No one knows what autumn brings, but at Oslo World we have faith that society will be more open and that vaccinated musicians can travel between European countries. Things can still change quickly - last year we changed the international program several times, before we finally presented a program based on musicians living in Norway.
It was a strong program that showed the enormous diversity and creativity that exists on the Norwegian music scene. This year we are ready to bring the world to Oslo again and fortunately we find musicians from all over the world living in Europe. Over the next few weeks, we will release a broad concert program that picks up the thread from 2019 with, among other things - flamenco, trap, psych rock, fado, kuduro, rap, afropop and much more.
The first four artists to be released from the program are rapper Alyona Alyona from Ukraine, flamenco star Maria José Llergo from Spain, the Turkish psych rock band Altin Gün from the Netherlands and Beglomeg - a Norwegian rock band with a big, restless and rebellious heart.
In 2021, Oslo World’s festival theme is “rebellion”.
It feels like the right moment for it. The last year, obedience to government regulations has been viewed as absolutely necessary by many, if not most. And all the while, during the pandemic, things have occurred that has made us associate rebellion not only with legitimate peaceful protest, but with violent insurrections, and a potentially dangerous resistance against a common ground of discussion, and empirical facts. Everything has been mixed together. When you think back on the events unfolding since the start of 2020, will you associate the term “rebellion” with BLM protests or the attack on congress - or both? Will you think about the protests against the imprisonment of Alexei Navalny in Russia, the polish protests against abortion restrictions, feminist rebellion in Chile, or will your mind turn to mass opposition against vaccines and cautionary public measures? This reminds us that the rebel has never meant just one thing - many icons of resistance have been reactionary figures. The reasons we still feel they are needed, in spite of all this, are as relevant as ever in 2021: In the years ahead, after lockdowns and mass restrictions, civil society needs to retrain its democratic muscles, and find ways of resisting the numbing effect of the last few years. Read more about this year's festival theme here.