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Photo: Bergen Live
Travel Trade

The summer festival season is already underway, and here come this year’s urban music festivals like pearls on a string.

– Published: 14 June 2017 –

Today is the start of Bergenfest at Bergenshus Fortress, which includes several foreign big-name artists on the programme, such as the Pet Shop Boys, Ellie Goulding and former Oasis vocalist, Liam Gallagher.

“We have a varied programme as usual, but we do feel that we have a particularly relevant line-up this year,” says Ole-Morten Algerøy, press contact for Bergenfest, and he points to Gallagher.

“He will be performing new material from his solo album as well as old Oasis songs,” says Algerøy.


The organisers of Bergensfest are interested in creating a unifying event that appeals to both young and old. This includes letting Saturday serve as a family-oriented day.

Rock in King Håkon’s Hall

In cooperation with Bergen City Museum, they have introduced a new concert hall as part of this year’s festival. Within the stone walls of Håkonshallen dating from the 1200s, a total of five exclusive concerts will be held here. Along with its historic atmosphere, Håkonshallen has entirely unique acoustics.

“We have put together a programme that allows for some reverb, including modern rock as well as Srilankan folk music, which we know will sound great in this hall,” says Algerøy.


Photo: Bergen Live

They have also maintained a focus on local artists while preparing this year’s programme for Bergenfest.

“This year we have 16 artists that are connected to Bergen in the line-up, and that’s a record for us. There is an incredible amount of high quality music being made around Bergen. Since an increasing number of artists from other parts of Norway and the world are performing here, it is especially nice to feature so many locals,” says Algerøy.

Urban music festivals 2017

Bergenfest, Bergen 14 – 17 June


Norwegian Wood, Oslo 15 – 17 June


Over Oslo 21 – 24 June


Piknik i Parken, Oslo 22 – 24 June


Palmesus, Kristiansand 30 June – 1 July


Kongsberg Jazzfestival 5 – 8 July


Molde Jazzfestival 17 – 22 July


Slottsfjell, Tønsberg 12 – 15 July


Buktafestivalen, Tromsø 20 – 22 July


Canal Street, Arendal 26 – 29 July


Parkenfestivalen, Bodø 18 – 19 August


Øyafestivalen, Oslo 8 – 12 August


Pstereo, Trondheim 17 – 19 August


Elvefestivalen, Drammen 21 – 27 August


All-Norwegian celebration at Frogner

Norwegian Wood in Oslo comes right on the heels of Bergenfest this weekend, and this year’s edition of the festival on the premises of the Frogner public bathing facility is extra special: It is the festival’s 25th anniversary, which will naturally be duly celebrated.


“I was thumbing through the 2012 festival programme booklet and was astonished to realise that nearly 70 percent of the bands that have played here were Norwegian,” says festival chief Svein Bjørge to Aftenposten newspaper.

“This made it clear to me that all the focus on artists like Neil Young, Bowie or the Eagles has shifted the attention away from the fact that Norwegian Wood has been one of the most important venues for Norwegian music during the past 24 years.”

This year’s programme therefore features only Norwegian artists such as Susanne Sundfør, OnkelP & De Fjerne Slektningene and Lillebjørn Nilsen.

Norwegian Wood

Norwegian Wood.
Photo: Helge Brekke

More music this summer

Fortunately, this is only the beginning. Throughout June, July and August, there will be a number of major and smaller cities organising music festivals. Perhaps you would like to attend one of more of them?

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