Musikhjälpen ('The Music Help'), an annual fundraising initiative carried out jointly by Sveriges Television (SVT), Sveriges Radio (SR), and Radiohjälpen, has taken place annually since 2008. Malmö, Gothenburg, and Uppsala are the only cities which have hosted the event so far – but this year Linköping is set to join the roster.
“It's a big deal, and an honour, to host this event in Linköping,” said Anders Thorén, Event Manager at Arenabolaget in Linköping. “Musikhjälpen is a fantastic project with many dimensions.”
During the six-day fundraising campaign, three radio hosts are locked into a glass house, broadcasting live for 144 hours. Listeners can request a song via text message, and the text fees (50, 100, or 200 kronor) are donated to the year’s cause.
This year’s theme is on-topic with the COP21 conference, and all funds will go towards helping those who are struggling to overcome climate-related disasters.
“It's not just conflict that turns people into refugees,” said Per Byman, General Secretary of Radiohjälpen. “There are many reasons people become displaced, and some of them can be prevented. Many people will be forced to leave home in the future due to the climate, and so we want to focus on that issue.”
Anders Thorén agrees.
“An important part of this project is education about humanitarian disasters, and we can engage and assist Radiohjälpen to gather funds to help the people who are subjected to this. Everyone is invited to join the party.”
Linköping is Sweden’s seventh largest city, known primarily for its university and its tech industry. The event will be broadcast live from Stora Torget, the main square in Linköping, from the 13th to 19th of December.
This year's hosts. Photo: Musikhjälpen
This year's hosts are Gina Dirawi, who has previously hosted Melodifestivalen, singer Linnea Henriksson, and comedian Kodjo Akolor. Samir Badran, known for his participation in Melodifestivalen and reality show Paradise Hotel, will also take part as Linköping's “ambassador” in the glass house.
“It's incredibly exciting to be able to take Musikhjälpen to a new city,” Robert Frisk, Musikhjälpen project director from Sveriges Radio, said in a statement. “We hope that we will be able to create just as much engagement in Linköping (as in previous years), and that all the students and residents of the city will join.”
This article was produced by The Local in partnership with Visit Linköping.