The Festival Summer

As people are starting to plan their summer vacations and buy their festival passes the big Norwegian summer festivals have found it prudent to unveil their rosters.

Hovefestivalen (luftfoto)

The festival landscape is denser than ever, not least due to this year’s big newcomer Hove, and the number of top acts landing on Norwegian shores is unprecedented. So it will be hard to decide for the festivalgoers. Chronologically the calendar looks like this:

Bergenfest, April 26th. - May 1st. Bergen
Featuring: Marianne Faithfull, Anja Garbarek, Madeleine Peyroux, Pet Shop Boys, Susanne Sundfør, Roger Waters, Magnet, and others.

Norwegian Wood, June 14th. - 17th. Frognerparken, Oslo.
Featuring : Tori Amos, Wolfmother, Korn, Evanescence, Travis, Brian Wilson, Shawn Colvin, Enslaved, and others.

The Hove festival, June 26th. - 30th. Tromøy, Arendal.
Featuring: Queens of the Stone Age, The Killers, Slayer, My Chemical Romance, Damien Rice, Amy Winehouse, 120 Days, and others.

Kongsberg Jazz Festival, July 4th. - 7th. Kongsberg.
Featuring : Dee Dee Bridgewater, Knutsen & Ludvigsen, Silje Nergaard, Mari Boine, Wilco, Ornette Coleman, and others.

The Quart Festival, July 2nd. - 6th. Kristiansand.
Featuring: The Who, Scissor Sisters, Velvet Revolver, Beastie Boys, The Good The Bad & The Queen, Turbonegro, BigBang, and others.

Molde International Jazz Festival, July 16th. - 21st. Molde.
Featuring : Elvis Costello, Steely Dan, Nils Petter Molvær, Ola Kværnberg Trio & Håkon Kornstad, Delirium, Chick Corea og Gary Burton, and others.

The Slottsfjell Festival, July 19th. - 21st. Tønsberg.
Featuring: Bo Kaspers Orkester, Ane Brun, Kings of Convenience, Zeromancer, Timbuktu & Damn, Pop Levi, 120 Days, and others.

Bukta: Tromsø Open Air Festival, July 19th.- 21st. Tromsø
Featuring: Iggy & the Stooges, The Hives, Turbonegro, Supergrass, BigBang, Sivert Høyem & The Volunteers, New Bomb Turks, Calexico, and others.

Canal Street, July 22nd. - 29th. Arendal.
Featuring : Gary Moore, Lauryn Hill, Gipsy Kings, Aline de Lima, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Bo Kaspers Orkester, Bjørn Berge, and others.

The Moon Festival, July 27th. - 29th. Fredrikstad.
Featuring: Iggy & the Stooges, The Nomads, Sondre Lerche, Mari Boine, Hanne Hukkelberg, Pleasure, Keep of Kalessin, and others.
The Øya Festival, August 7th.- 11th. Middelalderparken, Oslo.
Featuring: Nine Inch Nails, Lady Sovereign, Lily Allen, Primal Scream, Roky Erickson, Amy Winehouse, Bloodlights, King Midas, Amulet.

With such a density of events, and with such a line-up, the unavoidable question is of course: is this magnitude sustainable? A look at the above list –baring in mind the relative concentration in terms of both time and space- suggests a population-base a lot larger than what is the case. Thus far people have shown up in the numbers required for all of the festivals to be profitable -and it is of course a grand smorgasbord for music lovers- but it remains to be seen how many of them will survive, and in what form, especially regarding the strip of southern coastline which, with this year’s newcomer Hove, really has a huge over- capacity.

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