Summer festivals in Norway are held throughout the country and are an interesting way to enjoy the culture, food, music, and arts and crafts of this fascinating country. Not only is there a variety of Norway events held in the summer, but there are many festivals in around the country held throughout the year. Whatever your travel plans entail, you will have the chance to attend events such as theatrical performances or a spectacular Norway music festival, such as the Oslo Jazz Festival.
Some of the cities with annual festivals include Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, St Olaf, Tromso, Harstad, and Vestfold. If you’re interested in attending events in any of these cities, check the events calendar ahead of time when making your travel plans or booking your vacation package to ensure that you’re itinerary lines up.
One of the most popular events in Oslo is the Oslo Mela Festival, which takes place over three days in August. This annual Norway festival is a huge multicultural event with participating performers from many countries, and it features the music, art, dance, crafts, and food from each nation.
Two other large musical events in Oslo are the Oya Festival and the Oslo Jazz Festival. The Oya Festival is an annual rock music festival that was started in 1971 and is held during the summer at Medieval Park. It features concerts by international bands and local performers. The Oslo Jazz Festival began in 1985, and it’s celebrated each year in August with a six-day festival and parades. This festival features international artists performing jazz, blues, and gospel music.
If you’re visiting in the fall, a popular annual festival is the Oslo World Music Festival. This event has multiple stages where several hundred musicians from around the world perform a variety of music over a seven-day period. Another Norway music festival held during the fall is the Lillehammer Jazz Festival, also featuring local and international musicians.
A particularly unique Norway music festival, which encompasses a whole county, is the Vestfold International Festival held for three weeks in summer. The festival is a cultural experience through music, dance, and performances from classical and jazz to music from cultures from around the world.
Bergen is known as the cultural capital of Norway, and one of the best Norway events takes place when Bergenfest takes over multiple clubs in the city for two weeks in the spring. This festival hosts musicians playing all genres of music from hip-hop and alternative to blues and heavy metal. A day (or two) at this festival can be an entertaining and unusual complement to the year-round cultural activities in Bergen, such as opera and theater performances.
If you’re interested in historic music or the churches in Europe, the Oslo International Church Music Festival takes place during the winter and is considered a leading event of its kind. It focuses on national and international church choirs, musicians, and orchestras, and the repertoire includes styles from the Middle Ages through modern times.
A huge Norway festival that takes place for one week in winter in the city of Tromso is the Northern Lights Festival where national and international artists perform throughout the city at churches, pubs, and halls a wide range of music and dance. From old world music and modern jazz to chamber music and string quartets, the festival has something for everyone, and it allows you to add some delightful entertainment to a trip to see the incredible sight of Aurora Borealis.
Two Norway events during the spring are the Saami Easter Festival, which is held in the city of Kautokeino over seven days featuring concerts, art, a film festival, and theater performances, and the Amandus Film Festival in Lillehammer. This festival showcases works by budding filmmakers and experience professionals, and it includes exhibitions and an awards show.
Another Norway festival is the Festival of North Norway, held in the city of Harstad. This cultural festival takes place in the summer over nine days and includes concerts, art exhibitions, dance and theatre performances, and film events. An intricate part of the festival is the Children's Festival focusing on cultural activities for young people.
One of the religious summer festivals in Norway include the St. Olaf Festival in Trondheim where nearly 200 events take place including art exhibitions, dancing, religious services, concerts, lectures, children's activities, and marketplace. Many of the historical buildings serve as points of interest including the Ringve Museum, Archbishop Palace, and the Nidaros Cathedral.
Whatever your interests, itinerary, and travel budget, you’re sure to find that there are plenty of events to attend during your Norwegian vacation. And whatever you choose will add unique experiences and memories to your trip.