Opening Weekend

During the weekend of 31 January to 2 February 2014, the Capital of Culture year 2014 in Umeå was inaugurated by thousands of people from Umeå and all over the world.

The high point of the wekeend was the opening ceremony Burning Snow on Saturday 1 February, attracting roughly 55 000 people. There the residents of Umeå and guests from all over Europe, witnessed the starting point of the Capital of Culture year. Curator for the weekend was Tina Eriksson Fredriksson.

burningsnow250_2Burning Snow

Burning Snow was the official inauguration ceremony for the Capital of Culture year, held on the Umeälven river as a choreographed festival with light, music, song and movement. About 55 000 people visited the show.

cityofwinter250City of Winter

During the Opening Weekend, City of Winter filled Umeå with artwork in snow, ice, fire and video. Umeå was totally transformed; taken over by artistic and co-creation happenings. Burning pillars of ice provided light and guidance, while huge fires provided meeting points for the visitors.

litcity250Lit City

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

sapmitoday250Sápmi Today

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


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

umeatoday250Umeå Today

Rådhusesplanaden transformed to one long collective stage. Shadow play, winter boules and giant embroidery took over the street, where giant fires spread warmth through the cold winter air. You could sit a while and just take in everything around you, or play a part yourself.

wordsneeded250Words Needed

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

But this was not all!
In retrospect, see all events that took place during the Opening Weekend in our event calender:

>> Friday 31 January
>> Saturday 1 February
>> Sunday 2 February

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