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Skyrocketing prices wipe out Norwegian festivals

Several mid-sized Norwegian festivals have cancelled their 2023 editions due to “skyrocketing” costs, with some axed indefinitely.

Beitostølen Live, a two-day festival that takes place at the base of the Jotunheimen mountains in southern Norway, is the latest victim.

“It is with a heavy heart that Beitostølen Live saw no other way out than to announce a tender,” reads a statement on the festival’s website. “After difficult years of pandemic and war in Europe, our festival concept, the public’s buying habits and the industry in general have changed significantly. With increasing competition, rising prices, demands for advance payment at all stages, failing ticket sales both this year and last year, less sponsorship income and the absence of public financial support, the math unfortunately does not add up.”

Launched in 2019, the festival has seen performances from Sting, Bonnie Tyler and Wyclef Jean.

Elsewhere, Kadetten – a hip-hop festival launched in 2022 that featured Megan Thee Stallion, Central Cee and Burna Boy – cancelled its 2023 edition earlier this year.

“Our festival concept, the public’s buying habits and the industry in general have changed significantly”

“The cancellation comes solely from the costs of the artists and availability in 2023,” wrote Kadetten organisers. “The prices of everything have skyrocketed, in addition, the predictability for American artists has become a logistical nightmare with flights etc.”

Other festivals that will not return in 2023 include the 19-year-old Skral in Grimstad, Oslo Americana (and its sister events in Sweden) and Festival Imperium.

Siri Haugan Holden, general manager of Norwegian Culture Organizers (NKA) says that with rising costs and increased competition it’s not surprising that more organisers see themselves having to cancel.

She goes on to say that the market has sharpened and the association is seeing a greater divide where the big organisers with significant financial muscle are pulling away from the rest.

“The fact that the public is not quite back to the same level as before the pandemic makes it difficult for the organisers to raise the prices as much as the costs rise,” said Holden. “This has put the organisers in a difficult situation, where they may eventually have to cancel.”


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