Press info about Bodø 2024 – European Capital of Culture

What can you expect to experience in 2024?

In 2024 Bodø, Northern Norway, is European Capital of Culture, the first city north of the Arctic Circle to hold the prestigious title. Some 1,000 events are currently being planned for the occasion. Here is a peek at what’s in store for the title year in Bodø and the county of Nordland. 

Stage Opening ceremony Bodø2024

BODØ2024’s Season Openings

Opening ceremony, 3 Feb 2024.

Phase7 Berlin in partnership with Nordland Theatre. Expect a spectacular event centred around Bodø harbour, with this purpose-built floating stage as the main focus. NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation) will cover the event. Up to 20,000 visitors are expected to attend.

Midsummer’s Mischief, June 22nd

A large outdoor event in Bodø to celebrate Midsummer Night’s Eve. Audience participation will be a key element of the event. By Walk the Plank (UK).

Nordland by Light, Nov 2024

Nordland’s first ever light festival. Light installations, light shows, light walks, and more. Bodø, Værøy, Alstahaug, etc.

Concert with Tigerstate at Sinus

Some BODØ2024 Highlights

Kjerringøy Land Art Biennale (KLAB)

Europe’s only land art biennale. Opening weekend: 6-7 July 2024. Selected artists: Elin Sundstrøm (SE), Jannik Abel (NO), Jette Mellgren (DK), Kristen Rønnevik (NO), Mar Serinyà Gou (ES), Rainer Fest (DE), Ted Efremoff (US).


Ane Øverås, Founder and Manager,, (+47) 901 20 184

Sámi Theatre Trilogy

Sámi theatre and music with a highly topical focus: Climate change. A trilogy developed by the Southern Sámi Theatre for Bodø2024. Bïegke Beahteme – Betrayal of the Wind, is a trilogy of theatre performances taking its motivation from the Green Shift in a South-Sámi perspective. SouthSámi culture is strongly threatened by the world’s search for renewable energy. Frode Fjellheim (of Frozen fame) composed the music for the trilogy. Sámi legend Mari Boine will be preforming in the play Aahka on 4, 6 and 7 Feb. With this project we are hoping to bring Sámi drama to a larger audience (4-10 Feb 2024, no performance on 5 Feb).


To arrange an interview:
Kjersti Vikør, Kulturmeglerne,,

Practical info:
Maria Terese Engdahl-Høgåsen, Service/logistics Manager,, (+47) 934 94 004

ÁRRAN 360°

A hybrid between indigenous storytelling and innovative technology, in the world’s largest lavvo, 10m high, with a screen running along the entire inner wall. First shown at the Venice Biennale in 2022, coming to Bodø in 2024. The project consists of 6 films so far, and 6 new Sámi visual artists have been commissioned to create the next chapter: Anna Katri Helander, Ken Are Bongo/Aleksander Olai Korsnes, Ann Holmgren Aurebekk, Hans Pieski, Liselotte Wajstedt/Marja Helander. In partnership with the International Sámi Film Institute. (Opening 3 Feb 2024)


Maria Utsi, project manager and curator,, (+47) 982 55 600

Pop-up Sámi Museum

Bodø City Museum will be transformed into a Sámi museum for the year. One of the exhibitions consists of 200 artefacts, coming from all over Sápmi. Opens 24 April 2024 (annual museum conference), 26 April for the general public. Curator: Kristoffer Dolmen, director of Sámi Dáiddaguovddáš / Sami Centre for Contemporary Sámi Art in Karasjok, Norway. 

Bådåddjo Musea

Bodø City Museum will be transformed into a Sámi museum for the year. One of the exhibitions consists of 200 artefacts, coming from all over Sápmi. Opens 24 April 2024 (annual museum conference), 26 April for the general public. Curator: Kristoffer Dolmen, director of the Sami Centre for Contemporary Sámi Art in Karasjok.

Exhibition programme:
3 Feb–7 Apr: Iver Jåks, Stormen kunst/dájdda
3–18 Feb: Tomas Colbengtson Stormen Library
24 Apr: Museum opening
26 Apr–11 Aug: Duodje exhibition
14 May–11 Aug: Girjegumpi – Sami architecture library, Joar Nango
17 Aug–6 Oct: Sápmi Triennale
11 Oct–8 Dec: Queer Folk Dress
2 Nov–10 Feb 2025: RUOKTOT: The Return of the Sámi Drums
14 Dec–30 March 2025: Sculpture/object – material based exhibition.


Kristoffer Dolmen, Curator,, (+ 47) 91 00 97 05

The Trail Way / War Travels

A large-scale investment aiming to offer a better experience for those travelling along the Nordland Railway. “War Travels”, a collaboration between Nordland Teater and Bodø2024, where the public can experience an artistic and geographical deep-dive into Northern Norwegian war-related stories (WW2) associated with places along the Nordlandsbanen. For example, geopoetic wanderings with Davide Sapienza and the theatre performance Kappe Land.


Trine Rimer, Marketing Manager,, (+47) 911 64 500

Petter Dass Sculpture

A new 10m-high sculpture dedicated to Nordland’s most famous priest and poet Petter Dass (1647-1707), on an islet off the coast of Helgeland in Sandnessjøen. The sculpture is based on a smaller sculpture by Norwegian artist Gustav Vigeland. Artist: Frode Mikal Lillesund. A new landmark in Nordland. Best seen from sea, a new attraction for all sailing or cruising past. (Unveiling August 2024)


Alf Knutsen, Project Manager,

Messy Corners/Det kontroversielle Hamsun

A brand new exhibition opening at the Hamsun Centre on Hamarøy 15-16 Mar 2024. Norway’s most famous novelist, referred by some as ‘the father of modern literature’, Knut Hamsun irrevocably tarnished his legacy by being an ardent supporter of nazi Germany. A known antisemite, Hamsun praised the efforts of Germany during WW2 and courted many high-ranking nazi officers, including Hitler and Goebbels, famously giving the latter his Nobel Prize medal. Hamsun lived in Paris, France and Germany, and visited several other countries in Europe. This exhibition explores the ways in which Knut Hamsun was and continues to be a controversial figure, bringing us right up to the contemporary perspectives of today. An exclusive selection of professionals and researchers are given space to share their new perceptions of Hamsun. A vital goal is to facilitate reflection and provide visitors with a new understanding of Hamsun – regardless of who they are. Hamsunsdagene (The Hamsun’s Days) will take place 4-10 Aug 2024.


Solveig Hirsch, Director, (+47) 976 84 258
Alvhild Dvergsdal, Curator, (+47) 958 68 962
Line Holand, Marketing Manager (+47) 911 22 947

The Cave

A world’s first. A concert in a submerged cave, where all musicians, technicians and audience (limited to around 50) will have to be accredited cave divers. Part of our ‘Leave Nothing but Footprints’ concept, exploring art and performances in vulnerable places. The concert will be streamed through a multi-camera production, so it can reach a global audience. Local saxophonist Håkon Skog Erlandsen has played in several extreme locations, including on top of Mt Everest. (16-17 Mar 2024, Plura Cave, Mo I Rana).


Ina Therese Trælnes, Plura Valley and Plura Cave,, (+47) 907 58 523

Håkon Skog Erlandsen, saxophonist,, (+47) 991 67 665

Via Querinissima

A new Council of Europe Culture Route (status pending). Pietro Querini was a 15th century merchant from the Republic of Venice. Bound for Bruges in Flanders in 1431 his merchant ship encountered a terrible storm off the coast of France and shipwrecked. Just after the new year, in January 1432, after weeks drifting at sea in terrible conditions, the survivors stranded on an island near Røst. Only 11 men, of a crew that totaled 68, made it. They were found by local fishermen and eventually spent more than three months together with the Røst inhabitants, where they experienced genuine, humbling hospitality. They took stockfish back to Venice with them. To this day stockfish is an important ingredient in the cuisine of Veneto – and links between the regions of Veneto and Lofoten are still very much alive, something our project Via Querinissima will build on.


Stefano Agnoletto,, (+47) 756 50 192

Querini Opera

First set up in 2012, the opera made its international debut in Venice in October last year during a three-day event combining culture and trade fair at the prestigious Arsenale. There will also be performances in Bodø and Tromsø. A third of the inhabitants on the island of Røst, Lofoten, are involved in the project as volunteers – a big Nordland dugnad project. The opera was described by the Financial Times as ‘the most moving work of music theatre ever to be written about dried fish’.


Hildegunn Pettersen,, (+47) 917 12 924

Feeding Europe 

is all about putting Arctic food on the culinary map. The project will map producers in the region; research local raw ingredients, flavours and products; and create much needed new food networks. The Arktisk Mat symposium in Mosjøen (13-14 Sep 2024), Norway’s smallest but most exciting food festival, is also part of the programme, but watch out too for Arctic food roadshows in Nordland and abroad, with top-class food from local and visiting chefs. Arktisk Mat will also be presenting Arctic food at several Bodø2024 events, including the opening ceremony.


Per Theodor Tørrissen,, (+47) 45240850

From The North

An exhibition featuring a unique collection of rare Arctic travelogues shown together with paintings and drawings by Peder Balke (1804-1887), one of Norway’s most famous landscape painters. (Bodøgaard Gallery, Bodø, Sat 4 May -15 Sep 2024)


Harald Bodøgaard, Owner and Manager,, (+47) 907 20 843

Sound of Silence

In 2024, Vega World Heritage will turn 20 years old, and celebrates with Sound of Silence, a UNESCO symposium in Bodø featuring a series of events about climate, endangered seabirds, coastal culture and nature. The programme includes Allhavet, a collaboration between visual artist Maja Nilsen and composer Kristine Tjøgersen, combining an art exhibition and a new orchestral composition, as well as a publication on marine biology, coastal history, islands and mythology, and activities for the whole family. In Bodø and Vega (3-4 Apr 2024). In partnership with Vega World Heritage Centre.


Bente Mari, Vega UNESCO World Heritage Centre,, (+47) 984 51 052.


Top contemporary photography throughout 2024. NŌUA is one of the artist-driven initiatives that have come through the eye of the needle and received direct support from Creative Europe, the EU’s programme for the cultural and creative sectors. Extensive programme in 2024 including exhibitions, film screenings, talks and more. Exhibition programme: 20 Jan–31 Mar: Batia Suter (CH/NL), curated by Francesca Marcaccio (IT/HK) 13 Apr–26 May: Morgen Torgersrud (NO), curated by Kjersti Solbakken/ LIAF (NO) 15 June-11 Aug: Steffi Klenz (DE/UK), curated by Michal Raymond (UK) 24 Aug-20 Oct: Group exhibition- curated by Kjersti Solbakken/LIAF (NO) 9 Nov-15 Dec: SMITH (FR), curated by Taous Dahmani (FR)


Dan Mariner, Owner and Manager,, (+47) 411 84 433

Håkon Bleken at 95

Art exhibition featuring the work of 95-years-old Bleken, one of Norway’s greatest living contemporary artists. “Exhibiting at Bodøgaard in connection with Bodø 2024 is something I’m really looking forward to. Older and new graphics, paintings, collages and drawings have already been selected for the exhibition. But I hope to be able to create a few more works for the exhibition,” says the painter. (Bodøgaard Gallery, Bodø, 3 Feb-24 Mar 2024)


Harald Bodøgaard, Owner and Manager,, (+47) 907 20 843

European Cabins of Culture

A project involving the famous Norwegian tourist cabins. Norway has 550 of them, number 500 being the stunning Rabot Cabin in Hemnes, Nordland. These cabins are an important part of our proud tradition of hiking. All of them are open to the public, built and run by the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT). In 2024 they will not only be the goal of a day trip, or a weekend in the mountains; they will feature a coherent European theme with exhibitions, concerts, talks and more. (Summer 2024)


Bodø2024 (Programme under production, more info Spring 2024)

Nordlandsruta (The Nordland Trekking Trail)

The Nordlandsruta is a 650km long marked hiking trail that runs along the border between Norway and Sweden. Along the route are Northern Norway’s three largest mountains, Norway’s second largest lake, around fifty fishing lakes, several glaciers and unique natural and cultural landscapes. The route goes through six reindeer herding districts, five Sami language areas, three national parks and a number of protected areas. A joint tour will be organised along the route in summer 2024, with various artistic events at selected locations. (27 July-17 Aug 2024)


Knut Berntsen, Project Manager,, (+47) 917 78 767

Stories from Cold War Hotspots

This project invites ordinary people from both sides of the former Iron Curtain to share their reflections on the Cold War. The collected interviews will be used for both research purposes and an exciting exhibition in the urban spaces of Bodø, Tartu and Berlin in 2024. “Stories from Cold War Hotspots” is a collaborative project between the Norwegian Aviation Museum and Bodø2024, in partnership with institutions from Estonia, Scotland, Germany and Denmark. The project aims to explore how the Cold War is remembered and reflected upon from a comprehensive European perspective.


Tobias Henriksen, Project Manager,


A clear and good youth project was a large part of the reason why Bodø’s application was successful as European Capital of Culture in 2024, and youth are the project’s most important target group. Young people leaving Nordland is a big challenge. Much of Bodø’s motivation for becoming European Capital of Culture is that the project can contribute to make the region more attractive for young people, can contribute to fewer young people moving out (and more returning to settle here after studying for example). Culture creates attractive communities, belonging and pride in one’s own home. YoUNG2024 is a project for young people, by young people, and has its own board and its own budget (10million NOK).


Charlotte Nyheim Eriksen, Project Manager yoUNG2024,, +47 901 92 150

Cecilie Haugseth, Program Coordinator yoUNG2024, (+47) 456 10 260,

10 other projects to look forward to

  • Arts of Democracy: Freedom festival setting the focus on peace and freedom of expression. 14 former European Capitals of Culture are involved in this project by ICORN (International Cities of Refuge Network) (9-14 Sep 2024, Bodø).

    Contact: Henrik S Dagfinrud, Programme Director, Bodø2024
  • Prosjekt 67: A travelling container art project aiming to foster collaboration in the Arctic regions and in the countries along the 67 parallel north. Street art, installations and more. (14-21 Sep, Bodø)

    Contact: Gøran Møya, Manager,, (+47) 990 34 245
  • Coastal Convention (Kyststevnet): The largest fair and festival for traditional and historic boats, boat building and coastal culture, gathering some 250 boats from all over the region. Various events and seminars, plus boat trips, food, handicrafts, etc. (19-21 july 2024, Bodø).

    Contact: Hanne Seljesæter,
  • Kjelvikspillet: Open-air theatre around the Sámi crofter’s cottage of Kjelvik, Sørfold, made by artists from Norway and around the world in cooperation with local youth.

    Contact: Kamilla Sajetz Mathisen,, (+47) 900 40 040
  • Kunstkanten: A new sculpture trail winding its way through Bodø. Selected artists: Åsil Bøtun (NO), Benedict Beldam (NO), Marianne Bredesen (NO), Gunnar H. Gundersen (NO) and Kerstin Hintz (DE). (Unveiling 14 Sep 2024).

    Contact: Per Gunnar Eeg-Tverbakk, Project Manager,, (+47) 900 44 512
  • Ingrid from Barrøy: A newly written opera based on best-selling author Roy Jacobsen’s series of novels about Ingrid from Barrøy (9 Aug 2024, Stormen Concert Hall, Bodø).

    Contact: Henrik S Dagfinrud, Programme Director, Bodø2024,
  • Book of Nordland: An exciting book project with award-winning Scottish author Stef Penney. Out 4 July 2024 (English edition will be published by Quercus Books in the UK).

    Contact: Marie Peyre, Bodø2024,, (+47) 954 48 160
  • Music on Display: Self-playing piano installation by Benjamin Mørk. Expect to see this piece pop up in unexpected places throughout 2024.

    Contact: Benjamin Mørk,
  • EUROGYM: Youths aged 13-18 from all over Europe gather in Bodø 13-18 July 2024 for this European Gymnastic Festival – filling Bodø with impressive gymnastic shows.

    Contact: Hanne Jørgensen, Event Officer,, (+47) 976 12 680
  • NAISA: North American Indigenous Studies Associations (NAISA), the largest scholarly organisation for indigenous issues and communities, moves from Toronto to Bodø in 2024 (6-8 Jun 2024)

    Contact: Tove M. Ness, Nord Universitet,
  • Polarhav 30: paintings by popular local artist Karl Erik Harr, inspired by past travels sailing in the Arctic Ocean – Bjørnøya, Svalbard, Greenland and more. (Opening 10 Jun 2024 at the Karl Erik Harr Museum in Kjerringøy) (Norwegian only).

    Contact: Camilla Berg Hansen, Gallery Manager,, (+47) 915 96 557/(+47)970 43 815
  • Havets Veje-Áhpi: An outdoor media installation where Nordic, Sami and Greenlandic artists and musicians explore a common theme – the Arctic Ocean. Featuring a travelling container projecting big scale images to music after dark. Various dates and locations

    Contact: Karen Thastum,
  • Lofoten International Art Festival (LIAF): Exhibitions and artworks by international and local artists in a site-specific context. The festival’s aim is to expand, explore and establish new insights through the production and dissemination of art. (20 Sep-20 Oct 2024, Lofoten).

    Contact: Emma Pettit, Margaret London (Agency),, (+44) 7852 196 539
  • Bodø Biennale: The only one of its kind in Nordland, Bodø Biennale is an arena for interdisciplinary collaborations and productions within the fields of visual art and dance, and therefore an interesting meeting point for both the audience and the professional community. (2-8 Sep 2024, throughout the city)

    Contact: or (for dance)
  • First Lego League: In May, FIRST Scandinavia organizes the world final FIRST®LEGO® League Open European Championship in Bodø. 50 teams from all over the world are invited to participate. (13-17 May, various venues in Bodø).

    Contact: Per Arild Konradsen, Manager,
  • Nordic Outsider Art: An art exhibition with the participation of Outsider Art artists from Norway, Finland, Iceland, Denmark and Sweden. (3 Jul-11 Aug).

    Contact: Simone Ritter,
  • ARCTICulations of Faith: Several projects focusing on the relationship between faith, art and culture in Nordland (various locations throughout 2024).

    Contact: Ragnhild Strauman, Project Manager,, (+47) 480 23 647
  • Arctic Art Island (TBC): A collaboration with musician and composer Håvard Lund, who is also the initiator and founder of The Arctic Hideaway in Fleinvær. The Arctic Hideaway will house European artist residencies during 2024 (one for each season in the Bodø2024’s programme), all of which will become a new exhibition. Arctic Art Island will investigate nature and sustainability through art, and whether art can reach out to the world from a small island in Nordland.

    Contact: Håvard Lund,
  • Lyskraft (Power of Light): The cloudberry is an important natural resource in the northern hemisphere. In this project visual artist Hege Gundersen lets the cloudberry and its uncertain future be the source of inspiration for a group of sculptures that revolve around this question: What happens to this heavenly flavour bomb when climate zones change? The health and abundance of cloudberries can be an important indicator of the impact of climate change. All the sculptures are made of scrap metal and recycled materials from the fishing industry.

    Contact: Hege Gundersen, Artist and Project Manager,
  • Spire: A talent programme for young classical musicians aged 19 to 27, in partnership with Nordland Musikkfestuke (Nordland Music Festival). Main mentor is Eldbjørg Hemsing, one of Norway’s most famous violinists, known as ‘the Violin Princess of Norway.’ ‘Spire’ means ‘sprout’ in Norwegian.

    Contact: Kristine Eldorsen, Marketing/Producer,, (+47) 454 23 569
Classical concert at Noua

General Information

The world’s longest party

Bodø2024 hope more than 500,000 will visit Bodø and Nordland during the European Capital of Culture year. This will be the world’s longest party, both in terms of time and area covered: the county of Nordland stretches over 800km from north to south. And the festivities will last for a whole year. The programme, which is still under development, will be continuously updated. For the latest information check 

Facts about Bodø2024 

  • Bodø will have status as European Capital of Culture in 2024. 
  • Bodø will be the first city north of the Arctic Circle to hold the prestigious title. 
  • Bodø2024 is the largest cultural project ever in Northern Norway.
  • Some 1000 events are planned for the title year. 
  • European Capital of Culture is the EU’s largest culture programme. Over 70 cities have held the prestigious status since 1985, including Dublin in 1991, Cork in 2005 and Galway in 2020.
  • Only two other Norwegian cities, Bergen and Stavanger, have had status as European Capital of Culture before.

The European Capital of Culture concept

A European Capital of Culture (ECOC) is not just a year-long ‘festival’, but also a community development programme built around arts and culture. Many of Bodø 2024’s strategic objectives reflect this, with focus on competence building, audience development, more cross-productions, internationalisation, etc More about European Capital of Culture here.


Marie Peyre
International Communication & Relations, Bodø2024
+47 95448160

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