Far from all Norwegians are spending their Easter holidays this week at mountain cabins or ski resorts. Thousands of young, mostly sell-proclaimed computer nerds have gathered once again at a former Olympic speed skating arena in Hamar, while thousands more are also staying indoors to immerse themselves in black metal music.
Organizers of The Gathering in Hamar have managed to cram 5,500 young data experts into the Vikingskipet arena on the occasion of the event’s 20th anniversary at the spot where Johann Olav Koss won Olympic gold in 1994. Some of the earliest participants years ago are now working in the industry, while many of those coming after are eager to do so.
The Gathering was running from March 23-27 this year, with non-stop action including the world’s first concert to be transmitted live through the computer game Minecraft. While the concert itself was held inside Vikingskipet, the arena, the event and the music were recreated in digital format. A youth symphony orchestra and three bands were performing.
Concerts of another type were attracting fans once again in Oslo, as the annual Inferno Festival got underway on the Rockefeller, John Dee and Revolver stages. The festival attracts a large Norwegian and international audience, with both big and small bands performing including Marduk from Sweden and Mysticum of Norway. The legendary Norwegian band Mayhem was due to perform on Saturday.
Oslo, a city that once all but shut down during the five-day Easter weekend, was also offering plenty of other activities for those in town for the holidays. There were city walks on tap, including one on Good Friday from the thousand-year-old Gamle Aker Kirke that led visitors around several of the capital’s most historic churches. Classical music concerts were also on tap at several churches, along with special activities and an Easter brunch at the food hall known as Mathallen. Cinemas were staying open as were many museums and restaurants around town. while the Opera House was open every day with special performances for children and an Easter Egg hunt.