Oslo World is one of Europe’s leading venue festivals, presenting a global outlook on today’s music scene, with a special focus on music from Africa, Latin-America, Asia and the Middle East. In 2020, the festival will run from October 27 – November 1.
The task of the festival has remained unchanged since the start in 1994: In short, to bring the world to Oslo and Oslo to the world.
Throughout the majority of the last 25 years, the festival was known as Oslo World Music Festival. In 2017, we shortened the name to “Oslo World”. There were two reasons for this. The first is that the somewhat controversial “world music” term doesn’t really tell us much about the artists we book.The program is full of different expressions from specific and distinct origins – both traditional music and new sounds from the avant garde. We wanted to focus more on the variety – rather than giving everything a common label.
The second reason is that Oslo World has become a festival that features much more than musical experiences. The seminar program has become more ambitious every year. More than ever, the festival bridges the divide between artistic expression and political debates. The festival theme we choose each year serves as a guiding principle for both the musical and non-musical booking. In addition to activists and political voices, we have invited designers, artists, architects, dancers and actors to Oslo during the festival week.
Oslo World has also grown beyond its own borders. In addition to the annual festival, Oslo World is responsible for a number of events throughout the year. “Our neighborhood” is arranged in asylum centers across the country – here refugees and local communities meet and share music, culture and food. Since 2013, the festival has also been involved in organizing the festival Beirut & Beyond in Lebanon. Oslo World is responsible for Children’s Art Exploration Day, which is arranged in multiple municipalities in Norway, as well as events during Music Festival Oslo, tour activities, seminars and concerts throughout the year.
Get to know Oslo World through the festival film from 2016:
In autumn 2011, the Oslo World Music Festival Foundation was established as an independent foundation after 18 years as a part of Concerts Norway. The purpose of the festival was to run an annual music festival with high artistic quality and a sociopolitical context. Our ambition is to reach out to a broad, music-loving and curious audience.
The festival is also tasked with strenghtening the position of music from Asian, African and Latin American countries in Norway. The festival has worked towards this goal both through inviting artists with a passionate cause and social dedication, but also by highlighting important issues like music censorship in for example Mali and Russia.
Today, the festival is one of the foremost of its kind – not only in Norway, but also in a wider context. Oslo has grown into becoming one of Europe’s most vibrant concert cities – and Oslo World is, and will continue to be, essential to that development.