‘Biggest and best’ festival gets underway

Oslo’s Øya summer music festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, serving cake to early arrivals when it opened Wednesday afternoon. Organizers reported it was sold out as of last week, even before media commentators ranked it as Norway’s “biggest and best” once again. International stars, new artists and a broad selection of Norwegian […]

Music festivals hang on to their identities

Another busy season of summer festivals in Norway will soon draw to a close. In the increasingly attractive region of Helgeland, known for its thousands of islands and coastal culture, organizers of two major festivals are keen to literally hang on to their roots. While Rootsfestivalen in Brønnøysund wants to retain a local identity, Trænafestivalen hopes […]

‘Correction’ hits Eurovision result

Norway has ended up in 6th place instead of 5th after the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) felt compelled to “correct the results” of last weekend’s final in the Eurovision song contest. The change also put Sweden ahead of Norway, if only slightly. Voting tallies for Norway’s entry, Spirit in the Sky performed by the trio […]

Eurovision ‘winners’ credit Sami joik

No other country’s entry at the huge if hotly debated Eurovision Song Contest won as many votes from the public as Norway’s trio known as KEiiNO late Saturday night. Two of KEiiNO’s members are crediting their Sami colleague Fred Buljo for catapulting them from 15th- to 5th place in the finals. Norwegian fans and not […]

Norway advanced to Eurovision final

Norway’s entry at the annual European song contest known as Eurovision gained enough points at the second semi-final Thursday night that it advanced to the final competition on Saturday. Both the jury and viewers voting around Europe clearly liked the Norwegian group KEiiNO’s song that features a Sami joik. Culture Minister Trine Skei Grande has […]

Missile attacks worry Eurovision

Heightened tensions between Israelis and Palestinians and retaliatory missile attacks are worrying the world again, also the organizers of the huge Eurovision Song Contest. Since Israel won the contest last year, Eurovision is supposed to be broadcast from Tel Aviv later this spring, but its Norwegian boss is concerned. “This is a serious escalation of […]

MGP winners deny they’re copycats

They’re bound for the Eurovision Song Contest, while fending off charges that their winning number in Norway’s Eurovison preliminary Melodi Grand Prix (MGP) sounded similar to other songs. The three members of the Norwegian-Sami group KEiiNO deny any plagiarism, and have won support in high places. “There are a lot of pop songs that have elements […]

NRK reverses its Jackson music ban

Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) has backed down on its controversial decision to remove the late Michael Jackson’s music from its play lists. NRK still plans to air a documentary about Jackson’s alleged sexual assaults on boys, but claims it is listening to its critics. NRK announced on Monday that it would not be playing any of […]

‘Norwegian Wood’ cancelled again

The once-thriving outdoor Norwegian Wood music festival in Oslo has been cancelled again for 2019. The festival that was held in the Frogner Park for many years was slimmed down to just one day in 2016 and never fully recovered. Financial problems and late bookings are behind its latest cancellation. New owner Henning Thoresen told […]

‘Culture shapes a democracy’

Norway’s government minister in charge of culture, Trine Skei Grande, said she felt like it was her birthday, Christmas and the 17th of May (Norway’s national day) all at once: For the first time in 15 years, she’d be presenting the framework for national cultural policy for the future, and set off debate at the […]