Written by Frank Nes
The foundation Bergen Fest (formerly Bergen Blues & Roots Festival) was established in 1993 to promote music, especially blues and related forms, in Bergen and Hordaland, on an idealistic and non-commercial basis, through arranging an annual festival. The foundation is a member of The Norwegian Music Council in Hordaland. The foundation is run by a board consisting of three members. The administration consists of three persons plus approx. 70 volunteers whom all contribute strongly towards the festival.
In late April and early May of each year, Ole Blues gives its audience a variety of different musical forms of expression, ranging from authentic American blues, related music such as R&B to cajun/zydeco and rock/country-influenced concerts. Folk music from other parts of the world is also a natural part of the musical diversity.
The first “Ole Blues Fest” was arranged in 1994. After the start the audience numbers at the festival has almost exploded, rising from 1.500 in the first year to more than 20.000 in 2000. From 1996 a cooperation with The Norwegian Music Council has led to music seminars for youth and musicians at a high level of performance as a part of the festival. In 1997 the first school concert was given in cooperation with Rikskonsertene i Hordaland. In order to strengthen the work of spreading music towards children and youth in the region, we will try to further develop this kind of projects. Among the teachers at «Ole Blues School of Excellence» are Sir George Martin, Roger McGuinn, Nils Lofgren, Mark Rae (of Rae & Christian) etc.
The festival has been well received by Norwegian press, and has established itself as a modern music festival of international as well as national interest. The festival is sponsored by national corporate sponsors and receives funding from governmental offices both locally and nationally. Voted “Festival of the Year in 2000” amongst collegues in Norwegian Rock Festival Council and received Bergen Tourist Board´s Price of Honor 2001 for excellent marketing of Bergen.
Bergen Music Fest Location
Center of Bergen.
Telephone: +47 55 21 50 60.