Did you think folk music was passé and something only played out on the countryside? Think again! Folkelarm showcases the most innovative and entertaining artists within the genre, be it folk tunes accompanied by electric guitars, or a controversial takes on an iconic dance. However the new tunes go hand in hand with the traditional ones, complementing each other in a fascinating way.

The festival is a celebration of folk music and dance, uniting the best within the field from all over Norway. While it has established itself as the most important professional meeting place for the genre, it has also become an increasingly popular event for music lovers who wish to experience the newest and best of the traditional tunes. “We are experiencing an increasingly wide audience, and many are surprised how much they really like the music of the genre, even though they initially thought it would sound like the type of music that their grandparents used to listen to,” festival manager Sigurd Reinton says.

In fact many are surprised to note that much of the popular music they listen to on the radio or through streaming services is indeed inspired by catchy folk tunes. Bands like Skenet, the Swedish quartet, combine folk tunes from the 1800s with electric guitars, bass and moog-synth which works surprisingly well together. “This is the place to experience the newest trends within the genre, and there are so many exciting musicians out there,” Reinton says, and continues by mentioning the Norwegian band Sver. They are perhaps one of the most mainstream bands, and has toured to numerous festivals and club scenes through their cooperation with dancehall artist Snakka San.

However the festival is not just about music, but a place to experience one of the most iconic Norwegian dances, the ‘Halling Dance’. Silje Onstad Hålien is the first female to dance ‘halling’ at a top level and combines it with contemporary dancing in her performance 101 hats to kick before I die, where she explores her role in society, as a woman, a lover and a career woman. “27 artists are coming together, with exciting new approaches and interpretations as well as classic folk music tunes. It is very exciting times,” Reinton says.

Folkelarm | Discover innovative folk music at Folkelarm | Scan Magazine

Left: Skenet: The Swedish group Skenet is experiencing great success with their innovative take on folk music.
Right: MariMidtli: While only 18 years old, Mari Midtli has established herself as a force to be reckoned with.

For more information, please visit www.folkelarm.no

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