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Festivals in Norway

A feast of flavours, sights and sounds
Great art and culture is even better when you share the experience. Music, film, and other popular festivals are a key part of the booming Norwegian culture scene.
Crowd listening to a concert at the OverOslo festival
OverOslo Festival.
Photo: Gunnar Kopperud / Fotografgunnarkopperud.no

There is a myriad of music festivals in Norway, covering both popular genres such as jazz, blues and contemporary music, as well as niche festivals showcasing more experimental music. The festival scene in Norway holds a high international standard and measures up to the best festivals in Europe.

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Pstereo 2017
Pstereo 2017.
Photo: Pstereo
Pstereo festival in Trondheim
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Norway is in many ways a country of extremes, so it’s perhaps no coincidence genres like black metal and jazz have thrived here for decades. Norway is the home of black metal, and there is no better place to experience it than the Inferno festival, held every Easter in Oslo. There are also international jazz festivals in Bergen, Molde, Kongsberg, Haugesund, Oslo, Lillehammer and more.

And speaking of extremes, every year in Voss you can enjoy Ekstremsportveko, the largest extreme sports festival of its kind, which also includes live music performances. And don't miss Voss's jazz festival, Vossajazz, usually held in April. 

Are you a cinephile? Norway is home to several international film festivals The international film festival in Tromsø in January has a unique Arctic atmosphere, while the Film fra Sør (Films from the South) festival in Oslo screens new and exciting titles from Asia, Africa and South America. Bergen is home to the popular international film festival BIFF, usually held in October. 

Video Thumbnail - vimeo - BEST OF EKSTREMSPORTVEKO 2017
The best of Ekstremsportveko.
Photo: Ekstremsportveko
Ekstremsportveko in Voss
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Food, and especially locally-sourced food, is increasingly important to Norwegians, and  a number of new food festivals are popping up here. It’s perhaps unfair to mention only one, but the Rakfisk festival in Fagernes (Rakfisk is a type of fish – trout, sometimes char – that has been salted and left to ferment in brine for two to three months) is an event you should not miss if you are in the area.

And last, but not least, there are also a variety of theatre and literature festivals.

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Festival packing tips:

Festivals in Norway might present you with “all four seasons in one day” and it is highly recommended to pack functional clothing. Here is a list of essentials:

Layered clothing: add or remove clothing according to the temperature. Light wool is recommended, even during summer. 

Rain gear/poncho: stay dry on a rainy day.

Rain boots: you get far with trainers, but only rain boots will keep your feet happy in heavy rain. 

Bug spray: be prepared for mosquitos. 

Sunglasses: look like a rock star. No need to squint at the stage. 

Sunscreen: protect yourself in the sun. 

Power charger: charging your phone can be challenging at the festival. 

Earplugs: in case you need to give your ears a break.

Remember to leave your valuables at home. 
 

Festival guide and calendar

Jazz and Blues festivals

Experience Europe's oldest annual jazz festival in Molde and others. 

Pop and rock festivals

Showcasing big-name international artists as well as up-and-coming local bands.

Food and drink festivals

A multitude of flavours and activities for foodies of all ages.

Get inspired

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