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Arena Market: Norway

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With a maximum capacity of 25,000, Telenor Arena is the country’s largest indoor venue. Just a 15-minute drive from Oslo, it has hosted acts such as The Rolling Stones, Justin Bieber, and Bruce Springsteen.

Having closed for 533 days during the pandemic, it reopened in September 2021 with a show by Hans Zimmer.

There are plans to redevelop the site, creating a state-of- the-art international arena with the flexibility to host concerts of varying capacities, new large arrival halls to make getting productions in and out easier, as well as new flexible areas for the sale of food and drinks.

“I can’t remember a time when things have been as busy”

In the capital itself, Oslo Spektrum managing director Per-Ole Moen says: “I can’t remember a time when things have been as busy – we have so many live events happening at the same time this spring and summer. Ticket buyers have a lot to choose from – maybe too much.”

Nonetheless, he says the venue’s bookings look very healthy for the next 12–18 months. “We had a busy May and June, and the 2022-autumn also looks to be particularly busy for us. The winter, spring, and autumn of 2023 are also looking good.” Once the shows that were rescheduled due to the pandemic have happened, Moen says it will be exciting to see how the booking situation develops beyond 2023.

“We’ve gone from zero to full speed in a short period of time, and we (and our subcontractors) are struggling to get enough skilled labour. Hopefully, this will improve somewhat over the autumn as activity slows down a little. The positive side of this is that you get a lot of new faces introduced to the industry, and they can get a lot of experience in a short period of time.”

After undergoing a significant rebuilding project in the summers of 2018 and 2019, including a new foyer, new toilets, new bars/outlets, and new fixed and flexible grandstands, the venue increased capacity by 1,500 to 11,500. And while the packed calendar for the rest of 2022 makes it difficult to carry out further rebuilding projects, Moen says it is regularly making smaller upgrades to keep the venue up to date.

“We’ve gone from zero to full speed in a short period of time, and we (and our subcontractors) are struggling to get enough skilled labour.”

Oslo currently lacks a venue between the Sentrum Scene (1,650) and the Oslo Spektrum, so the arena is making plans to build a new venue called Spektrumkvarteret in an area that is currently used as office space. “This venue will have a capacity of approximately 3,000, so hopefully, it will fill this gap. If everything goes as we hope, we are planning to start the building in early 2024.”

It is also in the process of getting Eco-Lighthouse accreditation – Norway’s most widely used environmental and social responsibility certification.

Acts due to perform there include Dua Lipa, Tool, The Cure, and Sting.

With several halls, a conference centre, function rooms, and a bright, spacious, and bustling area containing a snack and espresso bar, Trondheim Spektrum complex has a 12,000-capacity arena, which opened in 2019. Forthcoming acts include Deep Purple and Tiësto.

Vestlandshallen (10,000) in Bergen will host 50 Cent in October 2022, while local authority-owned Vikingskipet (20,000) in Hamar is an ice-skating rink that also hosts concerts, including Stevie Wonder and Mark Knopfler.

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