Retreat at Trädgården 2012.




Yung Lean.


Ilja Karilampi.




Retreat Festival

With their boundless integration of different creative expressions, Retreat festival is best described as a gesamtkunstwerk in the making. This Thursday they take hold of Trädgården in Stockholm for the second year in a row.

Retreat festival is the joint effort of conceptual and creative constellations Revenue and Kärleksdöden. Debuting at Trädgården in Stockolm last summer, the festival wants to be a retreat from the conventional selection of music festivals. This year’s festival is more eclectic, yet solid, with names such as Wife, Yung Lean & Sadboys, Romare, and Ilja Karilampi on top of the line-up. We caught up with Emilio Fagone from Revenue and Josefin Norén Almén from Kärleksdöden to learn more about Retreat festival.

– The name Retreat can be defined as the act or process of withdrawing, especially from something hazardous, formidable, or unpleasant, says the two of them. We want to create something new, bring people we find interesting together. When many different expressions and fields interact there is a wholeness, a gesamtkunstwerk in the making. We want to present culture that has not been available before.

“When many different expressions and fields interact there is a wholeness, a gesamtkunstwerk in the making”

Why this interaction between music and art?
– We do not make that kind of division between artistic expressions. Artists today work in many different fields at the same time, call it hybridity if you like. This is something that we find interesting, the reborn Renaissance person, the polymath. When we first started Retreat in 2012, we all came from different directions, such as fine art, journalism, event planning, and curating, it just came naturally to move towards combining everything on one single platform.

What can you tell us about this years festival? Which shows and art works should we make sure not to miss?
– This year’s line-up is simply more solid. We have put more focus on the art section, with exhibitions and performances taking place during concerts and so on. There will be a lot happening at the same time. You will definitely miss something if you do not pay attention to your surroundings.

– We are all very eager to see Romare. Romare describes his music as similar to the artist Romare Bearden’s paintings, from whom he got his name. A super-talented musician that really put most of todays pop music together in his musical collages. Just listen to his Boiler Room set and his brilliant EP Meditation on Afrocentrism. We have a great line-up this year and we’re very proud to be able to present this amazing group of artists together.

Romare is one of the musicians performing at Retreat festival.
Romare is one of the musicians performing at Retreat festival.

Both Revenue and Kärleksdöden are just as interdisciplinary and boundless as they want Retreat to be. With numerous clubs, concerts, and exhibitions behind them, the two teams are telling examples of newborn Renaissance person.

– Revenue is a group of connected creative people working in many different fields, Emilio says.

– I’m just working out of a concept of openess and I guess love, Josefin from Kärleksdöden tells us. It’s about trying to make Stockholm more like the city I want it to be.  More spontaneous. More open. It’s about trying to create a fun and loving space. Like a lucid dream.

Do you have any other thoughts about the future of Revenue and Kärleksdöden that you can share with us?
– A lot of things are happening with Revenue at the moment, Emilio says. We’re running a record label, a managing agency, a DJ collective and a creative think-tank under the same name. We are managing musicians, artists, clubs, and a gallery. There are no limits to what we can do. We want to bring interesting culture to the crowd, we want to work for both the artists and the audience. First and foremost we want to have fun.

“We want to present culture that has not been available before”

– The only way to build anything serious is to invest in the long term, to start small and then allow it to grow slowly and organic. I am very proud of how much Kärleksdöden has grown, without sacrificing any of the core values. I really feel that the growth has been completely natural and that I’ve made the most of the opportunities I’ve been given so far. I would like to think that Kärleksdöden has just begun spreading its wings, and that there is a lot of things to come. But in what form I won’t tell you.

Retreat festival is taking place at Trädgården in Stockholm Thursday the 1st of August. See the full line-up and read more about the festival here. If you want to skip the line we suggest you buy your ticket here. Below you can listen to a mixtape made specially for Retreat by producers Dj Top & Bottom and TXSTXSTXS, both participating as artists and DJs at the festival.