Spectacular sea show to open Bodø European Capital of Culture 2024

FROM a concert in a submerged cave to a 30ft high sculpture out at sea, and from an opera about stockfish to an Arctic light festival, organisers of Bodø’s European Capital of Culture year are pulling out all the Scandinavian stops.

Opening with a spectacular ceremony, an artist’s rendering of which appears at the head of this post, the Norwegian municipality is promising a 12-month programme that will become “the world’s longest party”.

Bodø blue hour: Ernst Furuhatt 

The opening show will be staged on February 3 and will be a huge production in Bodø’s inner harbour, created by Berlin-based Phase 7, who will be working with Nordland Theater. Full details are being kept hush-hush for now.

But organisers say: “This being Nordland, it had to start with fish.

Inspiration: Norwegian cod

“The tiny otolith, the cod’s ear stone, contains physical evidence for each individual fish, showing how old it is, where it has been, and tells us about the environment and climate.

“Just like annual rings on trees. This will be the starting point for Bodø2024’s grand opening: who and what we are, who and what we want to be, and what memories we will create in the coming year.”

Stockfish at Hamnøy – Frithjof Fure

Highlights of that year will include the world’s first 100% sustainable festival; the stockfish opera; Europe’s only land art biennale; a Midsummer’s Eve bonfire bonanza; a Sámi theatre trilogy; freedom festival and a historical Nordland Railway journey.

There’ll be that cave concert and sea sculpture; an exhibition exploring the dark side of Nobel laureate Knut Hamsun; a pop-up Sámi museum; Arctic food roadshows and festivals, and Nordland’s first ever light festival.

The first programme launch

With a year to go, the programme is still under development, and organisers say plenty more surprises await. More than 600 events are planned throughout Nordland, and only around 100 were presented during Bodø24’s first programme launch.

It is hoped that half a million people will visit Bodø and Nordland during the European Capital of Culture year, with festivities across the whole of the county, which stretches over 800km from north to south, adding more to that “longest party” claim.

For the latest information check www.bodo2024.no. Opening ceremony illustration: Phase7/Bjшrnеdal Arkitektstudio.

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