The 68th edition of the Bergen International Festival is made available online for free. All events are performed to empty venues due to current government restrictions.
After only two of the fifteen festival days have been completed, 141 000 views have been registered. Viewers tune in from across the world, with the Opening Concert with Mari Eriksmoen, Leif Ove Andsnes and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra (pictured) and the Einar Selvik concert being particularly popular.
‘The feedback from our digital audience members has been nothing short of moving. It’s clear that there are many people out there who miss being able to experience music and arts together, and that they appreciate the Festival taking place this year– in spite of circumstances,’ says Festival Director Anders Beyer.
The events are streamed through the Festival home page and social media in the period 20 May–03 June with some being broadcast via Norwegian state broadcaster NRK and media outlet Bergens Tidende (bt.no). Preliminary numbers are based on the number of views from the home page, social media and bt.no. Numbers from Vimeo indicate that 28,5 % are domestic viewers and 71,5 % watch from outside Norway. USA, Germany and Poland are the countries outside Norway with the most views.
The Royal Family of Norway normally attends the Festival opening day, and this year H.M. Queen Sonja and H.R.H. Crown Prince Haakon sent a greeting to the Festival audience.
‘I admit that I miss being in Bergen. Coming to Bergen in the spring and being able to attend the opening of the Bergen International Festival is always a great experience,’ said H.M. the Queen.
H.R.H. the Crown Prince emphasised the ability of culture to connect people, even from afar.
‘Norway‘s annual show window for culture and the arts is open to anyone who wants to see and hear. The arts have the power to lift us out of our daily existence and give us both perspective and introspection. We need all of the artists, musicians and performers to lift us up. And we need the Bergen International Festival, in its 68th edition. The arts inspire intimacy, even when we are far apart,’ said H.R.H the Crown Prince.
The Bergen International Festival recently launched a new programme containing 60 events, following April’s cancellation of all performances originally planned, due to government restrictions. A number of new concerts and performances can be enjoyed online, and recordings from the two last festivals are also being made available. The online programme is enhanced with outdoor events in the city centre. All recordings are available for at least 30 days.
Facts/The Bergen International Festival
- The largest curated festival of its kind in the Nordic countries
- The programme focuses on art music and performing arts
- The first Bergen International Festival took place in 1953
- This year’s Festival takes place online 20 May–03 June
- H.M. the King of Norway is the Bergen International Festival’s high patron