Bylarm is Norway’s answer to SXSW, and this year’s festival was number 19. The first years the festivals was arranged in different cities in Norway, Trondheim, Bergen, Tromsø and Kristiansand. In 2008 the festival was moved to Oslo, where it has been arranged at venues around Youngstorget since then. (Photo above: Kvelertak)
This year is also my 19th Bylarm, having attended all of them since the start. I have seen the festival evolve from being open for many bands and artists to allowing fewer but more professional artists with international potentials. The festival has also expanded to having artists from our Nordic neighbors. and the focus for the festival is much more international than at the beginning.
One of the good things with festivals like Bylarm, and an added value from other festivals, is the conference part. This year’s conference was high class with interesting topics and very competent panelists, both artist oriented and also interesting for those of us who work in the music industry and media.
I have been critical to the increasing number of EDM and electronica artist and the corresponding decrease in the number frock artist. The festival has said that they get fewer applications from rock bands. But they don’t seem to encourage them either. EDM and electronica might be popular these days, and with Norwegian artists like Kygo’s success, more will come. Personal I think this music is boring, and even worse live. But there were enough interesting artists in other styles that I had a good time these three nights.
Here are the artists I saw at Bylarm this year.
Faenskap (former Oslo Faenskap)
All photos are © Per Ole Hagen and must not be used without written permission.