The Øya Festival is a festival put together by music lovers, for music lovers, and with a focus on presenting a cutting-edge bill with a big, Scandinavian heart. The festival is held in what is called the Medieval Park in Oslo, Norway – a beautiful spot surrounded by white, sandy beaches, the Oslo Fjord to the south, and the Oslo skyline to the west. The Medieval Park is also the site on which the capital of Norway was founded a thousand years ago which is located in Gamlebyen– and it’s only a short walk to the city center of Oslo, which creates an exciting rendezvous between nature and culture. It is committed to become one of the most environmentally responsible festivals in Europe, and give the audience the experience of a truly eco-friendly festival. It is being called the greenest music festival ever; their efforts as an environmentally responsible festival have gained recognition on a national and international level. At the European Festival Award in January it was awarded Europe’s Greenest Festival; The Green ‘n’ Clean Award which is given in collaboration between European Festival Award and the European Festival Association; Yourope. The award accompanied the British ”A Greener Festival Award” which it received in autumn 2009. It also takes pride in showing the audience the variation of culinary art made by the Oslo restaurants. All the food prepared is organic with a whole-hearted focus on ecological food. This year had the best program ever, and close to 100 000 people attended and enjoyed 4 days of music, rain and even some sunshine.
A varied program with artists like Gaslight Anthem, Sleigh Bells, Air, Iggy & The Stooges, Raekwon, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti and M.I.A.. The day came off to a bad start with heavy clouds and a wall of rain, but the crowd ignored the weather and showed up to the party.
The sun found an opening in the sky and started shining through as Air entered the stage with their easy and breezy brand of floating pop filled with vintage synths, bossa nova drum machine and a touch of garage rock. The fear of Woodstock vibes disappeared and the blue eyed crowd enjoyed the band members and their big, but gentle wall of sound. They opened up with “Cherry Blossom Girl” and followed with favorites like “Kelly Watch the Stars” and “Sexy Boy.” A nice concert but don’t know if they fit a big stage or the festival atmosphere.
Iggy & The Stooges:
Iggy entered the stage to the sound of “Raw Power”, with spastic dance moves Jagger would envy. The band had high energy, but looked like a bunch of old dudes compared to Iggy. They continued their proto punk with “Search And Destroy”, a song where you can easily hear where the band Turbonegro stole their sound from. Iggy’s voice was flawless, with high pitched screams, and his band pumped out high-octane rock’n’roll. Iggy looked high and kept on spitting everywhere, but delivered on songs like “I Feel Alright” which escalated into a free jazz style jam. I probably weren’t the only one getting goosebumps watching a legend perform, and the crowd went crazy on “I wanna Be Your Dog”. A vain Iggy enjoyed the crowd reactions and kept on returning to the stage after the last song, and jumped down in front of the crowd to bump fists.
M.I.A. needed to prove herself after all the drama lately, and also her bad rep as a live performer. The sounds of Major Lazer blasted out of the speakers, and a wall of light effects hit the crowd. Maya is definitely more of a visual artist than a pop star, and her set worked like a fragmented dj set. But she worked up the overwhelmingly teenage girl crowd with “Galang” and old material like the baile funk of “Bucky Done Gun”. In between songs she blabbered random phrases like “I’m not googling myself”.. Whatever that means. She also asked the crowd if it was ok that she lip-synced XXXO, but ended up not performing it at all. Her backup singers were dressed in something that looked like geisha styled burkas. She performed an off-key version of “It Takes a Muscle”, and then started to play with high tech laser activated sounds and inviting the crowd up on stage. She’s a visual phenomenon, not a singer or dancer, and it was the teenage girls who got their kick this night; when the sounds of “Paper Planes” came out of the speakers, their screams caused tinnitus to every adult person in the crowd.
Day 2 On Next Page w/Miike Snowe, LCD Soundsystem, Yeasayer + more