Oslo Rocks Blog!

Follow the adventures of U.S. and Canadian journalism students reporting on music and culture in Scandinavia.

Cold Feet No More

June 9, 2016
Steven Listopad

Enrolling in this program and flying over to Norway, I’ve been nervous to pick up the pen again. Although reporting is an old bone for me, the scene of music journalism is one I’ve never explored. But it was a challenge I was ready to overcome and undoubtedly enjoy along the way, let alone learn from.

The 25th annual Musikkfest Oslo was celebrated throughout the metropolitan area on Saturday with acts playing constantly from noon to midnight and beyond. The students divided the city into four quadrants and split up to cover every major venue and concert of the day. Each pair visited about eight venues which each featured about four acts per hour. The celebration is a true and honest nod to the music culture of Oslo, as all musicians must be from the area. In fact, a venue manager told me it was the only requirement of the festival. Lesson one here: the music scene is important to this city, and we ought to do nothing but respect that. Local favorites and veterans played alongside new up and coming artists in a great mash-up that draws nearly every Oslo resident into the street at some point throughout the day.

Genres were across the board, from bluegrass and big band to rap and hip hop. After bands stepped off stage, I was able to snag them for a quick interview and swap contact information. Getting back into the swing of things was incredible, once again doing something I know and love. Lesson two: although the subject matter was unfamiliar the fundamentals of reporting will always remain. It’s a career based in talking with people and telling their stories, and for a bit I forgot just why that’s such an incredible thing. With the first few events under my belt, the momentum had begun and I didn’t want to quit. That old familiar feeling was back and I couldn’t be more excited to chase down these new leads and make the most of my short time in Oslo.

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