Autumn Art Exhibition (Høstutstillingen)
Oslo, September-October. Established in 1882, this is Norway's largest (and most controversial) exhibition for contemporary art, featuring dozens of artists under one roof, and drawing tens of thousands of visitors every year. Well-established names appear side by side with little-known Norwegian artists hoping for their big breakthrough, and the media used, which range from painting and sculpture to video installations and performance, are as varied as the artists themselves. Most of the artwork is for sale. Read more about the Autumn Art Exhibition. This year: 14 September-13 October 2013.
Oslo, September. Scandinavia's largest contemporary music festival takes place over 10 days in September every year in Oslo. Concerts, workshops, live music, impros and related exhibitions take place in various venues around the capital. Read more about the Ultima Festival. This year: 5-14 September 2013.
Oslo, September. Fast growing in popularity, the Oslo Marathon actually consists of three races in one – a 10km, a half marathon and a full marathon. The event, which attracted more than 17,000 participants in 2012 (from a mere 1,500 in 2004), is a big street party for runners and spectators alike, with entertainment in and around the course, including a big screen on which to follow the race. The race starts outside the Akershus Fortress, and takes in many of the capital’s main sights. This year: Kick off at 10.30 am on 21 September 2013.
Nuart (Street Art Festival)
Stavanger, September. The only festival of its kind in Norway, Nuart takes place every year in Stavanger. The street art festival has in the past attracted home-grown talents such as Dolk and Pøbel, but also big international stars like Banksy, who, armed with spray cans, leave their mark on every street corner with their thought-provoking graffiti and huge murals. Cool stuff. This year: Dates yet to be announced.
Trondheim Chamber Music Festival
Trondheim, September. If you thought chamber music was dull, think again. This festival, which attracts a number of international performers every year, is one of the most innovative of its kind, featuring not just classical music, but anything from tango-inspired compositions to folk, jazz, rock and more. See the Trondheim Chamber Music Festival. This year: 23-29 September 2013.
The Great Norwegian Comedy Festival
Stavanger, October. Need cheering up? This festival, which covers all genres, from stand up to caricatures, street theatre, musicals, and more, should bring a giggle or two. All events are in English, and past performers have included the likes of Jo Brand, Harry Hill, and Puppetry of the Penis, among many others. This year: Dates yet to be announced.
Lillehammer, October. A small, unpretentious music festival, which for over 30 years has been attracting local jazz musicians and fans with its small, intimate format. The festival is also a platform for young Scandinavian artists to perform in front of a wider audience. There are concerts throughout the day, and several free events. Various venues. Read more about DølaJazz. This year: 10-13 October 2013.
Bergen International Film Festival
Bergen, October. The Bergen International Film Festival features more than 100 films from around the world, as well as an exciting competition programme, documentaries, "cinema extraordinaire" and animation. This year: 23-30 October 2013.
Fagernes, November. A festival dedicated to this very Norwegian culinary speciality. Rakfisk, which literally means brine-cured fish, is trout, sometimes char, that has been salted and left to ferment in brine for two to three months. It is an acquired taste, but judging by the 500 tons consumed each year in Norway, it has its fans. Fagernes in Valdres, Eastern Norway, is the birthplace of rakfisk, and the festival draws thousands of enthusiasts every year. This year: 31 October-2 November 2013 (the festival celebrates 20 years in 2013).
Fredrikstad Animation Festival
Fredrikstad, November. The oldest animation festival in the Nordic and Baltic countries, this is an important platform for animators throughout Scandinavia to showcase this increasingly popular art form. The festival, which lasts for five days, features screenings, talks, workshops and events for children, many of which are free. Read more about Fredrikstad Animation Festival. This year: 7-10 November 2013.