Crazy fun at SOF 2015

It’s lucky that the Student Orchestra Festival (SOF) isn’t held
in Gränna as was originally the plan. Because the 2015 edition of the
Kårtegen student procession would not have fit. In Linköping, 31 floats covered the route from Ågatan out to Old Linköping.
In the early 1970s, student musicians set out to decide where to have a student orchestra festival. They got a map of Sweden and stuck pins in all the towns with student orchestras. Then they calculated which town was most centrally located. The winner was little Gränna by Lake Vättern. However mathematics had to give way to practicalities, and these days SOF in Linköping and STORK in Uppsala are held every second year.

Pleasantly packed

It was pleasantly packed when the participants got in place on Snickargatan, 15 minutes late, but then that is the academic tradition in Sweden. In a stately but crazy fashion the procession then advanced – on feet, skates, wheelbarrow, wheelchair, truck, spaceship and a nearly driverless car.
Holgerspexet, a comic musical theatre group, won the prize for best float. Best technology went to TackLing. Best aesthetics was won by PILS and best act was Industrial Engineering and Management.

Popular children's party

If ”Most Popular” had been a category, ”Linköping University turns 40” would probably have won. The anniversary was realised as a children’s party, because the zero had got lost somewhere in the planning stage. So a birthday party for a 4-year-old, complete with face-painted crew, a huge pink cake and popcorn for the onlookers. When the popcorn cups ran out, people simply scooped their popcorn straight out of the big bags.

Extremely pleased General

The organisers, though a bit tired, can look back on a successful event.

”It turned out as great as we had hoped – really impressive. I’m extremely pleased with how it went,” said SOF General Johan Strömbäck.

”And the SOF organising committee, all 53 of them, hit the dance floor at five to three in the morning, to the tunes of the last song, ’Stad i ljus’. There were tears here and there.”

Tickets to the Saturday festival were sold out, and Friday’s attempt at a world record in beer tasting might have succeeded.

”We beat the record by more than a hundred people and have sent the documentation to Guiness. Now we’ll see if it’s accepted.”

SOFistan, which also means ”SOF in town”, was a new part of the festival, and a big hit. Here the festival took over the town’s main square with competitions and performances.

Photo: Thor Balkhed

Published 2015-05-18