The organizers of Norway’s annual Nobel Peace Prize Concert needed some big acts this year to draw more ticket-buyers and boost the concert’s fortunes. On Monday they announced that Norway’s most successful band ever, a-ha, would be on the line-up.
A-ha and popular Norwegian singer Aurora Aksenes were the first two names of performers to be released. Olav Njølstad, the new director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute, said it was “nice” to begin to announce the artists set to perform at the concert with two Norwegian names. A-ha, he noted, has been part of the music world for three decades, while the 19-year-old Aurora Aksenes is “a young and exciting artist.”
The Nobel Institute had already announced that the concert, held the day after the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo, was being moved from the Oslo Spektrum arena downtown to the larger Telenor Arena at Fornebu, west of the capital. Njølstad said the move was motivated by a desire to sell more tickets at “a more reasonable price.”
A-ha, meanwhile, is in the midst of another comeback and concert tour in connection with the promotion of a new album. The band’s three members had announced their retirement five years ago, only to continue to reunite and keep performing. The Nobel Peace Prize Concert will give them and other performers an international audience when the December 11 concert is televised live and, for the first time, simultaneously on YouTube.