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About us

Oslo World is one of the leading music festivals of its kind in Europe. The festival enters its 24th year in 2017, and runs from the 31st of October to the 5th of November. During these six days, you will find more than 300 artists from all parts of the world performing at 25 different venues in the city – Oslo World presents music in all kinds of genres, from all over the world. We give the world to Oslo, and Oslo to the world.  

The festival is previously known as Oslo World Music Festival, but a small, but significant name change was made in connection to this year’s festival. “Oslo World Music Festival” has become “Oslo World.” 

There are many reasons for this. The most obvious one is that “world music” is an expression that says little or nothing about the music in our program. The line up consists of many different high quality musical experiences and all of them have specific and distinct origins.

Another aspect that the name change points to, is that Oslo World has become a festival consisting of way more than musical experiences. This year’s seminar program is the most ambitious so far – and the festival has invited designers, architects and actors, amongst others, to Oslo during the festival. 

This year’s festival theme is “Avant-garde in the periphery”. We have invited artists and activists who are in the frontline, who are pioneers, who promote radical ideas, who are unconventional and who create important meeting places. Artists that one might not immediately place under the avant-garde genre, but who have used their voice and the arts consciously or subconsciously to create social change. 

In addition to the festival, The Foundation Oslo World has different events during the year, like VårtNabolag (Our Neighborhood), which is a festival arranged in refugee centers, Beirut & Beyond, Musikkfest Oslo, tours and other concerts.

Through quality music, Oslo World contribute to strengthen free cultural expression and freedom of speech, and creates meeting places for the residents of Oslo and visiting guests with different cultural backgrounds and experiences.

Get to know Oslo World through the festival film from 2016: 

Background

In autumn 2011, the Oslo World (OW) was established as an independent foundation after 18 years as a part of Concerts Norway.  The festival is not only a prominent festival in Norway, it’s also conspicuous in the other Nordic countries and the rest of Europe. The festival was in 2015, for the sixth year in a row, awarded to be among the top 25 international festivals in the world by the British music magazine Songlines.

Each year we present artists from all corners of the world, with a special focus on Asia, Africa and Latin America. The festival has brought many famous names to Oslo for the very first time. The purpose of Oslo World is to conduct an annual music festival with high artistic quality and a social barb. We have an ambition to reach out to a broad, music loving and curious audience. Everyone is welcome!

The festival is also tasked to develop measures which strengthen music from Asian, African and Latin American countries position in Norway. OW has evidence of success in reaching this purpose, both through highlighting important issues like music censorship in Mali and Russia, and by inviting artists with a passionate cause and social dedication to the festival.

The festival manager, Alexandra Archetti Stølen, was in 2016 reelected president for her fourth period in the European Forum for world music (EFWMF) which consist of 57 member festivals from 31 countries. This position has linked our festival closer together with many major festivals and cities around the world. We view this as a great added value also for the promotion of Oslo as an important cultural capital in Europe.

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