Umeå2014 - Europas Kulturhuvudstad

Three days of celebration when Umeå2014 is inaugurated

Pressmeddelande   •   Dec 09, 2013 14:30 CET

During the weekend 31 January to 2 February 2014, it’s time to inaugurate the Capital of Culture year in Umeå. The festivities continue throughout the weekend with Saturday's inauguration ceremony Burning Snow as a peak.

The party that will inaugurate the Capital of Culture year in Umeå extends throughout three days but the highlight takes place Saturday night beneath Rådhusparken. The official opening ceremony will take place between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. and is a collaboration of artists with connections to Umeå, the northern room and Europe.

“We are looking very forward to this. I love working up in the north – and Umeå and its Sami connection have charmed me immediately“ says Sven Beyer, founder of phase7 performing.arts Berlin, that are in charge of the staging.

The snow will burn with Sami drums in the background as video illusions and dynamic light architecture creates atmosphere. National and international stars will perform during the evening, including Inga Juuso, Ulla Pirttijärvi and Sofia Jannok with her band.

The Umeå producer Henrik Oja will together with Christian Steinhäuser from phase7 also write a number of musical works that will be performed during the opening ceremony.

“The Opening Weekend will give a pulse to the whole of Umeå, it will be amazing. We will be part of a truly unique experience“, says Marie-Louise Rönnmark, Mayor of Umeå and Chairwoman of the Capital of Culture Committee.

The Opening Weekend consists of a variety of components

Burning Snow. Burning Snow is the name of the official inauguration ceremony for the Capital of Culture year. The ceremony will be held at Umeälven river as a choreographed festival with light, music, song and movement.

City of Winter. During the Opening Weekend, City of Winter invites you to a spectacle of artwork in snow, ice, fire and video. Umeå will be totally transformed; it will be taken over by artistic and co-creation happenings. Burning pillars of ice provide light and guidance, while huge fires draw us to warmth and provide meeting points.

Lit City. During the Opening Weekend, Lit City lights up Umeå as never before. Buildings and happenings are set in light and a laser beam shoots through the city. Rådhusesplanaden and the city centre are transformed by their new lighting.

Sápmi Today. The heart of Umeå, Rådhustorget, will be totally transformed during the Opening Weekend. Sápmi Today will transform the square into a both present day and futuristic Sami place with stewing cauldrons and reindeer as well as guests from all corners of the globe.

Soundscapes. Soundscapes provide the musical setting throughout the Opening Weekend and give Umeå a new sound landscape. The music that is pulsating through the city is being created in a specially adapted container on Rådhusesplanaden. It is a live performance, created on the spot by musicians from the electronic music field.

Umeå Today. See how Rådhusesplanaden is transformed to one long collective stage. Shadow play, winter boules and giant embroidery take over the street, where giant fires spread warmth through the cold winter air. Sit a while and just take in everything that is going on around you, or play a part yourself.

Words Needed. Language finds new forms of expression through Words Needed, a fascinating, textual artwork where moving texts are projected onto snow walls. International artists cooperate to emphasise the right to use and develop your own language. A collective work that allows you to feel the power of words.

But that’s not everything, see all events that will take place during the Opening Weekend in our event calender:

Friday 31 January
Saturday 1 February
Sunday 2 February

Contact details
Fredrik Lindegren, Artistic Director
Telephone, mobile: +46 (0)70 603 25 19

Marie-Louise Rönnmark
Mayor of Umeå and Chairwoman of the Capital of Culture Committee
Telephone: +46 (0) 90-16 14 12 
Mobile: +46 (0) 70-655 64 84

Umeå has been appointed European Capital of Culture 2014. Each year EU appoints two cultural capitals of Europe, with the aim of highlighting our shared cultural heritage and stimulate interest in the cultural riches of the countries in the EU. In Umeå  this award is an important part of the municipality's long-term growth strategy. This will create a greater interest in the city and its stakeholders, and contribute to culture-driven growth.