Fancy dancing the days away in one of Norway’s oldest fortresses? Don’t mind if we do.

Festivals are awesome. Period. But when you add the backdrop of a medieval fortress, you turn the wow factor up a notch. Bergenfest is a five-day open-air music festival located in the ancient stone walls of Bergenhus Fortress in Norway. Featuring a range of indoor and outdoor stages – including an art nouveau-inspired mirror tent and a Middle Ages banqueting hall – and an eclectic lineup of big names and local talent, Bergenfest could be an awesome primer or finishing point for your Scandanavian adventure.  

What is Bergenfest?

Since its humble beginnings in 1993, Bergenfest has become one of Norway’s oldest, biggest and boldest music festivals. The festival takes place in the oh-so picturesque grounds of Bergenhus Fortress in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed harbour district of Bryggen in Norway, so as far as festival locations go, it doesn’t get more picturesque than this. You get to soak up the history and charm of Bergen Fortress and party among thousands of music-loving souls. The music at Bergenfest is spread over three outdoor and two indoor stages.

When is Bergenfest 2022?

Bergenfest will take place on 14-18th June 2022. June is an interesting time to visit Norway as it's the beginning of summer and there are about 18.5 hours of daylight per day. If you're visiting the northern parts of the country like Svalbard or Bodø, you might get to witness the natural phenomenon of the midnight sun when the sun never fully sets below the horizon.

Bergenfest 2022 lineup

Bergenfest boasts an eclectic lineup featuring electronic, pop, country, experimental, jazz, blues, rock and more.Some of the musicians confirmed for Bergenfest 2022 include:

  • George Ezra
  • Biffy Clyro
  • Gang of Youths
  • Billy Nomates
  • Tom Grennan
  • Irish Gold
  • Michael Kiwanuka
  • Grace Jones
  • Black Pumas
  • Passenger

See the full lineup.

Bergenfest highlights

A violinist playing in a band

Expand your musical horizons

Bergenfest’s eclectic lineup is packed with musical talent from Scandinavia, wider Europe and beyond. Whether you want to get lost in the soulful rhythm of a blues band, let off some steam as you sing along to a rock band or energise yourself with some upbeat dance music, it’s a great opportunity to listen to some of your favourite pop favourites or get out of your musical comfort zone and discover new artists.

King Håkon's Hall in Bergenhus Fortress, Norway

Boogie in a medieval fortress

There’s nothing better than having a good ol’ boogie with thousands of other kindred festival spirits – but dancing in a medieval fortress is definitely up there. Bergenfest is the perfect place to forget the everyday stresses of life and let your hair down whether you want to dance in the sunshine at the main stage, feel the electric energy at the Magic Mirrors stage or retreat to King Håkon's Hall to listen to soulful melodies within a 13th century Viking feasting hall.

The cable railway in Bergen, Norway

Explore Bergen

Sandwiched between rugged mountains and dark, inky fiords, Bergen is a bustling city where nature is quite literally on your doorstep. With a historic old town, charming streets and lively urban culture, it's a city where old meets new. There's loads to see and do whether you want to discover quirky museums, hang out in cosy cafes, taste your way through the city's thriving restaurant scene or explore Norway's stunning landscapes and coast.

A row of colourful buildings in Bryggen in Bergen, Norway

Uncover the history of Bryggen

Originally built in the 12th century, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Bryggen is North Europe’s oldest port city – and one of the greatest harbours ever built. Wander through charming passages lined with reconstructed medieval homes, cafes, boutique shops and art galleries, or watch life go by with a coffee at Vågen Bay. If you want to dive into Bryggen’s history, make sure you visit the beautifully preserved wooden Hanseatic Museum or Bergenhus Fortress (this time not for a party!).

Bergenfest FAQs

You can either buy a day pass (a good option if you're on a budget, tight on time or are keen to see a couple of your favourite artists playing on a certain day) or a festival pass which grants you access to the festival for all five days. Bergenfest recommends that you only buy tickets through Ticketmaster, their official ticket partner, or Revy and Teaterservice which are official outlets for Ticketmaster. Below are the ticket prices for 2022 (for over 18s). Festival goers under the age of 18 can buy tickets at a discounted rate.

  • Festival pass: NOK 3,000 + ticket fee
  • Tuesday day pass: NOK 890 + ticket fee
  • Wednesday day pass: NOK 950 + ticket fee
  • Thursday day pass: NOK 890 + ticket fee
  • Friday day pass: NOK 950 + ticket fee
  • Saturday day pass: NOK 950 + ticket fee

Bergenfest attracts around 30,000 people every year. As Norway's biggest music festival, many festival-goers come from Norway and other countries in Scandanavia, but people also travel from other parts of Europe to enjoy the festivities. 

June is one of the best times to visit Norway. June marks the beginning of summer, so the days are mild with average daytime highs of 17°C and lows of 10°C. Being located in the top part of the northern hemisphere, summer days are long and nights are short, with 18.5 hours of daylight each day. You’ll also get to experience the otherworldly glow of the midnight sun (the sun doesn’t fully set below the horizon during summer, giving the nights an ethereal orange glow.

Anything goes at a festival, right? Festivals are a time to express yourself, so feel free to bring your glitzy pants, dresses and shirts to show your party flair. You might also want to bring some light and comfy clothing that your can layer such as long-sleeved shirts, t-shirts, pants and shorts, as well as a bum bag/small day bag, sunglasses and a sun hat. Although it’s summer in June, you'll still need a light fleece or jacket to pop on in the evening when the temperature drops. Oh, and don’t forget a pair of comfy trainers or boots to dance the night away! Depending on whether you do a Norway tour before or after the festival, you’ll also need to bring appropriate clothing for your trip.

There is no camping available within the Bergenfest festival grounds. However, there are several hotels and hostels located in Bryggen, the historic harbour district in Bergen, and plenty of accommodation options in Bergen city centre. Bergen city centre is compact and easy to get around either on foot or by bus and light rail with Skyss.

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