Once upon a time…
On a dark night in 1978, an idea was born. How strange that one of the world’s most esteemed events, the Nobel Prize award ceremony, ended abruptly at midnight without a shred of proper festivities? A young student named Mats Nyqvist, enrolled at the Stockholm School of Economics, deemed this unacceptable and decided to make a change. He invited the Nobel festivities to the premises of his student association.
The tradition was passed on to the other main universities and so that each year the Stockholm University, the Royal Institute of Technology, Karolinska Institutet and the Stockholm School of Economics started to take turns in organizing and hosting the event. It brought a charming hint of diversity to the project as students from varied backgrounds came together to create the magic that unravels on the night of December 10th.
The festivities remained relatively unnoticed until one year when a Nobel Laureate was part of a live SVT interview. He was asked what he thought was the best thing during the Nobel Week – a week of multiple celebrations all over Stockholm. He said, “You guessed right, the Nobel NightCap”.
It is finally time again for the project to transform the Stockholm University premises into a spectacular event and while the underlying idea behind this project has not changed, the party has undergone major transformations over the years.
Back in 1978, the founder Mats recalls that around 350 guests attended the event. This year we are welcoming around 1800 invitees.
While back in the days they served academia’s greatest minds with pytt i panna and snaps, the last couple of years have seen intricate menus with delicacies ranging from champagne and oysters to craft beer and on-the-spot-made burgers.
However, one of the most dramatic changes in recent years is the secret theme. Every year the hosting university chooses a theme that remains secret until the doors close at 5am on December 11th. The importance of this lays under the non-disclosure agreements that all those handling theme-sensitive information have to sign.
Lastly, the event is made possible not only because of the hardworking students that pour unlimited time and effort into it but also because of generous sponsors. Some of them who even choose to stand by the project for more than 10 years. This is the secret you want to be part of.