One of the things you first realize when you come to Norway is that local people really try to enjoy summer because they have been waiting for the sun for several months. It´s time to go out, have a picnic in a park, hiking in a mountain, have a bath in a fjord or just biking around a lake. But not only that. In the last decades, Norway has become one of the most attractive destination for those who are looking for a new music experience. The whole country, from north to south, is full of music festivals oriented to diverse crowd: Rock, indie, jazz, blues, electronic… In June, some of the best music festivals take place in the country. Take a few minutes and check this list because, for sure, you will find the perfect festival designed just for you (we add some suggestions for accommodation too):
Kongsberg Jazz Festival (6-9 July): It is considered the second most important Jazz Festival in Norway. For four days, this small city, one hour drive from Oslo, hosts some of the most important jazz music bands from Europe and the rest of the world. Kurt Nilsen, Charlotte Hug, Irene Schweizer&Pierre Favre, Per Zanussi Ensemble and Steve Coleman are some of the performers we can expect in this year’s edition. Book your stay at Kongsberg Hostel.
Moldejazz (18-23 July): Established in 1961 in Molde, this festival is one of the oldest in Europe and the most famous Jazz Music Festival in Norway. Each year, more than 100.000 visitors arrive to Molde to enjoy some of the most recognized jazz artists in the world. Ola Kvernberg is this year’s artist in residence. With him, other names that will appear on the stage are Lizz Wright, Ivan Ave, Charles Bradley, Nate Wooley Quintet or Ola&Jorun Marie Kvernberg. Another Jazz Festival is happening this summer in Oslo from 14th to 20th August. Book your stay at Molde Hostel.
Notodden Blues Festival (4-7 August): Two hours drive from Oslo, in the small town of Notodden one of the largest Blues festival in Europe takes place. It has been running since 1988 and, each year, attracts hundreds of people from all over Europe. It is also one of the largest festival in Scandinavia and it is why it is known as “the largest blues experience”. Bands and artists as The Rites, Tito Lausteen Quartet, The Waterboys , Texas Twister or Reidar Larsen will play in this edition. Book your stay at Lunde Hostel.
Rauma Rock (4-7 August): If Jazz and Blues is not the kind of music you like, you can go to Åndalsnes at the beginning of August to participate in one of the biggest musical events in the centre of the country. During three days, Rauma Rock hosts variety of concerts, from independent music to hard-rock. This year, the programe includes names as MOS, Stage Dolls, Razika, Emila, Revolver Avenue or Spidergawd. Book your stay at Åndalsnes Hostel.
Music Festival of Nordland (05-14 August): In Bodø, in the middle of North of Norway, each year this fantastic music festival takes place, which is inspired by various views around the city. Ten days filled with different kinds of music, from symphonic orchestras to jazz and rock bands. The programe also includes other activities, such as children’s theatre or cultural radio concerts. Book your stay at Bodø Hostel.
Øya Festival (9-13 August): This weekend starts one of the most popular music festivals in the capital of Norway. The Øya Festival is an important rock festival in Oslo and each year hosts world’s famous rock and indie bands. This year, will play The Cheaters, Mando Diao, Ludvig Moon, Sweden and The Kills. Book your stay at HI hostels in Oslo.
Pstereo Music Festival of Trondheim (18-20 August): In the third largest city of Norway we can find this fantastic music festival oriented to youth. Two days full of urban music attracts more than 8.500 people each year. Also, this festival is known for combining fun with sustainability. This year the programe includes artists as Astrid S, Lars Vaular, Black Moon Circle, Dagny, The Lumineers and Luke Elliot.
Stavanger Chamber Music International Festival (16-21 August): Created 13 years ago, this festival has become one of the most important Chamber Music festivals in whole Europe and was recognized by the European Festival Association. Each year, at least 20-30 artists participate. As in other editions, you will be able to hear some of the most famous classical references as Mozart, Bach or Beethoven in magical locations as the Stavanger Cathedral or the Utstein Monastery. Book your stay at HI hostels in Stavanger.
Lillehammer Jazz Festival (13-16 October): Norway says goodbye to the summer with this last Jazz Festival. It takes place in Lillehammer. This city is known for holding the 1994 Winter Olympics Games and the 2016 Winter Youth Olympics. But the main event in October is not the sport but the music. This year, the three days programe includes names as Olga Konkova Trio, Ninjabeat, Kristin Sevaldsen Band or Gregory Porter. Book your stay at Lillehammer Hostel.
Dark Season Blues Festival of Svalbard ( 27-30 october): As we said, Norwegians try to get the most of the summer so they are enjoying until the very end. With the winter quickly approaching, an important Blues Festival is happening in the northmost part of Norway: Svalbard. During four days this festival provides a unique atmosphere because of its blue lights. The artists and the audience hang out together before the beginning of the dark season in the north.
Article written by Gordana Bulić
Feature Photo by Tom Andre Skarning