We are finally ready for this year’s festival, the 27th in a row, but the very first of its kind. Obviously, this has been a different year. We´ve had to go back to the drawing board several times. The restrictions on travels and audience sizes this fall means that, for the first time in our festival's history, the concert program will be solely based on artists who live in Norway. That is of course a special feeling for a festival that each year tries to bring a small part of the world to Oslo in the autumn darkness. But at the same time, it is an opportunity to dig deeper than usual in what this city, and this country, has to offer. The goal hasn’t changed: It still is to present unforgettable live shows, with the same wide blend of genres and sense of curiosity that we try to deliver every year. Oslo is a small, but global city of music, and more than ever, we are grateful for this fact.
"It won’t be business as usual. We will miss the dancing, we will miss meeting old and new friends from abroad. But more and more, we are looking forward to seeing all of you, to meet up when October becomes November, and to create new moments together."
Every year, we work with artists and communities from countries plagued by unrest and strife. But 2020 is a year where we’ve come to expect the unexpected at every turn. We have chosen SOLIDARITY as this year's festival theme, as a way of guiding us through the wilderness. It means a host of different things to us: Solidarity with international colleagues, solidarity with the local music scene and solidarity with the venues we love, and which we are looking forward to visiting this year. Like a lot of our festival colleagues, we have had to plan both physical and digital events. This spring, we started the Map the World project as a way of raising awareness of the global ecosystem of festivals endangered by the pandemic. Many collaborators from our world map, from many different countries, will be a part of this year's program.
The tragic events in Beirut, where we have been part of arranging the Beirut & Beyond International Music Festival for a number of years, will also be one of the main themes of the festival, and it will be a central part of our work going forward.
It won’t be business as usual. We will miss the dancing, we will miss meeting old and new friends from abroad. But more and more, we are looking forward to seeing all of you, to meet up when October becomes November, and to create new moments together.