From rappers to rock, big-name bands and artists often include Oslo on their tours with many of them appearing at Oslo Spektrum. The most prestigious annual event is Norwegian Wood (wnorwegianwood.no), a five-day, open-air rock festival held in June in the outdoor amphitheatre at Frogner Park, a ten-minute ride from the city centre on tram #12. Previous years have attracted the likes of Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Ringo Starr, The Kinks and Van Morrison, and the festival continues to pull in major international artists, supported by a variety of Norwegian acts. The arena holds around six thousand people, but tickets (around 580kr/day) sell out well in advance.
Oslo also hosts the rather more adventurous Øyafestivalen (woyafestivalen.com), a four-day event held in August that showcases a wide range of artists, mostly Scandinavian but with a string of imports too – Pulp and Kanye West for instance. A club night traditionally kicks the whole thing off in style. The festival takes place in venues across the city with major performances in the open air in Middelalderparken, a large slab of greenery, off Bispegata, a ten-minute walk east from Oslo S – or take tram #18 or #19 from Jernbanetorget. Finally, in early or mid-August, Oslo’s week-long Jazz Festival (woslojazz.no) attracts internationally renowned artists as well as showcasing local talent, who perform at a variety of venues, both inside and out.
Tickets for all three festivals are available from Billettservice (t815 33 133, wbillettservice.no).