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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
Eggstock festival is a yearly festival aimed at young unsigned musicians from Hordaland county. The festival stretches over three days during the… Read more
Eggstock 2018
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)
25 and 26 May, Tøyenparken: Children's festival featuring great performers, art, dance and theatre Read more
Miniøya children's festival
It's the time for the NATTJAZZ feeling! Walk through the city in the early hours of the morning, soak in the summer air with music in your head and in… Read more
Night Jazz 2018
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 Risør Chamber Music Festival is widely recognized nationally and internationally for its variety and quality of programs. Read more
Risør Kammermusikkfest - Chamber music festival
Southern Norway's most cozy music festival. Read more
Skral Festival
The worlds greatest blues artists have visited the festival in Skånevik. To see this years program, visit their web site: … Read more
SKÅNEVIK BLUESFESTIVAL
A tribute to the Haugesund region. Western Norway's happiest music festival. 23. - 25. August.   Read more
DEN FESTIVALEN I VANGEN
Vikedal Roots Music Festival is this year from 11th to 14th of July 2018. The festival goes over 4 days and the program usually exists of 25-30… Read more
VIKEDAL ROOTS MUSIC FESTIVAL
Vivid is an post-rock / post-metal festival held in Kristiansand, Norway. Read more
VIVID Post-rock festival
Food festivals
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
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
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