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About Vara Concert Hall

Located in the scenic Skaraborg plain in West Sweden, Vara Concert Hall is a prominent venue for the performing arts and offers a wide range of artistic experiences that appeal to people of all age groups.

Vara Concert Hall in the evening light during autumn with people on their way into the house

Vara Concert Hall: Fusion of Concerts, Dining and Events

Nestled in the picturesque Skaraborg plain, at the heart of West Sweden, Vara Concert Hall stands as a beacon of the performing arts. With an unwavering commitment to enriching cultural experiences, this concert hall hosts nearly 200 concerts and performances each year. From delivering spine-tingling musical performances to wild comedy shows, it offers a diverse array of artistic expressions that resonate with audiences of all ages.

Beyond captivating shows, it also takes pride in providing a culinary journey through its restaurant, serving locally-sourced delicacies, and creating an all-encompassing cultural and culinary experience.

Beyond its role as a cultural hub, Vara Concert Hall is also an ideal venue for corporate events, be it a small meeting or a large-scale conference. The positive atmosphere, delicious refreshments, and locally-sourced food further enhance the overall experience for businesses looking to strengthen their corporate culture.

The concert hall was designed by architect Kjell Hadin and was inaugurated in September 2003.

A symphony orchestra photographed from above during a concert in Stora Salen

The repertoire at Vara Concert Hall

The repertoire at Vara Concert Hall encompasses dance, theater,and music of many genres. Classical music, stand-up comedy and jazz mixed with pop concerts and fun-filled family entertainment. A huge variety of high-quality theatrical experiences – often with a strong emotional effect.

Vara Concert Hall has a mission from its owner, Vara Municipality, to operate and develop performing arts. The hall offers residents of all ages within Vara Municipality a wide range of performing arts experiences. Vara Concert Hall collaborates with the local cultural scene, schools, and community organizations to strengthen the role of culture in Vara. Furthermore, the concert hall seeks partnerships with local, national, and international stakeholders.

Vara Concert Hall also has a long-term mission from the Västra Götaland Region which aligns with Vara Municipality's expectations for Vara Concert Hall. This mission also gives the concert hall a special responsibility for big band music, dance, and for closer collaborations with artists from the independent cultural scene through their residency programs.

Bohuslän Big Band during a concert. A saxophonist playing a solo in the foreground.

The collaboration with Bohuslän Big Band

One of the most distinguished chapters in the Vara Concert Hall’s history involves its close partnership with the Bohuslän Big Band, one of Northern Europe's preeminent jazz ensembles. Bohuslän Big Band has been an integral part of Vara Concert Hall’s organization since 2004. This collaboration has not only added a layer of prestige to the concert hall's offerings but has also significantly enriched the Scandinavian jazz scene.

Bohuslän Big Band has a storied history dating back to the early 1800s when they started out as Bohus Battalion, one of Sweden’s military orchestras. It later evolved into one of Sweden's only two fully professional big bands, comprising sixteen full-time musicians. This impressive ensemble covers the entire spectrum of jazz, from the swing era to avant-garde, and has delved into other genres with some of Sweden's top artists.

Over the years, the Bohuslän Big Band has had the privilege of sharing the stage with some of the biggest names in the international jazz scene, including Quincy Jones, Gregory Porter, Carla Bley, Joe Lovano, Maria Schneider, Avishai Cohen, Viktoria Tolstoy, Vince Mendoza, Sinne Eeg, and Nils Landgren, among others. Their global reach is evident as they became the first Swedish big band to tour Japan and China in 2001 and have continued to leave their mark on audiences in various countries, including England, Scotland, Denmark, Germany, Egypt, and the United States.

Next Generation Big Band is another big band associated with Vara Concert Hall. The award-winning ensemble of young individuals up to the age of 23 years, is part of Vara Concert Hall's mission, as mandated by the region, to develop and support big band music. They have a close partnership with Bohuslän Big Band, who serve as mentors and collaborate on several projects together.