2016 was an active concert and photo year for me. I attended twelve festivals through the year mostly in Norway, but also the SXSW in Austin, Texas. I also saw thirty other concerts though the year. Metal, singer songwriter pop, rock, hip hop, punk are some of the styles I have heard in 2016. Here are #16-35 of my personal favorite photos from 2016. (Photo above: The audience at the Bruce Springsteen concert in Oslo in July)
Norway have had an active Americana culture for years, with many excellent musicians and artists performing their own music in what loosely can be called Americana. In Oslo there are Americana sessions at the Buckley club, and this Saturday the Oslo Americana Festival was held at the Grefsenkollen restaurant for the first time. The venue has one of Oslo’s best views over the whole city of Oslo, which matches the festivals wide definition of the Americana style perfectly. (Photo above: Knut Reiersrud)
Two years ago, Eidsivablot was held at Eidsvold, the same place where Norway’s constitution was made 200 years before. It is also one of the places where the vikings held their blot, a pagan party with eating drinking, games, and worshipping of their gods. Borre, south west of Oslo is another place where the vikings held blot, and they have built a museum and a house in the style of the vikings. This weekend the second edition of Midgardsblot was held there.
Grace Jones was the headliner at the last day of the Øyafestivalen this year. I saw her last year at Bergen Fest, and much of the show was the same. But she had taken it to another level this time, and showed everyone who is the real star among all the wannabe pop divas. She also looks so good and is in such good shape that you forget that she is sixty eight years old.
Saturday at the Øyafestivalen is a long concert day with music from one o’clock until eleven at night. Luckily the weather was much better than the day before. Except for some slight rain early in the day, the rest of the day was sunny. Saturday was also a day for some really good music, starting with Midnight Choir and ending with Grace Jones. I missed Friday at the festival, but Saturday compensated well for this.
The second day of the Øya Festival was sunny, although it became quite chilly when the sun went down. The headliners this day was PJ Harvey who I saw, and Jamie XX, who played at the same time on two stages. Before them I saw a lot of good concerts both with artists I have seen before, and also some new ones. (Photo above: PJ Harvey)
The Øya Festival in Oslo is the biggest music festival in Oslo. It was originally held at and around the medieval ruins down by the seafront. Three years ago they had to move the festival to a park close to the Munch museum, which also meant the capacity increased. The park is ideal for a festival, with a natural amphi for three of the stages. The fourth one is a huge tent, located at the farthest distance from that main stage, so they can have bands playing at the same time with no over hearing. Here are the bands I saw on Wednesday. (Photo above: Aurora)
Saturday was my last day at Notodden this year. It was raining hard during the night, but it stopped in the morning. My only complaint was that the soundcheck for the Supersonic Bues Machine woke me up early. They and the Original Blues Brothers were the concerts that sold the most tickets this year, and I was looking forward to it. (Photo above: Billy Gibbons and Supesonic Blues Machine)
On Friday at Notodden the music started early. The Union Blues Cup, jam sessions, concerts in the big tent and lots of other places from noon until well after midnight. The town Notodden triples its size during these four days, and there is music everywhere. Notodden Blues Festival was voted the world’s best blues festival in 2010, and it is also a part of the Mississippi Blues Trail. (Photo above: Walter Trout)
The 29th Blues Festival at Notodden in Norway is over. Four days with blues and related music styles all day and parts of the night. The official start is early night Thursday, and the festival ends with a concert Sunday at noon. Here are photos of the artists I saw Thursday at Notodden. (The winner of the Bues Prize 2016, Amund Maaraud and Little Steven)