During the summer you find a variety of festivals and events in Trondheim and the surrounding area. There really is something for everyone from music and food festivals to Trondheim’s own pilgrim festival.
Norway is famous for its huge variety of festivals and events during the year. This is especially the case in the summer months. You will find that in every corner of this little country places are blooming with music, people and activities. There’s everything from fish festivals to dance, country and local food festivals.
You shouldn’t miss out on the following festivals when visiting Trondheim this summer:
Jazzfest 7th – 17th May
A famous jazz quote from drummer Art Blakey states that “jazz washes away the dust of everyday life”. And Trondheim jazz festival, Jazzfest, proves him right. From the 7th – 11th of May, the city’s various stages will be filled with contemporary and exciting Scandinavian and European jazz artists. The main focus is on the interaction between the performers and the audience. It is almost as if you can hear the echo of everyday life as its being washed away by revitalizing music.
Trondheim Jazzfestival goes all the way back to 1979. At that time it was arranged by the voluntary organisation, JazzMazz. It was a huge success, filling Trondheim’s Student Union, Studentersamfundet, with 1700 visitors. There was a break from 1985-1994, until the festival was reinstated in the old night club at Radisson Blu Royal Garden Hotel, Trondheim. From that moment on, it has been an annual event. It has grown significantly, so today Jazzfest is a national festival with 60-70 concerts and events. It is not only a platform for concerts, but also a meeting point and an arena for young talented musicians in this genre.
Olavsfestdagene 26th July – 3rd August
This is a success festival like no other, with years of bringing the city’s population and guests together in a musical adventure. It also contains a medieval market and outdoor concerts. The festival originates from a pilgrim tradition, but has evolved to be a popular festival for all ages. It all started when King Olav Haraldsson died in Stiklestad in the attempt to convert the country to Christianity. The body was saved from the battlefield and buried next to the river Nidelva running through the city. A church was built next to the spot, and it is said that wonders and miracles happened around Olav’s remains. He soon became a saint people worshiped, gathering pilgrims from all around Europe to the Olav’s mass in Nidaros Cathedral.
In 1963, Olavsfestdagene started up the tradition again. It contains a tight program around Nidaros Cathedral where people from everywhere come to join one of Northern-Europe’s rare international pilgrimages.
Pstereo 15th – 16th August
If you are in the city during these two days this year, don’t miss out on this explosive event. Pstereo is an annual two-day music festival at Marinen in Trondheim city centre, situated between the ancient site of Nidaros Cathedral and river Nidelven. The festival takes place during the third weekend of August, and brings together 7500 people. A lot of the audience is made up of students, as Trondheim is known to have a large and active student population.
For Pstereo it is a goal to present up and coming bands in a mix of more classic headliners. It also includes club concerts and a free Saturday picnic, with activities for the whole family together with live entertainment.
Pstereo is a caring festival, and strives to do good for the local community. Therefore they try to shop or hire from local companies and use local food providers. As well, they also do their bit for the environment by recycling and encouraging festival goers to travel to and from the venue on foot or by bike or bus.
Trøndersk Matfestival 31st July -2nd August
If you are in Trondheim between July and August, there’s no way to avoid this spectacular local food festival: Trøndersk Matfestival. Since it began in 2005, it has grown to become the biggest festival of its kind in Norway, filling the city centre with all kind of edible goodies. The goal is to showcase and increase sales from the local produce of the Trøndelag region, so it goes without saying that you will find a lot of food stands with a huge variety of dishes and snacks. It is an exploration of tastes, and quite fun to spend hours eating your way through the festival. Here you can find all the heart desires, with ice cream, chocolate, smoothies, juices, sausages, cheese, crab, fish and much more on offer.
The festival hosts cooking classes, a big festival dinner and children’s activities. It also coincides with Trondheim Brewery Festival which presents special beers from local breweries.
Trondheim is a small city, but rich on cultural events and happenings. There are activities going on all year round but as most of these festivals take place outdoors, it is natural that they take place in the summertime. And there really is nothing like Trondheim during summer. The Market Square is filled with strawberry sellers, people strolling down the streets laughing, enjoying ice cream or eating sushi in the parks. If you want to experience the best summer feeling, this is the place to go.
What is your favourite Trondheim festival?