Flying The Flag

Being chosen as this year’s “country focus” at what’s now Europe’s foremost live music industry gathering could prove a real bonus for Norway, particularly as it comes a month before the national by:Larm gathering.

Six of the first 17 acts named for Eurosonic-Noorderslag in The Netherlands Jan. 13-16 are from Norway, and there will no doubt be more before all 200 or so names are announced, while at least another 50 will showcase at by:Larm in Oslo in February.

The programming for the Norwegian event, which also has seminars and guest speakers including legendary ‘60s record producer Joe Boyd, is now in the hands of Smalltown Supersound label chief Joakim Haugland.

Nearly 1,400 artists and bands applied to play at by:Larm 2010 and Haugland will oversee which of them make the cut.

Other speakers include Karl Bartos from German electro veterans Karaftwerk and Geoff Travis, head of the UK’s Rough Trade records.

This is the second year that what has become Scandinavia’s biggest music biz gathering – with about 1,400 delegates – has been held in the Norwegian capital. When it started in 1998, with 381 delegates and 22 bands, the organisers decided to avoid Oslo because almost all of the country’s live music business is based there.

In a bid to get “the movers and shakers” out to experience music in other parts of Norway, it shifted around Tromsø, Bergen, Stavanger, Kristiansand and Trondheim.

The increase in the number of international delegates called for a city with a major international airport, and by:Larm succumbed and moved to Oslo in 2008.

By:Larm 2010 is Feb. 18-20.