No part of society is untouched by the Covid-19 pandemic. The music business don’t know when things can reopen – and how things will look on the other side. Oslo World are concerned about the local scene – both in terms of the other Norwegian festivals, but also the club venues in Oslo, caught in a struggle for life and death, not only now, but also in the months after business returns to normal – whatever “normal” might mean at that point.
But we are also part of an international festival family. And we have started a project to create a map of all these festivals. We have asked festival bookers all around the world to share their favourite music right here, right now through playlists containing 20 songs per festival.
The map is meant as a reminder of the way festivals represent different views and music philosophies, in addition to being places where people meet to have a good time. All over the world, festivals represent cultural gravity points, each and every one contibruting to a vibrant and pluralistic global music scene.
2020 has become a year when we can’t visit each other. The music culture will become poorer for it. The worst case scenario is a collapse in the infrastructure we usually take for granted. Help is needed from outside to prevent this from happening. Inside the festival sector, we can spend the time in the following month becoming more knowledgeable about how all of these different scenes are interconnected. To learn lessons about the whole musical ecosystem. The festival map, where more and more festivals from around the world are signing on, is a small contribution to this effort.
The ramifications for the music scene has gotten a lot of attention the last week. There are many sectors who struggle outside of the mass medias attention right now. In a way, we are privileged – but it is also understandable. The future for music festivals, just like the future of your local sports club or your favorite bar, has to do with the hope of things turning back to normal. The loning for a social future, on the other side of the pandemic. This also becomes the role of cultural expressions here annd now – a promise of better things to come, and an explorer of new ways of interacting while the pandemic lasts