Summer is the most popular season to visit festivals, and also a great time to spend time with friends. Sharing musical experiences is an important part of many people’s lives, and for some even therapeutic. Here is an overview of some of the best Norwegian music festivals of 2013. Enjoy!
12-15 – Bergensfest: The festival is held at Bergen Fortress Koengen and has become a popular concert venue for major international artists. Main artists: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Mark Knopfler, Jamie Cullum, Noah and the Whale, Mew, Steve Earle & The Dukes, Susanne Sundfør, Hoffmaestro, Johnossi and more. Read more here.
13-16 – Norwegian Wood: One of the most extraordinary festivals in Norway in the heart of Oslo. With a steady stream of top international and Norwegian artists combined with an intimate and green concert area, the festival has gained a strong position among the Norwegian festivals. Main artists: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Rod Stewart, Keane, Band of Horses, Manic Street Preachers, My Bloody Valentine, Jonas Alaska and more. Read more here.
24-30 – Risør Kammermusikkfestival: One of the major chamber music festivals in Norway located in the skerries of Risør. The festival has been around since 1991 and has become a popular event. Main artists: Ole Edvard Antonsen, Lars Anders Tomter, Henning Kaggerud, Emmanuelle Bertrand, Knut Reiersrud, Andrew Staples, Marianne Beate Kielland and more. Read more here.
30-05 – Hovefestivalen: Renowned pop and rock festival in the skerries of Arendal. Main artists: Kings of Leon, Frank Ocean, Calvin Harris, Volbeat, Phoenix, Crystal Castles, Bullet for my Valentine, How to Dress Well and more. Read more here.
03-06 – Kongsberg Jazzfestival: Arranged in the city of Kongsberg since 1964, and it always has a good selection of jazz and new music. The program is often characterized by solid rock and blues artists. Main artists: Diana Krall, Robben Ford, Diana Reeves, Matt Schofield, Hellbillies med Ola Kvernberg og Mathias Eick, Kaizers Orchestra, Jaga Jazzist and more. Read more here.
03-06 – Country Music Festival Vinstra: People from across the country gather in Vinstra during this week. The festival is characterized by popular Norwegian artists, and some American musicians. Main artists: Rascall Flats, Aaron Watson, Anita Cochran, Marshall Monrad Band, Laura Bell Bundy, Steffen Jakobsen, Johanna Demker, Randy Thompson and more. Read more here.
08-13 – Lofoten Internasjonale Kammermusikkfestival: Calls itself “World’s Most Beautiful Music Festival”. It combines top international musicians with magnificent surroundings in the Lofoten archipelago. Main artists: Orion String Quartet, Engegårdkvartetten, Halvdan Sivertsen, Christian Ihle Hadland, Steven Tenenbom and more. Read more here.
11-13 – Trænafestivalen: 33 nautical miles out in the open sea the island of Træna is located. Secluded, and the scenery is spectacular. Visitors may attend concerts inside a large cave, or take a walk up to the mountain Trænastaven at 338 meters above sea level. All this, and more, you can experience on the incredible island of Træna. See photo above. Main artists: Violet Road, Highasakite, Margaret Berger, Vintage Trouble, Charli XCX, Ulige Numre and more. Read more here.
11-14 – Norsk Countrytreff: Held in the idyllic village of Breim in Sogn og Fjordane County. Expect beautiful scenery and great country music. Main artists: Bellamy Brothers, Steff Nevers, Rita Eriksen, Gene Watson, Onkel Tuka, BlutterBillies and more. Read more here.
15-20 – Moldejazz: One of the most renowned jazz festivals in the country. It is held in the “City of Roses” aka Molde and includes international jazz artists but also elements from pop and rock. Main artists: Bryan Ferry & the Bryan Ferry Orchestra, John Legend, Bill Frisell, Marcus Miller, Kendrick Lamar, Susanne Sundfør and more. Read more here.
18-20 – Slottsfjell: The festival believes it has “Norway’s Most Spectacular Festival Arena” located in the heart of historical Tønsberg. The program is a mix of renowned Norwegian and international artists as well as some newcomers. Main artists: Biffy Clyro, Kaizers Orchestra, Karpe Diem, Kendrick Lamar, Bad Religion, Imagine Dragons, Black Debbath, Susanne Sundfør and more. Read more here.
18-20 – Bukta Tromsø Open Air Festival: Bukta is the festival that worships rock, beer and seafood. It is located in Telegrafbukta in the city of Tromsø – Paris of the North. Main artists: Dream Syndicate, Terry Lee Hale, Calexico, The Tallest Man on Earth, Oslo Ess, Ulf Lundell, The Hives, Kråkesølv, The Good the Bad & the Zugly, CC Cowboys and more. Read more here.
23-29 – Olsokdagene: Festival located in historical Stiklestad, Nord-Trøndelag County. Known for “The Play about St. Olav”, but they also offer concerts, exhibitions, performances, workshops, medieval market, lectures and seminars. Main artists: Kurt Nilsen, Nordic Tenors, Arve Tellefsen, Solveig Slettahjell and more. Read more here.
25-28 – MiG: Middle-Norwegian Gospel Festival is an alcohol-free family festival located in historic surroundings on the island of Tautra and Frosta in Nord-Trøndelag. The music profile has a background in gospel tradition, with elements of Celtic music, bluegrass, jazz and blues. Main artists: Bjørn Eidsvåg, Samuel Ljungblahd, Nordic Tenors, Alexander Rybak, Anne Grete Preus, Bjøro Håland, Øystein Lund Olafsen and more. Read more here.
28-03 – Olavsfestdagene: One of Trondheim’s biggest annual festivals which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year. See concerts, performances, exhibitions and get unique food experiences on venues throughout the city. Major concerts are held outdoors in the Courtyard next to the Nidaros Cathedral. 01-03 August – Trøndersk matfestival: Middle-Norwegian Food Festival is Norway’s largest local-food festival. Over 90 manufacturers offer quality food, courses, lectures and activities for kids. Last year, 150,000 people visited. Main artists: Elvis Costello, First Aid Kit, James Morrison, Ole Paus, Stefan Sundstrøm, Norges Domkor og Moskvapatriarkatets domkor, The Waterboys and more. Read more here.
Swedish band First Aid Kit performs at Olavsfestdagene in Trondheim
01-04 – Notodden Blues Festival: This year, the festival celebrates 26 years, and it is the leading blues festival in Scandinavia. Notodden in Telemark County is the hub for blues festivals in Norway. Main artists: Van Morrison, John Mayall, Eric Burdon, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Royal Southern Brotherhood, Charlie Musselwhite, Knut Reiersrud, Bigbang, Angela Brown, Dana Fuchs and more. Read more here.
01-09 – Festspillene i Elverum: The festival features over 40 events in 20 different venues located in nine different municipalities. Main artists: Elvis Costello, Kaizers Orchestra, Karpe Diem, Ungdomssymfonikerne med Solveig Kringlebotn and more. Read more here.
02-03 – Raumarock: A true rock festival held in Åndalsnes at the foot of the Romsdal Mountains and at the shores of the Romsdal fjord in Møre og Romsdal County. Main artists: Turbonegro, Kim Larsen og Kjukken, Danko Jones, Enslaved, El Curero, Morten Abel, Bigbang and more. Read more here.
03-18 – Operauka i Stjørdal: The festival opens with an Opera Gala in Stjørdal, Nord-Trøndelag. The midnight Opera “Olav Engelbrektsson” is held at the Steinvikholm Castle, and celebrates its 20th anniversary. Concerts and events takes place in churches, concert halls and outdoors. Main artists: Randi Stene, Trond Halstein Moe, Torodd Wigum, Rein Alexander, Are Hembre, Bror Magnus Tødenes, Henning Sommero, Edvard Hoem and more. Read more here.
07-10 – Øyafestivalen: The most urban music festival held in the Medieval Park in Oslo. Major international bands and artists visit the annual festival. Remember to book your tickets early – they sell out fast! Main artists: Kraftwerk, Blur, Tame Impala, Alabama Snakes, Lamar Rodriguez, Kvelertak, James Blake, Beach House, Slayer, The Knife, Shining and more. Read more here.
09-17 – Oslo Kammermusikkfestival: The festival was started by Norwegian violinist Arve Tellefsen and friends in 1989, and is in many ways the “mother” of chamber music in Norway. A series of concerts with renowned artists at small and large venues takes place all over Oslo. Main artists: Solveig Kringlebotn, Håkon Austbø, Cikada, Ragnhild og Eldbjørg Hemsing, Einar Olav Larsen, Gjermund Larsen trio, Elise Båtnes and more. Read more here.
16-17 – Pstereofestivalen: Trondheim’s answers to the Øya festival located at the Marina next to the Nidaros Cathedral. The program includes international pop and rock artists, and they have a certain focus on food culture and environment. Main artists: Motorpsycho, The XX, Phox, Half Moon Run, Dizzee Rascal, Graveyard, Savages, Dry the River, Phil T. Rich, Wovenhand, Emilie Nicolas and more. Read more here.
30-31 – Ladehammerfestivalen: Free music festival located in Ladehammeren, central Trondheim. All profits go to charity, and this year the festival collaborates with street magazine Sorgenfri. Main artists: The Airborne Highfives, Blomst, Bullshit Brigade, Ravn, Whisper City, Dekstra Large and more. Read more here.
05-08 – Blues in Hell: Several international blues artists go to Hell (really!) every year to participate in this cool festival. Hell is located just north of Trondheim, and the festival has received great critics from Scandinavian music press. Main artists: The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Davina & The Vagabonds, Candye Kane, Tony Joe White, Bernard Allison Group and more. Read more here.
Text by: Anette Broteng Christiansen, ThorNews