The ‘Battle of Stockholm’ is described as a ‘sporting event’ and will involve two sides – from the north, Armé Nord in blue, and from the south, Armé Sud in red, who will clash in the heart of the Old Town from 3pm-10pm on Friday. The independence of the Old Town will be defended by Gamla Stan’s Armé in green.
‘Luther Blisset’ issued his call on Facebook last week and had by midday on Thursday 7,358 confirmed guests and over 9,000 possibles.
“The goal is to have fun and force back the enemy as best you can!” Blisset wrote.
The growing proportions of the event have created a stir of interest in the Swedish media and Dagens Nyheter met the organizers behind the alias Luther Blisset to inquire what all these high jinks were about.
“It is a water fight. There was a food and water fight between two districts of Berlin last year. But we have limited the weapons to water – water does not make such a mess,” said DJ Johannes Eriksson of Armé Nord to Dagens Nyheter.
“The Water Festival has also been something of an inspiration,” added Eriksson referring to the music festival in Stockholm during the 1990s that was cancelled by the Stockholm city council in 1999 citing, among other things, the expense.
Friday is by a freak of the calender 08-08-08. 08 is also the telephone prefix for Stockholm and the nickname used for Stockholmers in other areas of Sweden – 08ers.
Stockholm city council has decided that this is sufficient reason to have a party and the Go08 festival will offer events and happenings across the city throughout the day – starting at 8.08am, naturally.
The summer heat in Stockholm it seems has led to an impromptu extension of the Go08 festivities and tourists in the Old Town could get drenched in the crossfire. Stockholm police will be there to keep a watchful eye.
“People should be able to spray water on each other if it is done in a playful manner, but if it gets out of hand and they use things other than water pistols then we will naturally put a stop to it,” said Kjell Lindgren of Stockholm police to Dagens Nyheter.
Meteorological agency SMHI has forecast heavy rain for the Lake Mälaren area on Friday, so it seems Stockholmers in all corners of the city could be in for some ‘water festival fun’.