I keep my eyes on the major concerts, festivals and other big events happening around Norway so you don’t have to! Whether you're a resident of Bergen or planning a trip, check out this guide to make the most of your time.
18 – 21 February
Following a successful debut year, Blastfest returns to Bergen in 2015. The metal festival features over 60 bands across 4 venues, exhibitions, stand up comedy and a tattoo convention over four days.
Borealis – Contemporary Music Festival
11 – 15 March
Borealis is a festival for contemporary experimental music and sound art: a meeting place, laboratory and development space for adventurous music and ideas. Although sound and music are at the heart of Borealis, the festival also features talk, cinema, literature and visual arts events, as a way of expanding the conversation about music and its place in our lives.
20 – 24 April
Bergen Startup Week is a free, five-day celebration of the startup community that builds momentum and opportunity around entrepreneurship.
Bergen City Marathon
For the fourth year a marathon will be staged through Bergen's city streets, a great occasion for participants and spectators.
Nordic Media Festival
6 – 8 May
The Nordic Media Festival is the most prominent and largest media conference in the Nordic region: 1700+ delegates attend, representing the full spectrum of the industry. The festival culminates in the prestigious Gullruten TV Award Show, the Norwegian equivalent of the Emmy Awards.
Bergen International Festival
27 May – 10 June
The Bergen International Festival is the largest of its kind in the Nordic countries, with more than 150 events in 15 days. It presents art in all its guises: music, theatre, dance, opera and visual art. Check the website to explore the enormous programme for 2015.
28 May – 6 June
The longest jazz festival in Northern Europe hosts concerts that blur the lines between jazz, rock, ethno and electronica. The 2015 program includes Emilie Nicolas, Kari Bremnes, and the Bow Corpse.
The 61st hosting of the 7-mountain hike, as the name suggests, will see participants hike the seven mountains that surround Bergen. The whole day can be used to complete the course which includes a total ascent of 2,400m.
Bergen Gay Pride
The Rainbow Days festival offers political debates, art shows, concerts, youth-events, film festival, parade and different social events throughout Norway's second city. The dates for the 2015 festival is yet to be confirmed.
“West Norway Classic” cycle race
Bergen to Voss is one of Norway’s best-known cycle events and one of the world’s most scenic tours. Cyclists of all abilities take part in this unique annual event. The 170km route follows fjords and mountains from the coastline of Bergen to the ski resort of Voss.
11 – 14 June
Bergenfest has over the years established itself as a modern music festival of both national and international interest. It has been voted “Festival of the Year” by its peers in the Norwegian Rock Festival Council. Patti Smith, First Aid Kit, and Interpol feature on this year's line-up.
Bergen Food Festival
4 – 6 September
Farm-based food businesses from the counties of Hordaland and Sogn & Fjordane promote their products. The festival is held at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bryggen, the Hanseatic wharf.
25 – 26 September
Stoltzekleiven opp is a tough race up the rough stone stairway from Fjellveien to Sandvikspilen. Are you game? Plans and registration for the event 2015 will be announced in the Spring.
Bergen International Film Festival
23 – 30 September
BIFF is one of the leading film festivals in Norway, presenting over 100 films from around the globe. The 2015 program will be announced later in the year.
Mini-Midi-Maxi Theatre Festival
9 – 13 November
Bergen's annual theatre festival for children. Mini Midi Maxi offers a diverse program, with great performances held at Bergen´s many theatre venues. In addition, workshops, lectures, meetings and social gatherings are held thoughout the festival week.
Pepperkakebyen is the world’s largest gingerbread town, right in the heart of Norway’s second city. Kindergartens, schools, businesses and thousands of individuals have contributed to the annual event since its creation in 1991. Expect Bergen in miniature: houses, trains, cars and ships made from real gingerbread, and of course, plenty of opportunities to buy gingerbread too!
Did I miss anything? Let me know!