Refused – Hard Core for the world stage
Umeå was the epicenter for the vegan hard core-movement of the 1990’s, with the band Refused reaching a global cult status. Their 1998 album ’The Shape of Punk to Come’ has been named one of the 50 most influential albums of all time by Kerrang Magazine. The band has always been controversial, due to its early open support of the military vegan-movement, which during the 1990’s organized a wave of attacks on the meat and fur industry in Sweden. In 2013 Refused was awarded The Government’s Music Export Prize at the Swedish Grammy Awards.

3 x music acts from Umeå…

Tove Styrke – former Swedish Idol-finalist Tove Styrke gained international acclaim, toured the US with Katy Perry and has released three albums.
Meshuggah – after 35 years in the Rock Game and 8 studio albums progressive metal band Meshuggah is widely known as one of the best and most respected acts in the industry.
Lasse Lystedt – Jazz-musician Lasse Lystedt founded the Umeå Jazz Festival in 1968 – a music festival that in its 55 years running boasts performances by legends such as Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong.



Brännbollsyran – World Cup in Umeå
Every spring tens of thousands of people gather in Umeå for Bränbollsyran – an annual tournament in Brännboll (roughly translates to Burn ball) with an accompanying music festival. Brännboll is a Swedish take on baseball, and over the course of three days more than 1 000 teams compete for the title. The festival started in 1974, and has since then gained the official World Cup title, with the music festival growing to become one of Sweden’s biggest music festivals featuring some of the world’s most popular artists. On stage this year: Macklemore (US), Tiësto (NL), Imanbek (KZ) and many more.

Umeå has been awarded the title ’Best Sports City in Sweden three out of the past four years.

3 x athletes from Umeå…

Hanna Ljungberg – with seven national titles, two UEFA Women’s Cup gold medals and one silver medal in the World Cup, the Umeå IK star is arguably the most successful athlete Umeå has ever seen. Hanna Ljungberg was awarded the Diamond Ball in 2002 and was named Female Forward of the Year in 2005.
Jonna Sundling – the amazing cross country skier from Tvärålund outside Umeå just brought home three medals, including a gold medal, from the Beijing Olympics.
Mikael Lustig – the Umeå FC-defender went on to play for Rosenborg and Celtic, as well as for the Swedish National football team – winning 94 games in the national jersey. Mikael Lustig won the Norwegian Tippeligæn with Rosenborg in 2009 and 2010, and took home eight consecutive Scottish Premiership titles with Celtic.



Top Design School
The Umeå Institute of Design is continuously ranked as one of the top schools of design in the world by Business Week, iF and Red Dot. The design school attracts talent from all over the world, and more than 50 percent of the current student-population are international with representation from India, Norway, Canada, USA, Japan, Brazil and Germany. Will the next Facebook, Apple or Tesla come from Umeå?

3 x innovators from Umeå…

Gösta Nyström – Designer and inventor Gösta Nyström created the first roll bar in the 1950’s, a huge leap towards safer cars. With more than 100 patents, Nyström is a true pioneer in industrial design.
Emmanuelle Charpentier – In 2020, Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier at Umeå university was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for developing CRISPR, a method of genome editing.
Johnny Johansson – The co-founder and head designer of global fashion brand Acne Studios, Johnny Johansson has made a huge impact on the international fashion scene.



Umeå has a proud history of racing. In 1932 the very best of the best in racing gathered in Umeå for the start of the Rallye Monte-Carlo. More than 60 drivers – with reigning champion Donald Michell Healey at pole position –made their way from Umeå towards the goal line at Monte-Carlo in “breathtaking speeds” up to 40 kilometers per hour.

3 x moto-stars from Umeå

Thomas Rådström – A legend in Swedish rally, Thomas Rådström competed in the WRC for nine consecutive years capturing the podium four times and winning the Swedish Rally twice. During his career Thomas Rådström stacked up an impressive 26 stage wins in WRC.
Oskar Norum – Half way into his second season of the Amsoil Championship, snocross-talent Oskar Norum is one of the top riders in the world. Born in Bjurholm, 60 kilometers west of Umeå, Norum is currently battling for the gold in the 2022 Amsoil Championship.
Eva-Stina Hübinette – Umeå born Eva-Stina Hübinette lives in Orange County (CA) and is ranked the #2 female stunt car-driver in Hollywood. She’s worked on sets such as Charlie’s Angels and Silicon Valley, and a wide range of commercials.



In the past 15 years, Umeå has gone through a restaurant-renaissance. The gastronomy scene offers everything from fine dining to cozy neighborhood hangouts, creative cocktail bars and authentic microbreweries. Most restaurant’s focus on sustainable, modern and local cuisine, with inspiration from the 123 nationalities represented in our inhabitants.

3xUmeå in gastronomy

Emil Åreng – The Enfant Terrible of Swedish gastronomy is one of the world’s most respected and creative bartenders. After a year as creative director of Grand Hotel Stockholms Cadierbaren he has returned to Umeå to create a unique cocktail bar concept – Facit Bar – that works exclusively with Swedish spirits and ingredients.
Mathias Dahlgren – The only swede to ever win the prestigious Bocuse d’Or, Umeå born Mathias Dahlgren have also been awarded several stars in the Guide Michelin. From 2010 he served as an adjunct professor of Umeå University’s gastronomy program, and has two restaurants at the luxurious Grand Hotel Stockholm.
Andreas Sundgren – Founder of Brännland Iscider Andreas Sundgren started with a dream of a nordic vineyard in 2010. As the cold climate won’t allow grape farming, Andreas turned his attention to apples, and after a couple of years of trial and error created Brännlands Ice Cider. Ten years later Brännlands Ice Cider is considered the finest ice cider in the world, with some of the world’s most exclusive restaurants on its client list.



Umeå is the most populated municipality in northern Sweden, and one of the fastest growing regions in northern Europe. Umeå is the home of many growing companies in fields such as biotech, medicine, information technology, sustainability and energy, much thanks to close collaboration between the universities, the University hospital and local industry and commerce.

In 2014 Umeå was named Culture Capital of Europe, and the city has been awarded Best Sport City in Sweden three out of the past four years.



Population: 130 873 (September 30, 2021)
Universities: 2
Students: 37 000
Birch trees: 2 300 (in the city centre)
Cycling lanes: 253 kilometers
Average age: 39 (Swedish average 41,4)
Registered companies: 14 000
Years: Time sure flies when you’re having fun – this year Umeå turns 400 years old. The celebrations will go on all through the year, and what better way is there to kick off the party than hosting Swedens largest annual sports event Rally Sweden?