The first Sigtuna literature festival

On August 18th 2012, Sigtuna held it’s first full literature festival this time hosting 42 events in a single day.

Media were targeted in northern Stockholm and Uppsala, both cities within 45 minutes, to create awareness. The result:  1300 people attended the event at 8 GBP per ticket.

Events were held in both small, medium and larger venues. Everything from cafe’s to old cinemas to the seven hundred year old church. The shops were full, the cafe’s were full and the Sigtuna Literature festival was a success.

Planning is now ongoing for the next event, to be held in August 2013.

Camilla Zedendahl, CEO Destination Sigtuna, in her own words:

Imagine boarding your vessel in Stockholm and cruise on Riddarfjärden, the Knight Firth, on to Lake Mälaren, discussing with renowned authors en route to a literary festival in Sweden’s first town, Sigtuna. That was reality for book lovers on August 18th 2012, when the first edition of Sigtuna Literary Festival was held. A thousand more chose more conventional means to reach the destination and take part of something that is as new as it is embedded in old Sigtuna tradition.

Sigtuna was founded as an important meeting place in 970AD. In the old part of town, where cafées and meeting places hosted events on Lit Fest day, you can trace the outlay of that medieval town. Scattered around the town you find runic stones as a remembrance to those who lived here more than a thousand years ago.

Trade and decision-making were the cornerstones of Sigtuna’s rise to fame; a place where people met and gossiped, exchanged goods and wares and talked about important issues. This is where Sweden began. Today’s Sigtuna, with its proximity to Arlanda Airport, numerous hotels and well developed infrastructure is attractive to both residents and visitors.

Tällberg Foundation conveys to discuss freedom of expression, urban planning and sustainable living, speaking to the new and coming, while modern day Vikings moor here during the summer as their ancestors did, keeping old knowledge alive.

Through a serendipitous meeting in 2011 with publisher Dorotea Bromberg, the dream of creating yet another meeting place, a venue for storytelling, writing and reading, with the joy of word craft, suddenly seemed realistic. Bromberg Publishing House and Tällberg Foundation agreed to assist in bringing literature and its creators to Destination Sigtuna for Sigtuna Literary Festival 2012.

For one short day in August, the Sigtuna visitor had 42 decisions to make: which workshop to attend, writers to meet, films to see and which tour to follow. One could start the day writing a bit of poetry, to be followed by a coffee and a writer/lecturer in a coffee shop, pop off to take a closer look at the runic stones, bind a book, go to the old cinema hall for another lecture, discuss the coming of the e-book and browse tables filled with printed ones. For the lazy, indecisive or eager, Destination Sigtuna live streamed lectures on our website.

The day was ended with a concert by wordician Wille Crafoord and left with one final thought: How do we make this even better next year? And we cordially invite you to come and find out.

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