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The Cave Concert in submerged cave. Photo credit: Pekka Tuuri
The Cave Concert in submerged cave. Photo credit: Pekka Tuuri

Press release -



Next year Bodø, Northern Norway, will be European Capital of Culture, the first city north of the Arctic Circle to hold the prestigious title. 1,000 events are being planned for the occasion in Bodø and Nordland throughout 2024. Here are some of the highlights.


Opening Ceremony (3 Feb 2024). Phase 7 Berlin in partnership with Nordland Theatre. Expect a spectacular event centred around Bodø harbour, with this purpose-built floating stage as the main focus. NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation) will cover the event live. Up to 20,000 visitors are expected to attend.

Pure Music: World's most sustainable concert, Bodø2024’s big Spring opening. A very important project for us as we are aiming to be the most sustainable European Capital of Culture (ECOC) ever. (Under development. Details and artists TBC later this year)

Midsummer Mischief: (22 June). A large outdoor event in Bodø to celebrate Midsummer Night’s Eve. Audience participation will be a key element of the event. By Walk the Plank (UK).

Nordland by Light: Nordland's first ever light festival. Light installations, light shows, light walks, and more. Bodø, Værøy, Alstahaug, etc. (Nov-Dec 2024)


Kjerringøy Land Art Biennale (KLAB): Europe's only land art biennale. Selected artists: Elin Sundstrøm (SE), Jannik Abel (NO), Jette Mellgren (DK), Kristen Rønnevik (NO), Mar Serinyà Gou (ES), Rainer Fest (DE), Ted Efremoff (US). (Opening weekend: 6-7 July 2024)

Sámi Theatre Trilogy: Sámi theatre and music with a highly topical focus: Climate change. A trilogy developed by the Southern Sámi Theatre for Bodø2024. Frode Fjellheim (of Frozen fame) composed the music for part 1. For part 2 and 3 we are working on signing up two of Norway’s most famous Sámi musicians. Hoping to bring Sámi drama to a larger audience. (4-10 Feb 2024, no performance on 5 Feb)

ÁRRAN 360°: A hybrid between indigenous storytelling and innovative technology, in the world's largest lavvo, 10m high, with a screen running along the entire inner wall. First shown at the Venice Biennale last year, coming to Bodø in 2024. 6 films so far, and 6 new Sámi visual artists have been commissioned to create the next chapter: Anna Katri Helander, Ken Are Bongo/Aleksander Olai Korsnes, Ann Holmgren Aurebekk, Hans Pieski, Liselotte Wajstedt/Marja Helander. In partnership with the International Sámi Film Institute. (Opening 3 Feb 2024)

Bådåddjo Musea: Bodø City Museum will be transformed into a Sámi museum for the year. One of the exhibitions consists of 200 artefacts, coming from all over Sápmi. Opens 24 April 2024 (annual museum conference), 26 April for the general public. Pop-up exhibition in Glasshuset from 3 Feb. Curator: Kristoffer Dolmen, director of the Sami Centre for Contemporary Sámi Art in Karasjok.

The Trail Way / War Travels: A large-scale investment aiming to offer a better experience for those travelling along the Nordland Railway. "War Travels", a collaboration between Nordland Teater and Bodø2024, where the public can experience an artistic and geographical deep-dive into Northern Norwegian war-related stories (WW2) associated with places along the Nordlandsbanen. For example, geopoetic wanderings with Davide Sapienza and the theatre performance Kappe Land.

Petter Dass Sculpture: A new 10m-high sculpture dedicated to Nordland's most famous priest and poet Petter Dass (1647-1707), on an islet off the coast of Helgeland in Sandnessjøen. The sculpture is based on a smaller sculpture by Norwegian artist Gustav Vigeland. Artist: Frode Mikal Lillesund. A new landmark in Nordland. Best seen from sea, a new attraction for all sailing or cruising past. (Unveiling 23 June 2024)

Messy Corners/ The Controversial Hamsun: New exhibition opening at the Hamsun Centre on Hamarøy 16 March 2024. Norway's most famous novelist, referred by some as 'the father of modern literature', Knut Hamsun irrevocably tarnished his legacy by being an ardent supporter of nazi Germany. A known antisemite, Hamsun praised the efforts of Germany during WW2 and courted many high-ranking nazi officers, including Hitler and Goebbels, famously giving the latter his Nobel Prize medal. Hamsun lived in Paris, France and Germany, and visited several other countries in Europe. Hamsunsdagene (The Hamsun’s Days) will take place 4-10 August 2024.

The Cave: A world's first. A concert in a submerged cave, where all musicians, technicians and audience (limited to around 50) will have to be accredited cave divers. Part of our ‘Leave Nothing but Footprints’ concept, to avoid moving big crowds to vulnerable places. The concert will be streamed through a multi-camera production, so it can reach a global audience. Local saxophonist Håkon Skog Erlandsen has played in several extreme locations, including on top of Mt Everest. (16-17 Mar 2024, Plura Cave, Mo I Rana).

Via Querinissima: Applying for official status as a Council of Europe Culture Route. Pietro Querini was a 15th century merchant from the Republic of Venice. Bound for Bruges in Flanders in 1431 his merchant ship encountered a terrible storm off the coast of France and shipwrecked. Just after the new year, in January 1432, after weeks drifting at sea in terrible conditions, the survivors stranded on an island near Røst. Only 11 men, of a crew that totaled 68, made it. They were found by local fishermen and eventually spent more than three months together with the Røst inhabitants, where they experienced genuine, humbling hospitality. They took stockfish back to Venice with them. To this day stockfish is an important ingredient in the cuisine of Veneto - and links between the regions of Veneto and Lofoten are still very much alive, something our project Via Querinissima will build on.

Querini Opera: First set up in 2012, the opera made its international debut in Venice this October - a three-day event combining culture and trade fair at the prestigious Arsenale. There will also be performances in Bodø and Tromsø. A third of the inhabitants on the island of Røst, Lofoten, are involved in the project as volunteers - a big Nordland dugnadproject. The opera was described by the Financial Times as 'the most moving work of music theatre ever to be written about dried fish'.

Feeding Europe is all about putting Arctic food on the culinary map. The project is well underway and will map producers in the region; research local raw ingredients, flavours and products; and create much needed new food networks. The Arktisk Mat symposium in Mosjøen (13-14 Sep 2024), Norway’s smallest but most exciting food festival, is also part of the programme, but watch out too for Arctic food roadshows around Nordland, with top-class food from local and visiting chefs. Arktisk Mat will also be presenting Arctic food at several Bodø2024 events, including the opening ceremony. NB. There will be an Arctic Food Roadshow in Berlin in connection with International Grüne Woche (IGW) (19-28 Jan 2024).

From The North: An exhibition featuring a unique collection of rare Arctic travelogues shown together with paintings and drawings by Peder Balke (1804-1887), one of Norway's most famous landscape painters. (Bodøgaard Gallery, Bodø, Sat 4 May -15 Sep 2024)

Sound of Silence: Endangered seabirds in focus with a big international UNESCO conference, but also art, music (including a specially composed new symphony) and activities for the whole family, in Bodø and Vega (3-4 Apr 2024). In partnership with Vega World Heritage Centre.

NŌUA: Top contemporary photography throughout 2023 and 2024. NŌUA is one of the artist-driven initiatives that have come through the eye of the needle and received direct support from Creative Europe, the EU's cultural programme. Extensive programme in 2023 and 2024 including exhibition, film showing, talks and more.

Håkon Bleken at 95
: Art exhibition featuring the work of 95-years-old Bleken, one of Norway's greatest living contemporary artists. "Exhibiting at Bodøgaard in connection with Bodø 2024 is something I'm really looking forward to. Older and new graphics, paintings, collages and drawings have already been selected for the exhibition. But I hope to be able to create a few more works for the exhibition," says the painter. (Bodøgaard Gallery, Bodø, 3 Feb-24 March 2024)

European Cabins of Culture: A project involving the famous Norwegian tourist cabins. Norway has 550 of them, number 500 being the stunning Rabot Cabin in Hemnes, Nordland. These cabins are an important part of our proud tradition of hiking. All of them are open to the public, built and run by the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT). In 2024 they will not only be the goal of a day trip, or a weekend in the mountains; they will feature a coherent European theme with exhibitions, concerts, talks and more. (Summer 2024)

Nordlandsruta: The Nordlandsruta is a 650km long marked hiking trail that runs along the border between Norway and Sweden. Along the route are Northern Norway's three largest mountains, Norway's second largest lake, around fifty fishing lakes, a number of glacial massifs and unique natural and cultural landscapes. The route goes through six reindeer herding districts, five Sami language areas, three national parks and a number of protected areas. A joint tour will be organized along the route in summer 2024, with various artistic events at selected locations. (27 July-17 Aug 2024)


Arts of Democracy: 14 former ECOCs involved. ICORN (International Cities of Refuge Network). Freedom festival. Focus on peace and freedom of expression. (9-14 Sep 2024, Bodø)

Prosjekt 67: A travelling container art project aiming to foster collaboration in the Arctic regions and in the countries along the 67 parallel north. Street art, installations and more. (14-21 Sep, Bodø)

Coastal Convention (Kyststevnet): The largest fair and festival for traditional and historic boats, boat building and coastal culture, gathering some 250 boats from all over the region. Various events and seminars, plus boat trips, food, handicrafts, etc. (19-21 july 2024, Bodø)

Kjelvikspillet: Open air theatre around the the Sámi crofter’s cottage in Kjelvik, Sørfold, made by artists from Norway and around the world in cooperation with local youth.

Kunstkanten: A new sculpture trail winding its way through Bodø. Selected artists: Åsil Bøtun (NO), Benedict Beldam (NO), Marianne Bredesen (NO), Gunnar H. Gundersen (NO) and Kerstin Hintz (DE). (Unveiling 14 Sep 2024)

Ingrid from Barrøy: A newly written opera based on best-selling author Roy Jacobsen's series of novels about Ingrid from Barrøy (9 Aug 2024, Stormen Concert Hall, Bodø)

Stories from Cold War Hotspots: Personal stories from both sides of the conflict are collected to form an open database and a new Cold War exhibition at the Norwegian Aviation Museum in Bodø.

Spire: A talent programme for young classical musicians aged 19 to 27, in partnership with Nordland Musikkfestuke (Nordland Music Festival). Main mentor is Eldbjørg Hemsing, one of Norway’s most famous violinists, known as the violin princess of Norway. 'Spire' means ‘sprout’.

The Book of Nordland: An exciting book project with award-winning Scottish author Stef Penney. Out 2024 (English edition will be published by Quercus Books in the UK).

Music on Display: Self-playing piano installation by Benjamin Mørk. Expect to see this piece pop up in unexpected places throughout 2024.

Eurogym: Youths aged 13-18 from all over Europe gather in Bodø 13-18 July 2024 for the European Gym Championships.

NAISA Conference: North American Indigenous Studies Associations (NAISA), the largest scholarly organisation for indigenous issues and communities, moves from Toronto to Bodø in 2024 (6-8 Jun 2024)

Marcialonga Arctic Ski Race: The 42km route will kick off in Bodø Centre. Over 2000 participants expected. The world's most compact ski event, with a strong focus on sustainability in 2024, a must for all cross-country fans. (7-10 March 2024, Bodø)

Utferds-Draapa: 100 years after the first performance, experience Bodø composer Fridthjov Anderssen's greatest work Utferds-Draapa. (26 Apr 2024, Stormen Concert Hall)

Lofoten International Art Festival (LIAF): Exhibitions and artworks by international and local artists in a site-specific context. The festival's aim is to expand, explore and establish new insights through the production and dissemination of art. (20 Sep-20 Oct 2024, Lofoten)


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The world’s longest party
Bodø2024 hope more than 500,000 will visit Bodø and Nordland during the European Capital of Culture year. This will be the world's longest party, both in terms of time and area covered: the county of Nordland stretches over 800km from north to south. And the festivities will last for a whole year. The programme, which is still under development, will be continuously updated. For the latest information check

Facts about Bodø2024

- Bodø will have status as European Capital of Culture in 2024.

- Bodø will be the first city north of the Arctic Circle to hold the prestigious title.

- Bodø2024 is the largest cultural project ever in Northern Norway.

- Some 1,000 events are planned for the title year.

- European Capital of Culture is the EU’s largest culture programme. Over 70 cities have held the prestigious status since 1985.

- Only two other Norwegian cities, Bergen and Stavanger, have previously held the status of European Capital of Culture.


For further information, contact Marie Peyre, International Communication & Relations, Bodø2024; +47 95448160

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Nina Kjønigsen

Nina Kjønigsen

Press contact PR Lead +47 930 36463

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Visit Norway is Norway's official tourism board

Welcome to Visit Norway's global newsroom. Visit Norway is Norway's official tourism board.
Norway is the place to experience the magical northern lights and the midnight sun above the Arctic Circle or world-famous fjords surrounded by spectacular mountains and glaciers. In the midst of stunning scenery, travellers can enjoy local food and culture in vibrant cities like Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, Stavanger and Tromsø. For best advice on Norway, click on
Here you will find relevant information, story ideas, news, and material for your stories from Norway. Preliminary enquiries about professional assistance can be sent by filling out our media form on
All PR annd press activities and enquiries are handled by our main office in Oslo.