This festival was a different one, but we knew that it would be from the spring. The work on changing the program, from inviting the world to Oslo, to focusing on the world in Oslo and Norway, was demanding, but interesting. All in all, we ended up planning five quite different versions of this year's festival - but the final result was characterized by a breadth and a quality we could vouch for in a "normal" year.
We were also aware that a new peak of covid-19 was expected in the autumn, but it was dramatic to see the situation worsen in the weeks leading up to the festival. When the government and the municipality announced new measures and restrictions on Monday 26th of October, we concluded that with some small changes to the program, the festival could be held as planned. We are incredibly happy about that!
It would not have been possible without good cooperation with the venues we work with, that have repeatedly defied uncertainty and tackled major challenges this year to provide people with safe and good concert experiences. Thus, the festival became a demonstration of the work that has already been done. At Cosmopolite Scene, Nasjonal jazzscene, BLÅ, Nordic Black Theatre & Cafeteatret, Riksscenen, Oslo Konserthus, Kulturkirken JAKOB, Kulturhuset, Sentralen, Nobel Peace Center, Kunstplass, et visningssted for samtidskunst and Rockefeller / John DEE / Sentrum Scene everything was rigged for excellent experiences. We are deeply grateful for everyone working in these venues - and for our volunteers, who tackled new tasks in an exemplary way.
In all, Oslo World consisted of more than 30 concerts characterized by a breadth and a musical joy, both on stage and among the audience, that really showed the diversity and quality of the Norwegian music scene. We are also happy to have been able to borrow various urban spaces, on Youngstorget, Sørenga, Sankthanshaugen and at Kulturkirken JAKOB, for the exhibition "Through Solidarity We Survive" with Syrian artists. This exhibition, together with Nicole Rafikis Bis at Kunstplass, made Oslo World a place where people can experience art, also this year. The seminar and delegate program was characterized by the situation, but through our collaboration with Estraad and Sentralen, we were able to experiment with a digital platform that enabled greater participation than the situation physically allows.
We take these experiences with us moving forward. From the very beginning of the pandemic, it was obvious that this edition of the festival had to be a year where we worked on our accessibility, both on social media and through streaming of selected concerts, as we did in collaboration with Milimedia and Brusjan. We also thank Freemuse, and many good partners with them, for the collaboration with the conference "Solidarity, artistic freedom and resistance" and Music Norway, as well as 18 festivals associated with our maptheworld project, for the collaboration around the delegate program.
The opening concert this year was a solidarity concert for Beirut. Throughout the week, we encouraged our audience to donate money to the Beirut Solidarity Fund, which we have created in collaboration with Tunefork Studios in Beirut, Beirut & Beyond International Music Festival and Théâtre de la Ville (official page) in Paris. The money will be used to finance the writing, recording and performance of new music on Beirut's music scene. So far, almost 400 000 NOK has been collected through this campaign.
Finally, we would like to thank the audience, volunteers, everyone who works at our venues and not least the Norwegian music scene. This really became their festival - and it makes us look forward to next year with excitement - no matter what 2021 brings.