With the Norwegian mountains as a backdrop, the festival is a nine-day celebration with events, concerts, exhibitions and lectures. The main event of the festival is the theatre production of Peer Gynt at Gålå.
The festival is a celebration of Ibsen’s "Peer Gynt" and the historical person Per Gynt, who lived in the Gudbrandsdalen valley. The tales about Per have been told thorough generations, and these, together with the nature and culture in the valley, is what inspired Henrik Ibsen to write the dramatic poem.
The Peer Gynt festival is built on old traditions. In 1928 the first Peer Gynt Festival was held in Vinstra, and volunteers from the valley gathered to create the festival. Ever since then the volunteers have been involved in almost every activity, and they are essential to the success of the Peer Gynt festival.
The theatre production of Henrik Ibsen’s "Peer Gynt" at Gålå has been a success since 1989, and has gathered some of the best professional actors and musicians in Norway. At the theatre venue by lake Gålåvatnet, the professional theatre meets professional musicians and 80 local amateur actors, and the result is one of the most popular theatre productions in Norway.
The production is well suited for an international audience, with English and German introductions, summary booklets and audio guides.
Powerful music meets grand nature when the Peer Gynt festival presents famous artists at the outdoor stage on Kvamsfjellet mountain, overlooking the Rondane National Park.
The concert gathers about 2000 spectators, and is considered one of the highlights of the festival program.
This concert is suitable for an international audience.
Every year the Peer Gynt Festival holds a new art exhibition. Art painters like Magne Furuholmen, Håkon Gullvåg and Ørnulv Opdahl are among the exhibitors that have previous exhibited at the festival. The exhibition is open every day during the festival.
During the festival you can experience a unique concert in the Sør-Fron church, one of the most beautiful churches in the region. This is an acoustic concert, featuring Norway's most celebrated artists.
Each year, a prominent Norwegian person is awarded the Peer Gynt statuette. The members of the Norwegian Parliament select the winner. Amongst the winners you can find Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway, explorer Thor Heyerdahl and author Jo Nesbø. The winner is celebrated in a ceremony at the festival.
The nature surrounding the festival is easily accessible for hiking. The Norwegian Trekking Association offers guided tours during the festival as a supplement to the cultural events.