This year’s popular Øya music festival in Oslo has been attracting sell-out crowds, and complaints from neighours in the Tøyen residential area where it’s held on the city’s east side.
The festival, which started on Wednesday and runs through Saturday, was moved to Tøyen last year because of railroad construction at its former location in the oldest section of Oslo. Complaints flowed in then as well, and festival organizers told newspaper Dagsavisen that they’ve had a dialogue going with local residents since.
Despite a series of neighbourhood meetings and what organizers claim has been a steady flow of information, complaints have continued about noise and disruption, also while the stages and grounds at Tøyen Park were being set up and prepared for the festival.
“It’s impossible to be here during the two weeks when they’re setting up for the festival, and then a week after,” one neighbour, Hanna Høiness, told newspaper Dagbladet. She escaped to her holiday cabin in Hadeland during the festival and claims her homeowners’ association has hired a lawyer.
Øya’s organizers told Dagsavisen that the number of complaints had declined this year, while several concert-goers said neighbours must accept a certain amount of noise when they live in the city. Øya was being praised earlier in the week for giving the Tøyen neighbourhood a needed boost. One commentator went so far as to suggest that it already had contributed to the establishment of new cafés in the area and generally raised its attractiveness.