Events and festivals near lighthouses
Norwegians love the summertime. The long hours of sunlight due to the high latitudes encourage people to get out and stay out late.
From the southern coast all the way up to the farthest north, there are music, dance, and art events. There are regattas, film festivals, speed boat shows, food festivals, etc., etc., etc. Following is a list – just a sampling – of some of these festivals, focusing somewhat on events that take place at or near lighthouses.
- The Hove Festival (Norwegian: Hovefestivalen) is a music festival held on the island Tromøy outside of Arendal in southern Norway. It was held for the first time in June 2007. Since then, Hove festival has become the largest music festival in Norway. Arendal is home to both Lille and Store Torungen Lighthouses, Ytre Møkkalasset Lighthouse, and Sandvikodden Lighthouse.
- Hove Festival combines great artists with on-site camping, nature, beaches and idyllic surroundings. Held this year on June 26–29,2012. Besides the music, there is the quirkiest art scenes, featuring not-yet-released movies. Hove Festival sets new standards for environmental awareness, working to preserve the beautiful nature that surrounds the festival.
Canal Street, Arendal
25–28 July. Music festival in Arendal. Canal Street is known for their untraditional concert locations, for instance Arendal cemetary, a waste disposal facility, islands and backyards have been the locations for great music in previous years. For now, Jethro Tull is booked for 2012, as well as Veronika Maggio, Canned Heat, Paul Midón and lots of Norwegian artists. Read more.
Shellfish Festival, Mandal
- Mandel is home to Ryvingen Lighthouse and Hatholmen Lighthouse. Nearby to the east is Songvår Lighthouse. The Shellfish Festival in Mandal takes place during second weekend of August every year.
Odderøya Live Festival
- A two-day outdoor event in Bendiksbukta at Odderøya in Kristiansand, featuring Kaizers Orchestra, Jarle Bernhoft and Roxette, and more. July 11–13. Website: Norwegian language only. Information in English.
- Kristiansund lighthouses include Grønningen Lighthouse, Oksøy Lighthouse, Odderøya Lighthouse
- Odderøya is an island off Kristiansand, connected to the mainland by bridges south of the city. Odderøya is establishing itself as a regional cultural center. Odderøya has been used as locations for live concerts, There have been concerts in Bendiksbukta, on the lawn, Odden, sports ground (rebuilt to an and club in Odderøyhallen. In 2007, the sports ground was rebuilt with a new concert venue with an outdoor amphitheater,Odderøya Amphi, that has the capacity to 22 000 audience.
Bukta Festival, Tromsø
- Bukta Festival is held in Tromsø during July. This open-air rock festival was voted best music festival in Norway in 2010. Read more about the Bukta Festival.
Norway Rock Kvinesdal
- Held in July. Read more about the Norway Rock. Read more.
- Kvinesdal is an elongated mountain-to-coast municipality, reaching saltwater at the head of the Fedafjord. There are many nearby lighthouses such as Markøy Lighthouse in Lyngdal, Søndre Kattland Lighthouse, and Lista Lighthouse in Farsund.
Øya Festival, Oslo
- Øya Festival is held in Oslo in August, It is Oslo’s largest outdoor music festival. This year: 7-11 August 2012. Read more about the Øya Festival. Øya is one of the most popular music festivals in Norway. Björk and the Stone Roses will be headlining in 2012.
Oslo Jazz Festival
- Held in Oslo in August. Celebrating 25 years in 2011. This year: 13-18 August 2012. Read more about the Oslo Jazz Festival. This year, Tony Bennet will kick start the Festival with a concert on August 8.
Notodden Blues Festival, Oslo
- Held at Notodden (west of Oslo) in August. This is Scandinavia’s largest blues festival. This year: 2-5 August 2012. Read more about the Notodden Blues Festival.
Silda Jazz, Haugesund
- Silda Jazz is held in Haugesund in August. In 2012 the festival is being held August 8-12. Read more. And see the Silda Jazz homepage.
- This is an area rich in lLighthouses. Vikeholmen Lighthouse, Høgevarde Lighthouse , Skudenes Lighthouse, Geitungen Lighthouse—all in Karmøy. Plus there is Sørhaugøy Lighthouse and Røværsholmen Lighthouse in Haugesund and Utsira LIghthouse on Utsira island.
- This year Silda Jazz features Chaka Kahn (August 8), among many other notable artists.
Norwegian International Film Festival, Haugesund
- August 17 – 23 ,2012 in Haugesund, August. This well-established festival, celebrating its 40th year in 2012, showcases the best of Norwegian and international movies. The winners of the Amanda Awards, or Norwegian “Oscars”, are also announced during the festival. This year: 17-23 August 2012. Read more about the Haugesund Film Festival.
- As noted under the listing for Silda Jazz, there are many nearby lighthouses.
Molde International Jazz Festival (MIJF)
- Established 1961 in Molde, this festival takes place annually in July, and is known as one of the oldest jazz festivals in Europe. Read more.
Gladmat Festival, Stavanger
- July 20-23 in Stavanger. This is Scandinavia’s largest food festival and is a popular event, drawing some 250,000 visitors every year. Offering an arena for consumers and food producers to meet, the festival is a great place to discover niche products, taste local ingredients and get the lowdown on the latest culinary trends. Popular cooking classes cover anything from Italian food and wine to gluten-free tapas, and the odd celebrity chef has been known to make an appearance – Gordon Ramsay was guest of honour in 2010. This year: 25-28 July 2012. Read more about the Gladmat Festival.
- Stavanger is a wonderful starting point for all the lighthouses along the Jæren coast. Read more about the beautiful Jæren coast.
St. Olav Festival, Trondheim
- Trondheim, late July-early August. The largest festival in Trondheim is Olavsfestdagene (St. Olav Festival), which celebrates Norway’s historical and religious heritage, as well as its patron saint, Olaf II Haraldsson. Many of the events take place in Nidarosdomen, Norway’s largest cathedral, an important pilgrimage centre. Expect concerts, church services, riding contests, a bustling medieval market, and more. The festival celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2012. This year: 28 July-4 August 2012. Read more about the St Olav Festival.
- Outside Trondheim in the Trondheim fjord is one of Norway’s most picturesque lighthouses, Kjeungskjær. Read more.
Risør Wooden Boat Festival
- Risør, August. The picturesque seaside town of Risør, famed for its white wooden buildings and its pretty harbor, celebrates its maritime heritage with this hugely popular festival, which attracts hundreds of wooden boats every year during the busiest weekend in the town’s calendar. The bustling harbor is the center of the action, with sea culture and traditional handicrafts very much in focus, but there are also street parades and entertainment all throughout Risør. A real festive atmosphere, and a great time to visit this Sørlandet idyll. This year: 2-5 August 2012. Read more about the Risør Festival. Follow Risør Wooden Boat Festival on Facebook.
Risør Festival of Chamber Music
26 June-1 July. Internationally renowned chamber music festival in Risør. This year’s theme is “The Game of Chance”. Artists include Leif Ove Andsnes, Martin Fröst, Radovan Vlatkovic, Henning Kraggerud and Lars Anders Tomter.
- Oslo, September. Fast growing in popularity, the Oslo Marathon actually consists of three races in one: a 10km, a half marathon, and a full marathon. The event, which attracted some 16,000 participants in 2011 (from a mere 1,500 in 2004), is a big street party for runners and spectators alike, with entertainment in and around the course, including a big screen on which to follow the race. As many as 20,000 are expected to take part in 2012. The race starts outside the Akershus Fortress, and takes in many of the capital’s main sights. Read more about the marathon. This year: Kick off at 10.30 am on 22 September 2012.
Norwegian Short Film Festival, Grimstad
- In Grimstad, home to Homborsund Lighthouse. Each summer, Grimstad plays host to the Norwegian Short Film Festival, which attracts film enthusiasts from far and near. In 2012, the festival was held June 13–16. Read more.