An enthusiastic, music-loving public, a large selection of venues, eager producers and local talent are some of what makes Oslo a music city out of the ordinary.
Music, music, music!
First and foremost: The people of Oslo love music. And they really love going to concerts. Audiences fill both large venues and small basement clubs to the brim, any day of the week, all year round. Both Norwegian and international artists frequently return to what they describe as an unusually nice and welcoming audience. Oslo’s inhabitants are also known for being open and willing to check out different kinds of venues and performers.
An active and curious audience reflects both in the number and types of concerts that Oslo offers. The yearly toll of concerts is estimated to be around 5000, significantly more than in our neighbouring capitals Stockholm and Copenhagen. The variation is striking: a day spanning from early music to free jazz is by no means unusual.
A multitude of venues
The venues are the music city’s cornerstones where professionals and volunteers alike work hard on building the city’s music program. Oslo has an unusually high number of venues, considering the number of inhabitants. Again, the variation is significant: the city houses everything from large, established institutions to backyard clubs for the few select ones with musical profiles covering most genres and niches.
Talent and innovation
Oslo’s own musicians are of course crucial to the city’s concert life. Professionals and amateurs with their daily workings in Oslo organise everything from free street concerts to music series and festivals. There’s a lot of local talent to draw from. What happens within improvisation and electronic music in Oslo, for instance, is internationally recognized as exceptional and innovative. Attending a concert in Oslo you may very well end up witnessing musical experiments and see new trends in the making.
Let’s not forget the concert producers and those responsible for booking who search for and put their faith in great non-mainstream artists who have become an important part of Oslo's exciting music life.
So when we label Oslo a music capital we mean all this and more, together offering Oslo’s residents and visitors a rare and good selection of concerts. If you are going to Oslo, make sure to check out What’s On in music – you are almost guaranteed to find something to your liking!
Oslo music up close: singer-songwriter Marit Larsen unplugged at the produce store, Frogner, Oslo