Best Ever Øya?

Having sold out for the 11th time in succession, this time months in advance, Øya Festival chief Claes Oslen says he’s hearing that this year’s gathering was the best in its history.

This year’s full five-day festival passes sold out six months in advance, setting a record.

Having started in 1999 with a crowd of about 1,000, the festival has grown to the point where there are now 15,000 per day at Oslo’s Middelalderparken (or Medieval Park).

It’s also expanded into the Norwegian capital’s club scene and now around 30 of its venues have become part of the Øya package. The club shows are mainly on the opening day, before the main festival opens on the park in downtown Oslo.

It’s become the country’s biggest festival as former rival Quart Festival went bankrupt and Hove Festival would likely have followed if not for the UK’s Festival Republic rescuing it.

Apart from the feedback from punters, Olsen was also pleased to report that the national media and nearly 100 journalists from outside Norway were also singing the festival’s praises.

The weather, which can be problematic in Norway at any time of the year, was also on its best behaviour and Øya basked in four days of sunshine.

This year’s Øya lineup Aug. 7-11 included The Stone Roses, Florence and the Machine, The Black Keys, Björk, Feist, Refused, Bon Iver, Ane Brun, and Azealia Banks.