While punching above its weight in terms of international bookings Oslo’s Øya Festival has always been keen to promote Norwegian talent. With Highasakite set to take centre stage one of the organisers Tord Krogtoft explains why his countrymen and women are catching the breeze.
A strong wish to show off a steady growing music scene in Oslo was the reason for a small group of friends to start the Øya Festival back in 1999. The focus on Norwegian music has remained strong ever since. It is a tradition to let a local Norwegian artist headline the main stage on either Friday or Saturday.
This is a big deal for the chosen few, and is something both we as a festival and the bands take very serious. Last year Susanne Sundfør did her first ever headliner show in Tøyenparken, and the year before that it was Todd Terje. The Norwegian bands often have an organic growth from the smaller stages and hopefully upwards.
This year Highasakite (pictured) have big plans for making Friday a night to remember, after having played their way to the top of the billing. This year the timing for them as a headliner is perfect: The band have just released their big follow-up to their album Silent Treatment, who broke the record for most weeks on the Norwegian album charts, have a steady (and growing) following in Australia, Germany and the UK and are ready to take on the world.
An important step in the right direction will be their biggest show ever, in front of the Øya audience, while we’re also proud this year to be host Plus Norwegian stars AURORA, Frøkedal and Dagny too.
The festival kicks off on Tuesday 9 August and continues to the Sunday (14) primarily taking place in the beautiful Tøyen park in Oslo, although there are 85 free shows in 25 different venues in the centre of Oslo, which host our Øya Nights gigs which keep the party going even after the festival is closed for the night.
Along with shining a light on Norwegian talent, we’ also host some top international talent and with highlights this year set to include like PJ Harvey, Massive Attack, Jamie XX, New Order, The Last Shadow Puppets, Foals and Septa, although with a capacity just below 18, 000 per day, you’d would be hard pressed to find a better bigger hitting boutique festival anywhere else in the world.