2016

ARTISTS 2017

AEROSMITH US
An era is ending. One of the world's biggest bands is putting their long career to rest, and SRF will be their only Swedish date on their farewell tour. Boston's Aerosmith conquered the world in two segments. On their native soil, they became one of the very biggest acts already in the 70s, with songs like "Dream on", "Walk this way" and "Sweet emotion". In the 80s, Europe was also won over, and the album trio "Permanent vacation" (1987), "Pump" (1989) and "Get a grip" (1993) became multi-million sellers spawning a slew of hit singles. Ever since these bluesily and funkily grooving (hard) rock titans have ranked among the very elite of mega stars. But nothing lasts forever. So when Steven Tyler (vocals), Joe Perry (guitar), Brad Whitford (guitar), Tom Hamilton (bass) och Joey Kramer (drums) return to SRF, it will be for the last time. It will be emotional indeed when the SRF crowd bids one of their very favorite acts farewell.
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SCORPIONS D
Germany's first international hard rock stars actually celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2012. Though in 1962, the Scorpions were obviously just a plaything for schoolboy guitarist Rudolf Schenker. The band debuted on record in 1971, with singer Klaus Meine in the lineup. These two gentlemen form the front duo of the Scorpions to this day. The band's perennial core trio was completed in 1979 with the arrival of solo guitarist Matthias Jabs, who capably took over from illustrious predecessors Michael Schenker and Uli Jon Roth. Matthias' arrival marked the beginning of the Scorpions' commercial heyday, packed with hits both hard ("No one like you", "Rock you like a hurricane") and soft ("Still loving you", "Wind of change"). To this day, the band keeps their position as one of the finest in melodic hard rock, and they have just entered a new era, especially interesting from a Swedish perspective. Because the new drummer's name is Mikkey Dee (ex-Motörhead).
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IN FLAMES S
Times change. Nobody in 1983 would have predicted how big then extreme newcomers Metallica would become. And certainly nobody in 1994 realised that a band from Gothenburg that combined death metal with 80s' style heavy metal would play arenas and headline major festivals. The latter band was obviously In Flames. Their debut "Lunar strain" has been followed by eleven studio albums and counting, many of which greatly influential to the metal scene as a whole. The pioneering "melodic death metal"-outings "The jester race" (1996) and "Whoracle" (1997). The diverse and on the American scene so greatly impacting "Reroute to remain" (2002) and "Come clarity" (2006). And most recently the atmospheric and alternative-rocking tunes on "Siren charms" (2014) and "Battles" (2016). Maybe it is their refusal to stagnate that has made In Flames one of the biggest bands in Swedish metal history. This is their only Swedish festival appearance in 2017.
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RUNNING WILD D
Running Wild is one of the most influential and legendary acts in European metal history. From the very beginning - their debut album arrived in 1984 - they captured the hearts of the headbanging community. The crunching riffs, the anthemic choruses and the snarling vocals of Rolf "Rock'n'Rolf" Kasparek are defining trademarks of the band's catalogue. In Sweden, the band played only twice - in STockholm 1989 and at SRF 2000. And in 2009, Running Wild called it quits. Not for good though - they are back with a vengeance, and now it's time for their third Swedish appearance. At SRF 2017 of course!
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ALTER BRIDGE US
Florida's Alter Bridge is one of the biggest contemporary hard-rock bands founded in the new millenium. In 2004 three quarters of postgrunge titans Creed merged with singer Myles Kennedy - the latter now also known from Slash's solo band. Alter Bridge debuted the same year and displayed a sound containing some modern elements from the members' previous efforts, combined with influences from classic 70s' hard-rock ideals. A winning combination. Alter Bridge got their biggest hit so far with "Isolation" in 2010, but the band as such have only got bigger with time. Their fifth album "The last hero" arrived in October 2016.
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LITTLE STEVEN & THE DISCIPLES OF SOUL US
Steven Van Zandt, a.k.a. Little Steven, is famous as the guitarist on Bruce Springsteen's best selling albums and as an actor in "The Sopranos". But he has also had a distinguished music career in his own right. Backed by the Disciples Of Soul he released the lauded "Men without women" album in 1982. Later he got recognition, not least in Sweden, for the song "Sun City" (1985) with Artists United Against Apartheid, and his equally political solo album "Freedom - no compromise" (1987). In 2016 he resurrected the Disciples Of Soul and his first solo album since 1999 is on its way.
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SWEDEN ROCK SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA S/UK/FIN/
The Sweden Rock Symphony Orchestra is a completely new concept for the Sweden Rock Festival: a grand symphony orchestra with 48 musicians and a choir who, together with a band and six invited guest star vocalists, will be performing newly arranged, well known hard rock and metal classics like you have never heard them before! The orchestra usually goes by the slightly shorter name Sweden Symphony Orchestra and is one of the premier orchestras in Sweden. Founded by conductor Ulf Wadenbrandt, they have played all the major concert houses in Sweden, such as Berwaldhallen and Göteborgs Konserthus, as well as performing on national TV station TV4's new year's special, on the 25th anniversary tour of the immensely popular Rhapsody In Rock show among many other things. As a professional orchestra conductor, Ulf Wadenbrandt is best known for his symphonic genre crossover concerts. Having worked with many of the leading orchestras and artists in Sweden, he has established himself as a well-respected conductor in high demand. The rock band accompanying the orchestra will be the Swedish prog rock/metal band Freak Kitchen, with some extra help from former Magnum keyboardist Mark Stanway. Participating vocalists: Dan McCafferty (ex-Nazareth) Tarja Turunen (Tarja, ex-Nightwish) Joacim Cans (Hammerfall) John Lawton (ex-Uriah Heep) Peter Tägtgren (Pain, Hypocrisy) Joe Lynn Turner (ex-Rainbow, Yngwie Malmsteen) This entire project is being put together for this one and only concert, so this will be a completely unique experience that no Sweden Rock Festival guest should miss!
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RIVAL SONS US
Rival Sons have since the "beginning" - as in their first album on a label, "Pressure and time" (2011) - been widely praised as future stars of good ol-fashioned heavy(ish) rock. Even as the natural heirs of Led Zeppelin, according to the most enthusiastic voices. Subsequent albums - "Hollow bones" (2016) being the fifth and most recent - have confirmed the band's status, and so has touring with such behemoths as Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Kiss. In Sweden, Rival Sons fans are many and devoted, so we could safely assume that the SRF triumph is already in the bag.
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RATT US
In the 80s glam metal was red hot, and Ratt were one of its leading names. Albums like "Out of the cellar" (1984) and "Invasion of your privacy" (1985), with songs like "Round and round", "You're in love" and "Lay it down", are pieces of metal history. After their most recent, lauded album "Infestation" (2010) Ratt was put on hold, and in recent times there has been a legal dispute over the rights to the band name. Now, this issue has been settled: Stephen Pearcy (vocals), Warren DeMartini (guitar) och Juan Croucier (bass) own the name Ratt and are now taking the band to Europe for one sole live performance - at SRF.
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SAXON UK
These heavy metal legends are perennial favorites at SRF. Not surprising. If there is a word to describe Biff Byford and his merry men, that word is "reliable". Although many still associate Saxon primarily with early 80s' albums like "Wheels of steel" (1980) and "Denim and leather" (1981), they create good to superb music to this day. Their coming twenty-second (!) studio album will, most likely, not be an exception. And live, Saxon ALWAYS deliver. Not least at SRF, where they traditionally bring along their classic eagle-light rigging. Including this year.
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CLUTCH US
Clutch is a fascinating feature on the US rock scene. A smalltown band from Maryland who debuted in 1993, as a part of the alternative rock scene at the time - but not really. Neither then, nor later has Clutch really been part of any "scene". They're really "just" a groove-driven, and reasonably hard rock band that doesn't sound like anybody else. They have also only got more popular över time, and have experienced the greatest success of their career by far with their tenth album "Earth rocker" (2013) and its follow-up "Psychic warfare" (2015).
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STEEL PANTHER US
In an age where hair metal was deemed dated and laughable in the US, Steel Panther gave their listeners "deniability" by dressing their music up in parody. It was a success. In Sweden, where hair metal is alive and well and doesn't need to make fun of itself, Steel Panther are popular regardless. The reason is, obviously, that parody or not, Steel Panther make good hair metal. Songs like "Death to all but metal", "Party all day" and "Gloryhole" have achieved cult status and we can safely assume that the current, fourth album "Lower the bar" contains a future fan fave or two as well.
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DORO PESCH'S WARLOCK D
We all know Doro Pesch as the unofficial Queen of metal. Most of you probably also recall that she originally made a name for herself in the band Warlock that folded in 1989. Warlock made for albums that are held in high esteem by heavy metal-enthusiasts. Especially the last one, "Triumph and agony" (1987), featuring such classics as "All we are" and "I rule the ruins". 2017 marks the albums 30th anniversary, and to celebrate Doro and her co-star from back in the day, Tommy Bolan (guitar), have reunited for selected gigs - including SRF. A very special occasion for Doro fans.
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APOCALYPTICA FIN
One of the most peculiar success stories in hard rock history began in 1993. Apocalyptica originally consisted of four cellists, graduates of the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. The four cellists have since become three, while a singer and a drummer have been added to the lineup, and the band's eight studio albums have sold more than four million copies. At SRF 2017 Apocalyptica go back to their roots, as in their 1996 debut "Plays Metallica by four cellos". So they will play exclusively Metallica covers, in the unique fashion that once gave them such a formidable breakthrough.
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PRIMUS US
They have been called pioneers of alternative metal, but it's debatable whether Primus are possible to categorize. The trio formed in 1984 and are led and fronted by Les Claypool, whose quirkily virtuose bass playing is essential to their sound. Albums like "Sailing the seas of cheese" (1991), "Pork soda" (1993) and "Tales from the punchbowl" (1995) rank among the most unlikely bestsellers in rock history, and the band's latest album (2014) is based on "Charlie and the chocolate factory". Did we mention that they also made the "South Park" theme song? Again, this insane band cannot be described, only experienced.
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MINISTRY US
The question "which is the world's most legendary industrial metal band" has only one possible answer: Ministry. They formed as a synth pop outfit in 1981, but later chaanged their style and got thair major break with their fifth album "Psalm 69" (1992). This classic contains Ministry's biggest hits "Jesus built my hotrod", "NWO" and "Just one fix". To date the band has released thirteen studio albums, most recently "From beer to eternity" in 2013. Seeing them live is an intense experience and band leader Al Jourgensen ranks among the most colorful characters in rock.
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VENOM UK
They were the rawest, most brutal and diabolical band of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, so they invented their own genre: black metal. Venom released their first single, "In league with Satan", in 1981, followed by the full-lengths "Welcome to hell" (1981) and "Black metal" (1982). These outings rank among the most important in metal history, greatly influential to both the thrash metal phenomenon and the Norwegian black metal scene. To date, Venom has released fourteen studio albums, and classic singer/bassist Cronos is currently in charge. SRF will be the band's only Swedish appearance in 2017.
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IAN HUNTER & THE RANT BAND UK
Ian Hunter is one of the true icons of the original glam rock era. He fronted the legendary Mott The Hoople and appear on all the band's seven albums, including the David Bowie-produced mega classic "All the young dudes" (1972). Mott The Hoople would influence the likes of The Clash, Hanoi Rocks, REM and Bruce Dickinson. The theatrical and talented Ian has done well as a solo artist as well, with hits like "Once bitten twice shy" and most recently lauded album "Fingers crossed" (2016), featuring the song "Dandy" - an homage to his friend David Bowie.
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KIX US
One of the first and moste influential sleaze rock bands ever! Poison "borrowed" Kix' stage show, Halestorm's Lzzy Hale took singing lessons from Kix' Steve Whiteman. The Baltimore quintet released six studio albums between 1981 and 1995, including cult classic "Midnite dynamite" (1985) and platinum seller "Blow my fuse" (1988). Kix folded in 1996, but 2014 saw the arrival of their lauded comeback album "Rock your face off". In 2017, the SRF crowd gets to experience the band behind songs like "Midnite dynamite", "Cold blood" and "Don't close your eyes" live.
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ICED EARTH US
Florida's Iced Earth, who debuted in 1990, are one of the biggest names in epic heavy metal. Their sound contain influences from thrash as well as prog, their lyrics encompass grandiose themes from history as well as horror fiction. Albums like "The dark saga" (1996) and "Something wicked this way comes" (1998) have become classics, and the most recent one, "Plagues of Babylon" (2014), gave the band their biggest chart success. This May Iced Earth will be releasing their twelfth studio album, followed by Jon Schaffer (guitar), Stu Block (vocals) et al returning to SRF.
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EDGUY D
Alongside Hammerfall and Nightwish, Edguy rank among the prime spearheaders of the late 90s' melodic renaissance. 2017 marks the band's 25th anniversary, which they celebrate with a select number of concerts of the "greatest hits" variety. SRF being one may be less than surprising, Sweden being one of the first countries to take Edguy to heart. The band's ten albums overflow with fan faves, so you can expect ear-deafening singing along when perpetual trickster and SRF darling Tobias Sammet (also in Avantasia) with cohorts reconvene with their Swedish supporters.
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MUSTASCH S
On their home turf, Mustasch is one of Sweden's biggest hard-rock acts. They're actually experiencing their greatest success as we speak, with so far over 500 000 streamings of their new single "Änglahund" (Angel dog). All in all the band, who formed in 1998, have nine albums and two EP:s under their belts, brimful of no frills, heavy-grooving hard-rock. They've had some hits too, the biggest one - until now - "Double nature" (2007) deserving the name of classic. Ralf Gyllenhammar & Co truly rank among the Swedish giants, and they're obviously still growing.
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GOTTHARD CH
2017 is the year of Gotthard's 25th anniversary. For a quarter of a century they have been one of Switzerland's biggest bands of any category, with combined record sales of several millions. Albums like "Dial hard" (1994), "Homerun" (2001) and "Lipservice" (2005) are classics in melodic hard rock. The band's classic singer Steve Lee died in a motorcycle accident in 2010, but will still appear in certain songs at SRF - the only Swedish Gotthard appearance in 2017 - through big screens. We will certainly also get to hear songs from the soon-to-be-released "Silver" with current Gotthard vocalist Nic Maeder.
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RHAPSODY IT
Great news for power metal fans - Fabio Lione (vocals) and Luca Turilli (guitar, keyboards) reunite on stage as Rhapsody. The two were the classic front duo of the band that debuted in 1997 and became one of the biggest in power metal with their bombastic "Hollywood metal" sound. 2017 will see them celebrate their 20th anniversary at SRF. Luca and Fabio will share the stage for the first time since 2011, joined by Rhapsody veterans Alex Holzwarth (drums), Patrice Guers (bass) and Dominique Leurquin (gitarr). Among other things, they are going to play the band's most beloved album "Symphony of enchanted lands" (1998) in its entirety.
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BLACK STAR RIDERS UK/US
In 2012 the band known as Thin Lizzy decided against releasing their coming album as Thin Lizzy. A wise move, the fans agreed. As Black Star Riders, the band has released three albums to date ("Heavy fire" will arrive in January) and proved themselves fully capable of holding their own. Though they do still play the Thin Lizzy classics live. Besides Thin Lizzy veteran Scott Gorham (guitar), the lineup consists of singer/guitarist Ricky Warwick (ex-Almighty), guitarist Damon Johnson (ex-Alice Cooper), drummer Jimmy DeGrasso (ex-Suicidal Tendencies, Megadeth) and bassist Robbie Crane (ex-Vince Neil, Ratt).
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VOIVOD CAN
One of the true cult bands of metal! Voivod from Quebec were formed in 1982, launching a unique blend of heavy metal, hardcore punk and progressive rock. They were labeled a thrash metal band and their arguably most classic albums "Killing technology" (1987), "Dimension hatröss" (1988) and "Nothingface" (1989) do live up to that epithet. The band have kept experimenting and developing, to revisit their classic style on their most recent album "Target Earth" (2013). Will we perhaps get some appetizers from their incoming, fourteenth album at SRF?
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CANDLEMASS S
Epic doom metal and Candlemass are all but synonymous. Their second, and possibly most cherished album "Nightfall" (1987) is currently turning 30. We will obviously celebrate with an anniversary show at SRF, where the ban will perform the album in its entirety. Along with some other great stuff, of course. Wait, there's more - bassist/band leader Leif Edling will come out of sick leave exclusively for this concert. To summarize: one of Sweden's most legendary metal bands will be celebrating their most legendary album in style.
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COHEED AND CAMBRIA US
Hard, progressive - as opposed to complicated - rock with elements of both pop and punk and to round it off Claudio Sanchez' high-pitched voice, often compared to that of Geddy Lee in Rush. The band themselves address influences like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Police och Iron Maiden. They debuted in full-length format in 2002, with their first concept album on the so called "Amory wars", a topic they only abandoned on their eighth and most recent album "The color before the sun" (2015). Truly a band of their own, and one of the most prominent in the new millennium. The band will play the entire, critically acclaimed album "Good Apollo I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness" from 2005
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WINTERSUN FIN
Then Ensiferum frontman Jari Mäenpää probably had no clue what the future held for him when he formed his side project in 2003. With Wintersun he wanted to "make songs that make you feel like you are floating in space"."Wintersun" arrived in 2004 as an epic crucible of power-, folk-, black- and melodic death metal. Sophomore release "Time" took forever to complete, but to Jari's own surprise Wintersun already had many devoted fans who remained with him until the band was finally released in 2012. And apparently these fans - plus a bunch of new ones - are perfectly willing to wait for as long as it takes for the coming "Time 2" as well.
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KING'S X US
With a mixture of progressive metal, funk, soul and more, King's X was one of the most original acts to emerge in the late 80s. Their three first albums - "Out of the silent planet" (1988), "Gretchen goes to Nebraska" (1989) and "Faith hope love" (1990) - secured the band's cult status and they toured with artists as diverse as Iron Maiden, AC/DC and Pearl Jam. The album "XV" (2008) is their most recent, largely due to drummer Jerry Gaskill's heart problems. In 2015, King's X returned to the live scene and there's also a new album in the making from Gaskill, Doug Pinnick (vocals, bass) and Ty Tabor (guitar).
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METAL CHURCH US
Seattle's Metal Church rank among the truly classic acts in speed metal and US power metal. They're most celebrated for their first two albums, featuring singer David Wayne (RIP), and the subsequent three with Wayne's successor Mike Howe. Following the band's split in 1995, Howe left the music business. Currently, not only is Metal Church back, but Howe is also back in the lineup, to the delight of the fans. The band's most recent album "XI" (2016) is their most lauded release in ages. Now the time has come for Metal Church's first SRF appearance with Howe on vocals
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THUNDER UK
Brittiska Thunder är ett rockhistoriskt unikum. De debuterade 1990 och är det enda "nyare" band som konsekvent och framgångsrikt hållit fast vid klassisk, brittisk, bluesbaserad hårdrock modell Led Zeppelin, Bad Company och Humble Pie. Thunder har aldrig knäckts av trender, utan snarare varit aktiva när de helt enkelt varit sugna på att göra något. De senaste åren har de varit riktigt sugna, och bandets många trogna fans är rörande eniga om att de två senaste albumen "Wonder days" (2015) och sprillans nya "Rip it up" spelar i samma liga som deras klassiska plattor.
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AMORPHIS FIN
One of Finland's most legendary metal bands started out as a death metal act in 1990. Gradually, they evolved into something different, containing the epic element of their original sound but on a foundation of folk and progressive influences. In 2005 Tomi Joutsen became the band's singer and after that the band's popularity really began to soar. To date Amorphis have released twelve studio albums, not one of them a flop. On the contrary, their status as one of Finland's major acts both on stage and on record remains as strong as ever.
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NIFELHEIM S
Black metal in its original form - raw, brutal and unpretentious - has been Nifelheim's credo since their formation in 1990. Their role models include Venom, Bathory, Master's Hammer, the Brazilian 80's' scene and, lest we forget, Iron Maiden. Nifelheim are also well-known for only doing what they want, when they want, which would explain why they have only four full-length albums to their name, most recently "Envoy of Lucifer" (2007). This uncompromising attitude have made them arguably one of the scene's most respected bands, and added to their considerable cult status.
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CORRODED S
Corroded from the rugged North of Sweden claim Black Sabbath and Machine Head as their influences. The song "Time and again" gave them national recognition in 2009, and their second album "Exit to transfer" (2010) was a major Swedish success. "State of disgrace" (2012) was followed by a European tour with Airbourne. However, due to record company issues Corroded's fourth full-length "Defcon zero" was greatly delayed. Now it finally sees the light of day, preceded by new single "Age of rage", and this summer Corroded will conquer the festival stages once more.
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DARE UK
The most talented musician in Thin Lizzy ever", said Phil Lynott about keyboardist Darren Wharton, now the frontman in Dare. The latter band's debut "Out of the silence" (1988) is an AOR classic and Swedish fave. Dare's later works, like their most recent album "Sacred ground" (2016), have a strong Celtic streak. Their fans are known for their devotion, which has hardly diminished by the return of former members Vinny Burns (guitar, ex-Ten) and Nigel Clutterbuck (bass).
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WISHBONE ASH UK
Folk-influenced rock at a respectable volume, flavored with dueling lead guitars. This concept made Wishbone Ash one of the great 70s bands, influencing the likes of Thin Lizzy and Iron Maiden. Their debut arrived in 1970 and their final breakthrough with their third album "Argus" (1972), frequently hailed as one of the masterpieces of the decade. To this day Wishbone Ash enjoy massive cult status and remain very much active - their discography consists of 22 studio albums to date, among other things. Guitarist/singer Andy Powell is still in charge and the guitar is still the focal point of the band's sound.
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FATES WARNING US
One of the "big three" of progressive metal with Queensrÿche and Dream Theater. Fates Warning from Connecticut formed in 1982 and established a highly original sound, based on a melancholy atmosphere, Jim Matheos' intricate guitar melodies and the high-pitched vocals of first John Arch and, from 1987, Ray Alder. The mid-90s saw Fates Warning move away from the sound on albums like "Awaken the guardian" (1986), "No exit" (1988) and "Parallels" (1991). However, their twelfth studio effort "Theories of flight" (2016) is highly reminiscent of this classic Fates Warning era.
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HELIX CAN
"Rock you" off their fourth outing "Walking' the razor's edge" (1984) gave Helix a hit that made them favorites not least to Swedish metalheads. Their next album "Long way to heaven" (1985) consequently got to #1 in Sweden. Since their heyday, Helix have had to endure many speedbumps but deliver musically to this day on albums like "Vagabond bones" (2009) and "Bastard of the blues" (2014). Not to mention on stage, an element tailor-made for the band's straightforward, hook-laden hard rock crowned by Brian Vollmer's powerful voice.
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HARDLINE US
Hair metal was, as we know, not extremely "hip" in the 90s, but even that era produced albums that today are classics of the genre. One such album is definitely Hardline's 1992 debut "Double eclipse". The band have since made four more albums, but "Double eclipse" remains a fan fave. To celebrate its 25th anniversary, it will be particularly well represented in the setlist when Hardline return to SRF. At SRF 2013 the band did their first live concert in eleven years, but due to a last minute stage change many missed it. Now they get another, especially classics-filled chance.
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GRAVE DIGGER D
Germany in the 80s bred many heavy metal bands, but few with such staying power as Grave Digger. Admittedly, during the actual 80s the band "only" made three classic albums (1984-86) and folded shortly thereafter. But in the metal-hostile 90s they returned, to actually become bigger than ever with an array of grandiose concept albums, "Tunes of war" (1996) arguably being the most classic one. In recent years, Grave Digger - as always fronted by Chris Boltendahl - have re-approached their raw roots and have just recorded their 19th (!) studio album "Healed by metal".
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CARCASS UK
Liverpool's Carcass is one of the most legendary bands in extreme metal. Works like their debut "Reek of putrefaction" (1988) launched a new subgenre, eventually labeled goregrind. Later, "Heartwork" (1993) became one of the defining albums of melodic death metal. After five albums in total, Carcass disbanded in 1996. However, in 2008, they made a triumphant return to the stage, and released a new album, "Surgical steel", in 2013. Many hope for a sequel, but in the meantime Carcass can still be experienced live, where they are more active and popular than ever.
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SATOR S
Sator is possibly one of Sweden's most renowned rock bands. Seven of their eight studio albums since 1988 contain a patented mixture of punk and high-energy rock'n'roll. The odd album out is "Headquake" (1992), where Sator entered hard-rock territory. This actually became their most successful album, that received a Grammy award and produced classic songs like "We're right, you're wrong", "I wanna go home" and "I'd rather drink than talk". At SRF 2017 the band will perform the record in its entirety, as well as selected gems from their entire career.
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GREAT KING RAT S
In 1992, Great King Rat released one of the most mythical albums in the history of Swedish hard rock. "Great King Rat" is melodic, well-crafted, pompous and, many claim, a masterpiece. Sadly the band folded shortly afterwards, and their reunion a few years later proved equally brief. Now, this certified cult band have reunited in their classic lineup, featuring Leif Sundin (vocals, ex-MSG) and Pontus Norgren (guitar, Hammerfall, ex-Poodles) for one, world-exclusive show at SRF - that will also be filmed. So once more, music history is being made at SRF.
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PHIL CAMPBELL & THE BASTARD SONS UK
Phil Campbell goes down in history as Motörhead's longest lasting guitarist by far - from 1984 until the end in 2015. In his current band Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons he's actually accompanied by his three sons, plus lad vocalist Neil Starr. The quintet has already been on tour with Saxon and released their eponymous EP in November 2016. Although Phil's new outfit leans somewhat more towards traditional rock'n'roll than his old band, his guitar work is as recognizable as ever - and we can safely assume that their setlist will include the occasional Motörhead tidbit as well.
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THE HAUNTED S
When The Haunted formed in 1996, three of their members came from the late great At The Gates. But the new band didn't rely on old merits. Standing with one foot in classic thrash metal, and the other in the contemporary Gothenburg sound, they became one of the most influental Swedish metal acts in the 21st century. "The Haunted" (1998) and "The Haunted made me do it" (2000) have become classic albums, and each consecutive release have offered something fresh and relevant. In 2017 The Haunted will tour extensively as well as complete their highly anticipated ninth album.
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THE DEAD DAISIES AUS/US
One of the currently most prominent traditional rock bands have a pretty untraditional structure. The Dead Daisies are centered around guitarist Davis Lowy, but with a rotating lineup that has featured members of the Rolling Stones, Guns N' Roses, Black Sabbath and many more. Since 2013 the Dead Daisies have released three albums filled with hard, groove-based rock'n'roll. They have also shared stages with the likes of Kiss, Aerosmith, ZZ Top and Def Leppard. Their current lineup includes singer/guitarist John Corabi (ex-Mötley Crüe) and guitarist Doug Aldrich (ex-Whitesnake).
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ELECTRIC BOYS S
Electric Boys' debut "Funk-o-metal carpet ride" (1989) kickstarted their career and produced the hit single "All lips'n'hips". The followup "Groovus maximus" (1992), however, sadly succumbed to the grunge wave. But today this album is also considered a classic, brimful of the hot funky grooves and timeless psychedelic melodies that are the band's trademarks. In 2017 the album turns 25, and Conny Bloom et al obviously want to celebrate by performing it in its entirety at SRF. In addition to selected gems from Electric Boys' collected works, of course - album number six is actually in the making.
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PRIMAL FEAR D
One of the biggest power metal bands - although the band refers to themselves as heavy metal - turns 20 in 2017. Amazingly, it's been that long since Primal Fear was formed by singer Ralf Scheepers (ex-Gamma Ray) and bassist/singer Mat Sinner (Sinner). They have made eleven studio albums so far, including classics like "Nuclear fire" (2001) and "Seven seals" (2005) and most recently "Rulebreaker" (2016). Obviously there will be an anniversary tour, with SRF as the only show in Sweden.
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TREAT S
Their debut "Scratch and bite" (1985) made Treat one of the hottest Swedish hard rock bands of their era. Four more albums were released before the band dissolved in 1993, including what's considered one of the greatest works of "Scandi-AOR": "Dreamhunter" (1987). Treat's eventual return was a triumphant one: "Coup de grace" (2010) is one of the most highly praised comeback releases in Swedish hard rock. Still, the band's future hung in the balance until they finally decided to keep going, on a slightly darker path, on "Ghost of Graceland" (2016).
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LUCIFER'S FRIEND UK
Reunited cult band Lucifer's Friend brought down the house at SRF 2015. Now they're back by a definite popular request. Originally the band debuted in 1970 and the first four albums in particular became classics. Lucifer's Friend's thing was to never make the same album twice. Besides traitional rock and jazz they experimented with prototype versions of both doom and speed metal before folding in 1982. October 2016 saw the arrival of their comeback album "Too late to hate", obviously with John Lawton (also ex-Uriah Heep) on vocals as always.
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MERCILESS S
In an age when death metal was taking over the reins from thrash metal, Swedes Merciless had one foot in each camp. Extremely fast, extremely brutal. Their debut "The awakening" (1990) was, coincidentally, the very first release on soon-to-be legendary Norwegian label Deathlike Silence. Merciless made two more albums before their split-up in 1994. When their comeback platter "Merciless" arrived in 2003, the band had been recognized as pioneers and as one of the great cult acts in the proud history of Swedish extreme metal - and remain so to this day.
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THE BRANDOS US
New York City's the Brandos formed in 1985 and have released nine studio albums (and more) of classic, raw rock'n'roll - as one critic put it they played Americana even before it was cool. Singer Dave Kincaid has often been compared to John Fogerty. Their debut "Honor among thieves" (1987) got rave reviews and spawned a perennial fan-fave in "Gettysburg". In the 90s, Europe grew to become the Brandos' main market, and here they remain a cult band on stage and on record.
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BLACK INGVARS S
Playing well-known songs from other genres in a hard-rock fashion is Black Ingvars' thing. Dance-band (a Swedish hybrid of country and schlager), children's songs, Christmas carols and pop songs, for instance. Since their formation in 1995 they have released eight albums with combined sales of more than 1 million copies. In their own words, "the arrangements are dead serious but the presentation is made for laughter". Black Ingvars being seasoned musicians and a highly routined live act is obviously icing on the cake.
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MYRKUR DK
This one woman project would be one of the most prominent features on today's black metal scene. Classically trained singer and multi-instrumentalist Amalie Bruun blends as Myrkur the raw and the ethereal. Influences from Ulver and Darkthrone mate with harmonies as seductive as every menacing she-demon in Norse folklore. Myrkur has only been active since 2014, but the EP "Myrkur" (2014), full-length "M" (2015) and live album "Jerusalem" (2016) have already found an enthusiastic audience. One that has only begun to grow, from the looks of it.
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ROB TOGNONI AUS
Australian blues rocker Rob Tognoni counts AC/DC, B.B. King and Jimi Hendrix amog his influences. Since 1995 he has released sixteen albums. As a live artist, he has been especially successful in Europe and particularly Denmark, where he took part in an event with 45 000 attendants, including the crown prince, in 2004. To blues enthusiasts he is a modern day phenomenon, one of few contemporary guitarists with both the chops and his very own style.
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GRAND MAGUS S
Many bands only get a brief popularity peak in their early careers. Grand Magus, who debuted in 2001 and has released eight albums, is not one of them. This Swedish act, fronted my former Spiritual Beggars singer JB Christoffersson, has if anything grown considerably. Presumably because of the very personal style they invented and perfected: traditional heavy metal combined with doom metal-heaviness and a 70's groove. Add some Nordic folk music and epic choruses on top, and you have the sound that has made Grand Magus one of Sweden's most cherished heavy metal acts today.
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PICTURE NL
Picture is Holland's most famous addition to the early 80s' metal scene. And their most famous album would probably be "Diamond dreamer" (1982) - a bona fide cult classic giving Saxon and Judas Priest a run for their money. Following a long hiatus, Picture reunited in 2007 and played SRF the following year. Now they return under very special circumstances. The whole original lineup is together again - a new second guitarist is also present - and the setlist will focus specially on the albums "Picture" (1980), "Heavy metal ears" (1981) and, obviously, "Diamond dreamer".
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THYRFING S
Thyrfing were formed in 1995 and rank among the pioneers in viking metal. The band's signatures include the combined elements of traditional black metal and Norse folk music, as well as Swedish lyrics. Thyrfing's debut arrived in 1998 and in total they have released seven albums, including such classics as "Vansinnesvisor" (Songs of madness, 2002). Their identity remains intact and they're often exemplified as one of the truly original acts in folk/pagan/viking metal. The band are currently working on their first album since "De ödeslösa" (The fateless ones, 2013).
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ROCKKLASSIKER ALLSTARS S
For the fifth consecutive year, radio's Rockklassiker brings you "Sweden's biggest, best and most famous after beach". Rockklassiker Allstars are all hair metal titans: Ian Haugland and Mic Michaeli (Europe), Bosse and Kebbe Lindmark (Dalton), Rob Marcello (Danger Danger) and Pontus Norgren (Hammerfall, Great King Rat, ex-Poodles). And, as always, famous guest artists to be named later. All hard rock classics, all the time!
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HEAVY TIGER S
Stockholmian power trio Heavy Tiger are mainly influenced by the 70s and bands like Thin Lizzy, the Hurriganes, AC/DC and the Rolling Stones. The result is a sound with a rocking groove and pop-like melodies. The band debuted in style with a vinyl EP, "Talk of the town", in 2013, followed by the full-length "Saigon kiss" the following year. In 2016 they released the single "Devil may care", followed by their current album "Glitter". All this time, Heavy Tiger's star has been continually on the rise, largely thanks to their famously explosive live show.
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MOTVIND S
Motvind (upwind) was one of Sweden's hardest bands in the 70s. They combined heavy, Anglo-Saxon-ish rock with Swedish lyrics - autobiographical ones from an often shady life. To the delight of many and the outrage of some. Their debut "Känn dig blåst" (Consider yourself screwed, 1976) was a success that was followed by five more albums until 1983, with combined sales of several hundred thousand copies. After 1984 Motvind have performed only sporadically, and this marks these classic suburban rebels' debut at SRF.
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ARTCH N
"Another return" (1988) got rave reviews but mediocre tales. The time just wasn't right for a traditional, melodic heavy metal band from Norway to debut. The sophomore album "For the sake of mankind" (1991) arrived at the dawn of the grunge era - end of story. However, Artch has always remained a cult band to heavy metal connoisseurs, and in 2010 their classic lineup reunited and will now also grace the stage at SRF. Including lead singer Eric (Eirikur Hauksson), more recently of Ken Hensley and Magic Pie fame.
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ART NATION S
Art Nation from Gothenburg, Sweden plays melodic hard rock and was formed in 2013 by Alexander Strandell, previously in short-lived but heralded AOR-outfit Diamond Dawn. The band's debut "Revolution" arrived in 2015 and led to Sony signing them globally. In 2016, they released the single, "We are better together", written specially for the world's largest junior soccer contest the Gothia Cup. Art Nation has also received great press for their live show and is all in all to be considered one of the most promising newcomers of their genre.
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LIONHEART UK
Lionheart's sole album "Hot tonight" (1984) is one of the more melodic gems from the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. It was sadly overlooked at the time, and Lionheart was mainly remembered for its members playing with so many other bands - including Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, MSG, UFO and Sweet. Nowadays they have cult status, and are reunited since 2016 with a new album in the works. Guitarist Dennis Stratton (ex-Iron Maiden, Praying Mantis) is present as always and lead vocals are being handled by the great Lee Small (ex-Shy, Phenomena).
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LOST SOCIETY FIN
Finland's Lost Society is one of the hottest names in a new generation of bona fide 80s' thrash metal acts. Their debut "Fast loud death" (2013) was well-played and enthusiastic, reminiscent of Tankard, Nuclear Assault and Municipal Waste. The follow-ups "Terror attack" (2014) and "Braindead" (2016) have kept up the good work, each record just a little more refined than its predecessor. An intense touring, with the likes of Overkill and Children Of Bodom, has also helped Lost Society establish themselves as thrash metal heroes ever so quickly.
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A TRIBUTE TO LED ZEPPELIN S
They have been called Sweden's best Led Zeppelin tribute act. Many would say that A Tribute To Led Zeppelin are great even by international standards. And why not? The band have been doing their thing for more than a deacade, certainly don't overlook details whether it's about the show or the sound, and lest we forget: are killer musicians, including Bonafide frontman Pontus Snibb behind the kit. A Tribute To Led Zeppelin is basically as close to Led Zeppelin as you can get without actually being Led Zeppelin.
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BOB WAYNE & THE OUTLAW CARNIES US
Bob Wayne is from Seattle, and it kind of shows. His music is founded in country but with elements of punk, metal and other stuff too. By his own admission, he's influenced by "old school country and old school metal". Bob released his self-financed debut in 2006, and received greater recognition with album number four, his first on an actual label, titled "Outlaw carnie" (2011) - his band is now named the Outlaw Carnies. To date his catalogue consists of seven albums, well suited for fans of Black Sabbath, Townes Van Zandt and all three Hank Williams'.
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EMMA VARG S
Emma Varg was 10 when she started composing and 18 when her debut single was a smash hit. The year was 2005, the song (and album) was "Cannonball", and the name of this high-energy Mötley Crüe fan was on every Swede's lips. Her sophomore album "This time" (2006) was followed by came the "Surrender" EP, and fan response indicates that Emma Varg has been missed. Her voice is as strong as ever, and her new songs as riveting and ripe with hard rock attitude.
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THE UNGUIDED S
The Unguided were formed in 2010 by Richard Sjunnesson, the former singer of Sonic Syndicate. His brother and former Sonic Syndicate bandmate Roger plays guitar in The Unguided. The brothers' current ensemble has so far released three full-length albums and four EP:s, unsurprisingly filled with melodic death metal heavily influenced by 21st century American metalcore. The Unguided have no desire to feed off their past, but this has surely not stopped old Sonic Syndicate fans from embracing them.
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STACIE COLLINS US
Fans of old school rock in the veins of ZZ Top, the Rolling Stones and the Georgia Satellites, mixed with some equally old school country, ought to lend Stacie Collins their ears. As a singer, she's been described as the "daughter" of Lynyrd Skynyrd's classic frontman Ronnie Van Zant, and she's a great harmonica player no less. Since 2007 she has released five records to tremendous praise. As a live artist she's even more lauded, and has achieved something reminiscent of cult status particularly in Europe, and not least Sweden.
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SUPRALUNAR S
Stockholmian power trio Supralunar play hard rock that's simple but tricky to categorize but it sounds a bit like The Darkness goes Beatles. Supralunar are currently working on the sequel to their lauded debut "A new hope" (2015), and as a live act they have already assembled a loyal posse of fans throughout the country. Fun fact: drummer Johann Enoksson is also a member of death metal-veterans Epitaph.
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VA ROCKS
The dynamic trio of Ida (vocals, guitar), Klara (bass) and Frida (drums) have played together for over a decade. Influenced by the likes of AC/DC, Danko Jones, the Ramones and the Runaways, their sound is obviously kick ass rock'n'roll. VA Rocks have released one EP and one album, the newly relased "Pull no punches", and have toured both in Sweden and abroad with the likes of Bonafide, Abramis Brama, the Poodles and Sator.
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KNOGJÄRN S
Knogjärn (Knuckleduster) are just as tough as their name implies. Their lyrics are in Swedish, their sound moves in Pantera's brutal regions. In 2016 the band got major recognition for the songs "Fly för ditt liv" (Run for your life) and "Nej nu j***ar" (What the f**k), as well as some lauded festival appearances. Their latest and current single is called "Ni är i vägen" (You're in the way) and they are planning to release their full-length debut this spring.
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VEONITY S
Veonity is a Swedish power metal band with one EP and two albums under their belts. Their sound is devoid of the symphonic elements that are common these days - just full throttle, big choits and lots of double kick in bona fide late 90s' Swedish/German tradition. On stage Veonity shun pre-recorded features completely and they have shared stages with the likes of Sabaton, Freedom Call and Kobra And The Lotus.
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SVARTANATT S
Svartanatt (roughly "the black night" in Swedish) from Stockholm play classic guitar rock in late 60s'/early 70s' style. Rough, groove-based and a tad psychedelic. Their eponymous debut arrived in 2016 and was praised both in Sweden and abroad. Spring 2017 sees the release of new single "Killer on the loose", and this summer the band will record their second album. In the intermediate time Svartanatt will also do some touring, in Sweden as well as in Spain.
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DEAD SLEEP S
Dead Sleep from southern Sweden play old school thrash metal, with additional influences from the American punk/crossover scene of the 80s as well as the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Naturally it's all very fast, raw and energetic. Lead singer and bass player Anna Wagner is the band's obvious visual focal point. Their first single "Aleppo" arrived in eary 2017 and their full-length debut is planned to arrive this fall.
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LEADING LIGHT S
Leading Light were formed in 2012 and play modern metal where brutality is combined with melodic excursions. Their first album "Protect the sinner" (2014) got an enthusiastic following and was followed by gigs in Sweden and abroad. Following a brief hiatus the band is now back with a new lineup, introducing itself on the current single "13".
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NOCEAN S
Stockholm's Nocean play melodic, alternative rock with metal influences and electronic features. Since their formation in 2013 the band have released two EP:s and an album, "Nothing to hide" (2016). The fall of 2016 saw the rlease of their first single with a new lineup and an updated sound, appropriately titled "The change". Nocean will spend the year 2017 writing their second album, as well as tour extensively through Europe.
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SKELETON BIRTH S
Thrash metallers Skeleton Birth come from northern Sweden. They were formed in 2009 by former soldier Morgan Frööjd (vocals, guitar), who had just returned from Afghanistan. His experiences there are the basis both for Skeleton Birth's lyrics and the intensity of their fast and brutal music. The album "War diary" arrived in 2014 and in 2016 Skeleton Birth got a great reception touring with Swedish metal titans Raubtier. The band are currently working on their second album.
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SM I LUFTGITARR
The national championships in Air Guitar have been popular ever since 1983, when it all started in Stockholm. And now it's time again! After a number of contests around the country, the finals will once again take place at Sweden Rock Festival! All finalists will win a 3-day ticket for the festival, where the grand finale takes place on June 10th at 18:00 in the Rockklassiker tent. The trophy everyone will strive to win is a Fender Stratocaster American Standard 2017!
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