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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.
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.”
Tord Litleskare works as a photographer and editor-in-chief of Gaffa Norway, a branch of the Nordic countries’ largest music magazine.
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.
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.
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.”
Norwegians have proved a steady appetite for most types of festivals, and travellers from abroad also flock to many of the same events.
Norway offers more than 900 festivals to match most tastes, in the fields of music, sports, food, film, theatre, literature, and more.
Summertime is by far the biggest festival season, but there are interesting events going on all year round, all over the country.
Find more information about the festivals by clicking on the icons in the map.
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