THE ANNUAL ØYA FESTIVAL WILL BE HELD FROM AUGUST 7TH TO AUGUST 11TH. ONCE AGAIN PALMER IS THE SOLE SUPPLIER OF WINE TO ONE OF NORWAY´S BIGGEST FESTIVALS. THE FIVE-DAY EVENT DRAWS A CROWD OF MORE THAN 90 000.
Øyafestivalen – “The Island Festival”– is held at Tøyenparken in Oslo´s downtown area. The festival got its name when it first started in 1999 at Kalvøya, a relatively small island in neighboring Bærum, when only a 1000 people showed up.Kalvøya used to be a big festival site, and we started it up again. But contrary to what many believe, we were not a continuation of the Kalvøya tradition. The Øya Festival happened because Oslo music clubs like Paragrafen. So What!, Last Train and Betong (Chateau Neuf) wanted to create a scene for indie-music in Oslo, in addition to Norwegian music, explains Thomas Andre Valnes, in charge of sales and finances at the Øya Festival since 2003. You may say that I started at the bottom and have worked my way up until I was hired full time in 2010.
From small to huge
The same can be said about the Øya festival itself. From 1000 spectators in 1999 to an expected 90 000 this year. Kalvøya was the venue the first two years before the festival moved to Middelalderparken (the Medieval Park) in Oslo, which became home to the festival until 2014. The festival had to move again after that because of new railroad tracks being built. Then we had to look for a new location, says Thomas Andre. The new arena became Tøyenparken, which is where this year´s festival will be held. The increase in size has been enormous, says Thomas Andre. And as we have grown we have booked more and more huge international names like Kanye West, Pulp, Black Keys, Björk, just to mention a few.
As the years went by and the festival grew, it simply wasn´t enough to only have Norwegian acts. But still, by 2017 there is hardly a Norwegian group or artist who hasn´t at least once performed on one of the stages at the Øya festival.
Thomas Andre says that the festival has no genres, and therefore appeals to a wider audience than many other music festivals.
Looking at this years´ line-up we find artists ranging from Arctic Monkeys, Kendrick Lamar, and Lykke Li, to De Lillos and Cezinando. The wide selection probably helps explain why the average age of the guest is 28, which is higher than most other music festivals. Another reason is probably that we are in the city – people can walk home and sleep in their own beds after the concerts. There is no camping at the Øya festival, says Thomas Andre.
We have been very environmentally conscious right from the start, says Thomas Andre. We were among the first to change from diesel aggregate to electric power which pollutes less. Today this is reflected in everything from food to electricity – we minimize the amount of meat in the food we serve, and we work with a sponsor with solar cells that power one of our six stages.
Another green aspect is the wine that is being sold in larger and larger quantities at the festival. We have an exclusive deal with Palmer. The company only supplies the us with ecological wine. We chose them because they can supply us with a wide selection of ecological wines, and because they were willing to discuss the future regarding all ecological aspects.
The last few years the sale of wine has increased enormously. The Øya festival has two bars that only serve wine. They have a turnover of several million NOK during the five festival days. We are very pleased with our collaboration with Palmer, also because they give the festival audience a chance to try wines they wouldn´t come across otherwise. It is fun to challenge the festivalgoers to try new wines, concludes Thomas Andre before taking the opportunity to mention that there still are tickets available for those who haven´t ordered thru Ticketmaster.