Roughly, two weeks ago I returned to the UK from a nine-day trip to Norway, the trip itself was probably one of the best experiences of my life. However, at the time I would have not said.
The trip to Norway was not a spur of the moment thing and I was not travelling to the Scandinavian country for a jolly holiday. I was going to work at one of their largest festivals (possible the largest), Hove festival based on a small island called Tromøy, right beside the town of Arendal (I thought Frozen as well). Hove festival has been going since 2007 and was acquired by the well-known Festival Republic (Leeds and Reading festival) in 2008.
I would be interning for the accreditation team at the festival. One of my university lecturers set up this link and the students (who were going to Norway) had to correspond with emails (to their respective person) to sort out details about the placement. But that is enough about details about going to Norway, let’s just move to talking about being in Norway.
When I arrived at Oslo Torp airport, I noted several things about Norway; there were a lot trees, a lot of the colour green (and red) and a lot of water. It was beautiful and visible pleasing for the eyes. The journey to the site, the beauty of the country wore off a little, it took roughly three hours to get the festival site from the airport. Also nearly, every house in Norway is red and made out of wood, something that I found oddly refreshing since most of the houses in the UK are made of brick.
Now it is important to note that while I was in Norway for nine days, I camped for at least eight of them. I know feel that I have camped long enough and will be fine at any UK festival where I have to camp for several days. As I was camping my access to the internet was very limited, this was extremely refreshing. There was no need to check Facebook out of boredom because I was more than often busy or really tired (but I did come back to the UK and binge the internet). Another thing about camping is that I got to wake up to stunning views everyday (yes, there was a lot of tents) where the tent was positioned I managed to see the sea every time I left the tent.
I feel like I must stress the beauty of Norway (there will be a minor spam of pictures). The sunsets Norway provides are breath-taking, if you ever have the chance to go to Norway in summer please watch one of the sunsets. We were truly blessed with the weather we received over our nine days; nearly every day (bar three days) it was sunshine. At night it never really got that dark, compared to the UK, I assumed this was where Norway is placed in the world. As much as Norway is beautiful, I do have one grumble in the form of seagulls. Every morning I was awoken not by my alarm but by the sound of seagulls circling the campsite in search of food and these seagulls were like foghorns.
My internship was great; I had reasonable hours and learnt a lot about the area was in. I also managed to make a new friend. The group that came from university, I believe grew closers as friends over the days we were there. We would meet up for lunch and dinner (tea) and grumbling like true Britons but we would also trade stories about what happened in our day. For some of us, we got the nights off which at first left us to explore the site and its beauty but when the music started it allowed us to enjoy live music which is one of my favourite things in the world.
Most of the group, Bastille were playing in the background.
I had most of my nights off (I had to work one but it meant I had to work a disable platform, so I got to watch bands for a few hours). A couple of my friends and myself went around the three stages to catch the bands (we watched most of the British bands/musicians) but this gave me a chance to see people I liked/thought were okay live. These resulted in the band The 1975 quickly become a favourite band of mine (I listened to their album on repeat on Spotify until I bought the album this week from HMV), Bastille were amazing as were Foster The People, Imagine Dragons (there song On Top Of The World was very fitting) and surprisingly Example. Sunshine, live music and friends that was when the festival really began to pick for me.
The 1975 – Hove Stage (Monday 30th June 2014)
So what else is there to add? Five major things I’ve learnt? If offered rooms, take them. Do not forget to bring a bottle open, forget one can cause problems. You can get sunburnt on your ears, so lotion those bad boys up. Do not be fooled by sparkling water. Norway is expensive so save up if you are visiting.
There is so much more I could add about Norway but I think this post would be extremely long if I continued to sit here and write about it. I guess my final word about this post is that if you have a chance go visit Norway, go. You won’t regret it.
Imagine Dragons – Hove Stage (Thursday 3rd July 2014)