in life in an art and cultural context’ (translation from Swedish). Hbt, I believe, stands for ‘homo-, bi- and transexual’, incase you are wondering.

The target audience includes everyone, though, and the festival usually includes something for everyone. I attended a superb classical concert at the opera house two years ago, where they highlighted homosexual composers of classical music and opera. The program was very good indeed, and the biographical commentary that preceeded each piece gave the concert an added level of depth that you rarely get with live concerts.

Unfortunately, I have been unable to find an English version of the program, and I am too short on time right now to start translating it, even if I were to concentrate on the highlights. But I will put up a link to the program in Swedish, and then you can practice your Swedish.


/Nils, team 2010-2011