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Summer in Norway

Enjoy our festivals!

Valkyrien Allstars   Photo: Geir Dokken

Valkyrien Allstars Foto: Geir Dokken

Many people primarily think of Norway as a winter wonderland. But in the summertime you will find that Norway opens up in a quite different way, especially along the coast. The summer season also offers a plethora of festivals and cultural highlights, many of them strongly linked to traditional music and dance. Here's a little taste of what you may enjoy in the weeks to come.

Folkmusic.no has hand picked some of the cultural high lights taking place in Norway this summer. Most of these festivals are annual events, so if you can't make it this year, you are more than welcome to check them out later.


Landskappleiken 2011, Seljord, 29th June – 3rd July

Landskappleiken is the closest you get to a national championship of traditional music and dance in Norway. More than a thousand skilled and enthusiastic participants compete in front of a jury, making this the mothership of traditional Norwegian culture. In addition to the excitement of the competition, which represents an unbroken tradition going back to the 1890s, you may also enjoy full scale concerts, all night dance parties and the best of the local cuisine. This year's event is being held in Seljord in Telemark.

Artists: Have a look here! 

Web page: http://www.lk2011.no/

Dansebandfestivalen, Seljord, 6. – 10. juli

Dansebandfestivalen is also held at Seljord in Telemark. They offer fourteen hours of non stop dance music each day, showcasing the contemporay Scandinavian dance band sound. More than twenty top acts will be present, performing from three different stages. You may also take part in courses in different dance styles.

Artists: Christer Sjøgren , Lasse Stefanz, Ole Ivars, Ingemars, Dænsebændet, Septimus med Jenny Jensen og Steinar Fjeld, Contrazt, Vagabond, Sogns, Lindesnes Trekkspillklubb, m.fl.

Web page: http://www.dansebandfestivalen.no/

Lindesnes Trekkspillklubb

Folkedansfestivalen in Bodø, 7th - 10th July

Folkedansfestivalen is a festival focusing on traditional Norwegian dances, offering both courses and concerts, spectacular performances and audience partcipation. This year it is being held in the city of Bodø, which also gives you a welcome opportunity to check out the very heart land of the midnight sun.

Artists: Ragnhild Furebotten, Bjørn Andor Drage, Vegar Vårdal, Saltdal spelemannslag, Målselv spelemannslag ,  Leif Egil Andreassen, Hekla Stålstrenger, Sigurd Johan Heide, m.fl.

Web page: http://www.folkedansfestivalen.no

Folkedansfestivalen 2010 (Foto: Daniel Heggelid-Rugaas)

Førde Internasjonale Folkemusikkfestival,  7th - 10th July

Førde Folk Music Festival is the largest festival in Scandinavia for accoustic folk music, offering a wide range of top performers from all over the world. It is situated in the West Country, and is a veritable smorgasbord of both world music and traditional Norwegian tunes. This year's theme is  ”Women’s World”, bringing together some of the most ground breaking female performers of today.  

Artists: Ourmo Sangaré, Esma Redzepova, Ana Moura, Urna, Kirsten Bråten Berg, Unni Løvlid, Dei Beste Damene, Sigrid Moldestad,  Sinikka Langeland, m. fl.

Web page: http://www.fordefestivalen.no/

Dansefestivalen in Sel, 12th - 17th July

Just like Dansebandfestivalen in Seljord, this festival mainly focuses on the popular dance band sound of today. It is situated in the scenic area of Gudbrandsdalen, which is also one of Norway's hot spots for more traditional dances. This year's programme offers a five day menue of pure entertainment, including shows, courses and family oriented events.

Artists: Anne Nørdsti, Benny Borg, Vestlandsfanden, Rune Rudberg, Lucky Bullets, New Jordal Swingers, Sven Nyhus, Dalakopa, Dænsbændet, Syvers, Lasse Stefanz, P.A. Røstad, m.fl. 

Web page: http://www.dansefestivalen.no/

Landsfestivalen, Oppland, 20th – 24th July

This is another high light of the festival season, focusing on a rich variety of old time dance music. Like Landskappleiken, it is also a National championship, engaging the very best traditional dancers and musicans in Norway in friendly competion. This year's event is hosted by Oppdal spell- og dansarlag, who will organize a record size assembly of traditional fiddlers. Close to a thousand performers will be attending, along with a great crowd of folk music affectionados.

Artists: Check out this page!

Nett: http://www.landsfestivalen.no

Riddu Riddu, Kåfjord, 20th – 24th July

The Sami heritage is also a rich part of Norway's cultural life. The Riddu Riđđu festival is, along with the Easter festival, the biggest and longest living Sami music festival, this year celebrating its 20th anniverary. It is situated in the far North, and offers a wide range of entertainment, including movies, art shows, musical and theatrical performances. There's also a children's programme, and a youth camp.

Artists: Sofia Jannok, "Kaffekopp og salmebok", Bárut, Yat-Kha, Totalteatret, Timbuktu og Damn!, Lawra Somby, Violet Road, Rolffa, Nammalahpan, Manoa and the Tribe, Blue King Brown, m.m.

Nett: http://www.riddu.no

Telemarkfestivalen, Bø in Telemark, 21st - 24th July

Telemarkfestivalen is the biggest annual event for traditional folk music in Telemark, each year gathering several thousand knowledgable visitors. Even so, the festival manages to remain small scale and intimate, giving the audience a close range experience of top notch musicianship, craftmanship and cultural roots.

Artists: The Dubliners, Odd Nordstoga, Tuva Syversen, Sondre Bratland, Ingebjørg Harman Bratland, Unni Boksasp, Jon Anders Halvorsen, Ingvill Marit Buen Garnås, Sver, Ottar Kaasa, Per Abders Buen Garnås, m. fl.

Nett: http://www.telemarkfestivalen.no

Jørn Hilme-stemnet, Fagernes, 24. – 31. juli

The Jørn Hilme Festival is also both intimate and accommodative, inviting its audience to take part in a wide range of concerts, old time dance music and medieaval myths. It is situated in the Valdres area, and makes good use of both local and national talents. This year's festival also includes the dance spectacular "Signiliti and Gullmon".

Med: Valkyrien Allstars, Trio Mediæval, Ragnhild Hemsing, Aasmund Nordstoga Band, Kim André Rysstad, Rannveig Djønne, Birger Mistereggen, Eli Storbekken, ”Signeliti og Gullmon”, m.,m.

Nett: http://www.hilme.no/joern-hilme-stemnet.177658.no.html

 Bøgrend Autofest, Vinje, 4th - 7th August

Bøgrend Autofest is a relatively fresh festival, focusing on an exciting and eclectic mixture of the modern and the traditional. It is being held at an abandoned gas station in Vinje in Telemark,  in the very core of rural Southern Norway. Leftfield electronica and folk pop meets hard core traditonal music, creating a dazzling array of musical experiences.

Artists: Stein Torleif Bjella, Sudan Dudan, Unni Boksasp, Frank Rolland, Per Anders Buen Garnås, Gammalgrass, Kråkesølv, Freida Ånnevik, Stian Westerhus, m. fl.

Web pagehttp://www.bogrend.no/

Sudab Dudan

Kalottspel, Målselv, 10.- 14. august

Kalottspel is a folk music and dance festival which takes place in Målselv in the northern county of Troms. The festival builds on long and rich traditions, and has been an annual event since 1970. It focuses on the Artic area, engaging people from the northern areas of Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia and beyond.

Med: Sigrid Moldestad, Earlybird Stringband,  Jord,  Hazelius/Hedin, Ola og Lars Bremnes,  Chorus Borealis, Inga Juuso , Anders Bjernulf,  Eli Storbekken Trio, m.fl. 

Nett: http://www.kalottspel.no/

Sigrid Moldestad | Foto: Magnus Skrede

Nordsjøfestivalen, Farsund, 25th  – 28th August

Nordsjøfestivalen translates as The North Sea Festival, and is situated in a small town on the southern coast of Norway. As the Norwegian summer is quietly twindling away, you may yet enjoy skilled musicians from Scotland, England, the Orkneys, the Faroe Islands, Scandinavia, the Shetlands and Ireland, as well as masterly marine musicianship from Norway.

Med: Sharon Shannon Band, Ralf-Novak Rosengren, Laila Yrvum, Stian Carstensen, Leiv Solberg,  The Oxford Fiddlers,, Frode Haltli, Vegar Vårdal, Christiania Thour & Runddansensemble, Lista Trekkspillklubb, De frilynde, Myrull, The Highlanders, m.fl. 

Nett: http://nordsjofestivalen.no/

Ralf Novak-Rosengren - Semno palla mander (Etnisk Musikklubb, 2011)

We wish all our readers a great summer, and hope that you some day may take part in the great experience that the many traditional Norwegian festivals offer!




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