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Make your own festival round trip

When music and food determine the route
With so many festivals happening in Norway, you are best off following your inner rhythm. Professional festival photographer Tord Litleskare leads the way.
A band performing in front of a big audience at Granittrock festival in Oslo
Granittrock, Oslo.
Photo: Granittrock

Planning can be as pleasurable as letting your musical taste decide where you go this summer, like if you were an untamed breeze flowing through Norway on a whim. Find yourself attending exotic lesser-known music festivals in Instagram-friendly nature, as well as in the middle of the crowd at huge festival gigs in the larger cities.

To fill up your stomach, make gourmet stops at the many food festivals along the way, that serve local delicacies.

Discover new music - and destinations

Tord Litleskare is a free-spirited chap. He works as a photographer and editor-in-chief of Gaffa Norway, a branch of the Nordic countries’ largest music magazine.

“Luckily, at Gaffa we are free to cover music and artists that we care for personally, and that freedom strongly influences where I travel in the summer festival season.”

For a safe start, Tord points out festivals in the bigger cities, as he believes he will find the most interesting artist there. It could be the Pstereo festival in Trondheim, Utopia in Stavanger, Øyafestivalen and OverOslo in Oslo, and Bergenfest in his native town of Bergen.

“Like others who are into music, I let the artists decide where I travel. But this is a question of where you are in life. When I was 17 or 18, I was ready to go anywhere. That attitude has changed a bit” Tord explains.

But he understands the adventure-seeking festival crowd who look for unusual nature experiences.

“The Vinjerock and Træna festivals are both fit for youngsters who are hungry for new experiences in the middle of nature, and who have an urge to discover new places. That crowd seems especially dedicated, because after all it’s an investment of time and money to travel that far.”

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Tord adds that another advantage of going to the lesser-known festivals is the possibility of experiencing new talents who may later play only at the biggest gigs.

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In the city of Haugesund, you will find The world’s longest herring table every year in August. In Hjelmeland, there is the Norwegian fruit and salmon festival every September, and Valdres is known for its quirky and beloved Norsk rakfiskfestival where they serve semifermented trout every November. The sur & bitter craft beer festival in Sandnes is the place to be for beer enthusiasts in September, and The klipfish (bacalao) festival dominates the city of Kristiansand in late June. The list of food festivals gets longer every year.

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Back in 2014, Bergenfest got a lot of attention and boost when they had managed to book Lana del Rey months ahead of her album release, that happened just two days before she took to the stage in Bergen.

“That made their reputation”, Tord says.

This season, the Gaffa editor-in-chief and his staff plan to cover at least 22 festivals.

“And when I’m off work, I admit that I keep spending my time going to festivals, sometimes simply because the destination seems cool.”

Start planning your festival round trip

Find more information about the festivals by clicking on the icons in the map.

Music festivals
Music festival in Kristiansand, Southern Norway. Read more
Dark Season Music festival
7–8 September, Grorudparken: Great concerts, lots of space and free entry Read more
Granittrock: Free rock festival
Jærdagen & Jærnåttå at Bryne, the big happening of the year!  Jærdagen is a three-day town market… Read more
Jærdagen & Jærnattå
New music festival close to the city centre of Stavanger. A local festival that takes place in natural surroundings at Vålandsskogen in Stavanger.… Read more
Mablis (music festival)
15 and 16 June, Tøyenparken: Children's festival featuring great performers, art, dance and theatre Read more
Miniøya children's festival
Three nights of wonderful culinary experiences, music and entertainment. There are three important things to know about the festival: It’s for… Read more
ONS festival
19–22 June, Grefsenkollen: Popular summer festival 377 metres above the city Read more
OverOslo music festival
Palmesus is Scandinavia's biggest beach party, attracting more than 30,000 people to the city beach of Kristiansand, Norway, over two sun-drenched… Read more
Palmesus 2019 - Scandinavias biggest beach party
The festival is a concept based on a combination of concerts and concomitant treatment of the music from these concerts in a studio environment, where… Read more
Punkt Festival
Southern Norway's most cozy music festival. Read more
Skral Festival
Southern Discomfort music festival will deliver hardrock and metal in Kristiansand. Read more
Southern Discomfort Metal Festival
A tribute to the Haugesund region. Western Norway's happiest music festival. 24th - 26th August.   Kvelertak Susanne Sundfør The Low… Read more
The Festival in Vangen
17–19 August: Free, multicultural festival for the whole family at Oslo's City Hall Square Read more
The Mela Festival
The biggest music festival of the region in the heart of Stavanger city centre. A festival which follow the trends of young people, presenting some of… Read more
Vipe Productions AS & Utopia Festival
Vivid is an post-rock / post-metal festival held in Kristiansand, Norway. Read more
VIVID Post-rock festival
Food festivals
We celebrate that the apples are ripe at the horticultural museum. There will be free tastings, quiz, sale of apples and jam, and more. Free entrance! Read more
Apple Festival at Norwegian Museum of Horticulture
Norways largest beer festival with more than 40 Norwegian breweries gathered at the Bergenhus Fortress! Read more
Bergen Beer Festival
Welcome to Norway's biggest Local Food Festival! Meet the producers, buy high quality local products and get inspired by great food experiences! At… Read more
Bergen Matfestival - food festival
Welcome to "Den lille Madfesten" – a celebration of local food and drink – at the marketplace in Grimstad… Read more
Den lille Madfesten
Food and beverage festival in Kristiansand. The guys behind the big sucess of Palemsus beachparty and the Kristiansand Beer Festival have joined… Read more
Food and beverage festival "Duggfrisk" in Kristiansand - Canceled
Welcome to this food and agriculture festival in Hamar. A festival for the whole family with exhibitors that offers food, drink and activities for the… Read more
Midt i matfatet
The Norwegian Rakfisk Festival aims to focus on Norwegian food traditions, especially «rakfisk», which is semi-fermented trout. The festival draws… Read more
Norsk Rakfiskfestival
The Norwegian Fruit and Salmon Festival at Hjelmeland in Ryfylke. The festival focuses on the fruit and berry traditions, and salmon trade, of… Read more
Norwegian Fruit and Salmon Festival, Hjelmeland
Apotekergaarden invites you to Oktoberfest. Live music, good food and beer. Date: October 13th. TBA. Read more
Oktoberfest on Aptekergaarden
Welcome to the Oktoberfest in Stryn! As usual with the vorspiel on Friday afternoon/evening/night, and the big celebration all day Saturday with… Read more
Oktoberfest Stryn
Sola Smaksfest offers delicious taste from food producers in Sola.  22  stalls/ foodtrucks are selling dishes made of food produced in Sola.… Read more
Sola Smaksfest (taste fest)
Welcome to a festival for all who are interested in wine! September 28th - October 1st 2017 Stetten Wine Festival offers wine tasting and courses both… Read more
Stetten 2018
Sour & Bitter is a festival that has existed since 2016, and has since focused on yeast and hops driven beer that gives your taste buds something to… Read more
Sur & Bitter Craft Beer Festival
Tomato Festival is a tradition of the cultural life in Finnøy. Tomatoes are an integral part of Finnøy’s economy, so of course… Read more
The tomato festival 2018
Members of the Cooks' Guild of Haugesund lay the longest herring table in the world. It stretches for two blocks down Haugesund's main street and over… Read more
The worlds longest Herring table
"VinHøst" is a small festival in Kristiansand where everyone can taste, enjoy and learn something about wine. The various restaurants… Read more
VinHøst - Wine festival in Kristiansand
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