In the lazy quiet of summer, you can enjoy classical music in Bodø. The Nordland Music Festival invites you to sample classical music, jazz, folk music and pop, indoors and outdoors, and the most spectacular venue is up on the Keiservarden mountain.

Classical Northern Norwegian

The Nordland Music Festival is a music festival incorporating classical, jazz, folk and pop music, and it takes place in Bodø during the first week of August. An ambitious programme with performers of a high international calibre takes place in a laid-back atmosphere that celebrates the best of summer.

Keiservarden and Nyholm Skandse

The Nordland Music Festival makes use of every corner of Bodø. Always on the programme is the big concert on Keisersvarden mountain, with its spectacular views out over the Vestfjord towards Lofoten, south towards Svartisen glacier and inland towards Sweden in the east. A midnight concert at the Nyholms Skandse fortification in Bodø's harbour basin strikes a completely different chord when the blue twilight of late summer descends over the ferry and small boats on their way over from Lofoten. The immense space in Bodø Cathedral lends itself perfectly to the big concerts by the choir and symphony orchestra. Concerts for children take place in the square in the town centre. And from 2015 onward, the new Stormen Culture House will be providing yet another important arena for big musical experiences.

Classical and varied

The Nordland Music Festival attracts many great classical soloists, and the pianist Leif Ove Andsnes, trumpeters Ole Edvard Antonsen and Tine Thing Helseth, and the violinist Anne-Sophie von Otter have all appeared at the festival. The Norwegian Radio Orchestra is only one of many orchestras to perform here. Artists from the fields of jazz, ballad music, folk music and rock also enjoy performing here, and the Sami phenomenon Mari Boine, comedy duo Ylvis and the pop personality Jarle Bernhoft have also appeared here.

Festival highlight

Every year, the Nordland Music Festival selects a performer on whom to turn a special spotlight. Violinist Henning Kraggerud, the multitalented Swedish composer and performer Svante Henryson, warm-voiced ballad singer Terje Nilsen, and the extrovert folk musician Susanne Lundeng are among the musicians who have been highlighted by the festival in recent years.

Music festival in a beautiful location

Every year, the festival travels to a beautiful spot in Norland for a day. Among the places it has visited are Rossnes old trading post, the beautiful beaches of Mjelle, the island community of Røst and the medieval church in Gildeskål, where the hymn-writer Elias Blix was born. In these diverse spots, the festival puts on outdoor concerts in beautiful surroundings. And if the weather decides not to cooperate, the Northern Norwegian audience is well used to dressing for the occasion.

At the festival in Bodø

The Nordland Music Festival takes place in the laziest days of summer. Statistically, the chances of good weather are highest in early August. The days are still long and light, but the darkness of night has started to descend for a few hours in the evening. Bodø has an excellent selection of gourmet restaurants and other delightful places to eat; Storgata and Glasshuset are full of shopping opportunities, and there is a wide range of attractions. Finally, Bodø is in the perfect starting point for trips to Salten, Helgeland and Lofoten.

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The hotels in Bodø have plenty of rooms outside the course and conference season, and it's relatively easy to get a cheap plane ticket. This year's programme is described in glorious detail on the Nordland Music Festival website, while the tourist organisation Visit Bodø is the best place to look for information on everything you need to know about Bodø, both during the festival and the rest of the year.