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Norway Events

Stavanger Vinfest

A weeklong wine festival, Stavanger Vinfest lets you get merry for less as well as giving you the chance to see a bit more of one of Norway’s prettiest cities. (www.stavangervinfest.no, Norwegian)


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Notodden Blues Festival

Showcasing a great programme of local, national and international talent, the Notodden Blues Festival is held each August and attracts music fans from across the globe. First held in 1988, the festival is one of the most popular of its kind in Scandinavia with artists performing in venues ranging from intimate bars to bigger music clubs and theatres. The festival gets underway with an open-air concert in Notodden’s pretty town square. In addition to a packed line-up of performers, other attractions include outdoors breakfasts, a music market selling CDs, T-shirts and posters and a food fair selling food and beverages from around the world. The spectacular finale Closing Concert is held at Myrens Dam.


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Midwinter Jazz

Jazz might hail from hotter climes but a unique way to enjoy it is at the Svalbard Polar Jazz Festival, which is held in early February in the depths of the polar winter. (www.polarjazz.no, Norwegian)


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Norwegian International Film Festival

This popular event is a who’s who of the Nordic film world and attracts directors, actors, buyers and others associated with the film industry from all over the world. ‘New Nordic Films’ is a separate strand of the festival which is the premiere meeting and market place for international distributors, buyers, festival programmers and curators interested in new, Norwegian features. And a traditional Nordic market is now also a popular addition to the festival programme.


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Raumarock

Slightly at odds with the diffident national stereotype is the Norwegian passion for heavy rock music, which can be seen at its most fervent during annual rock music shebang, Raumarock. (www.raumarock.com)


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Forde Folk Music Festival

Each July, the small coastal town of Forde in the west of Norway hosts the Forde Folk Music Festival. Bringing together an array of regional, national and international performers, this is a great setting for this fun weekend music festival.


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Blues in Hell

If you can ignore the apocalyptic moniker, Trondheim’s Blues in Hell festival is one of Europe’s best blues festivals, and the place to see some of the world’s hottest new blues talent in action. There’s also a parade through the city streets. (www.bluesinhell.no)


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Midnight Sun Marathon

Each year the arctic city of Tromsø in the north of the country hosts its Midnight Sun Marathon. Setting off in the evening during the 24 hours of summer sunlight is a surreal experience that ensures a good turnout of runners and supporters who line the route. The first Midnight Sun Marathon was held in 1989 and, at 70º latitude, it is the most northerly AIMS-certified (Association of International Marathons and Road Races) marathon in the world.


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Riddu Riddu Festival

Promoting a truly eclectic programme including artists and performers from all over the world, the Riddu Riddu Festival is a celebration of indigenous cultures. Originally organised by the coastal Sami people of northern Norway, the event has grown over the years to become an international celebration featuring everything from local Sami dance and poetry to Aboriginal dances and rituals from Australia. The fact that this modest event takes place in the near permanent summer daylight in Kafjord in Norway’s Arctic Tundra makes this festival all the more magical.


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North Norway Festival

The Festival of North Norway is one of the biggest and most important arts events of its kind in the land of the midnight sun. Occurring each summer, visitors have the opportunity to enjoy a rich and varied programme of cultural events during the week-long festival. First held in 1965, the North Norway Festival attracts thousands of visitors who come to experience the many dance, theatre, art and music performances.


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Norwegian Wood

The Norwegian answer to Denmark’s Roskilde and the UK’s Glastonbury festival, Norwegian Wood is a long-running summer tradition that sees a slightly retro programme of artists such as Eric Clapton and The Eagles take to the stage.


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Telemarkfestivalen (Telemark Festival)

Often referred to simply as the ‘Telemark Festival’, the annual Telemark International Folk Music Festival presents an eclectic programme of authentic folk music performed by bands and musicians from all over the world. Traditional Nordic dance and song feature alongside modern day experimental work in a fun and friendly environment. In addition to the many performances, there are also a number of courses and workshops aimed at teaching visitors more about the traditional dances and musical instruments that are so important to folk music.


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Ekstremsportveko (Extreme Sports Week)

This annual event gives visitors the chance to try their hand at one of a number of different extreme sports and activities and is a must for adrenaline junkies everywhere. Including skydiving, rafting, kayaking, paragliding, climbing, hang-gliding, mountain biking and just about any other extreme activity you can think of, this energised event is open to all regardless of age, sex and experience. Events, competitions, demonstrations and activities take place throughout the week and there is live music and parties taking place each evening making this one of Norway’s coolest events.


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