Social events

At the opening party there will be a session with song and music by three well known musicians from the Sørlandet region, the baritone Jens Olai Justvik, the alto Birte Myhrstad and pianist and composer Asbjørn Arntsen. Justvik has had a long career at The Norwegian Opera, Myhrstad and Arntsen are professors at The University College of Agder in Kristiansand. They will present an international programme of songs.

17th of May is the National Day of Norway, celebrating the 1814 Constitution when Norway and Denmark split after nearly 400 years as one kingdom. Norway had a more independent status in union with Sweden from 1814 to 1905, when Norway again became a sovereign kingdom.

There is long and strong tradition in Norway of celebrating the Constitution Day. Most important is the children’s parade in the morning, involving all school children. The festival participants will be able to follow the parade in the streets of Kristiansand before leaving for Gimlekollen. After a days work the participants will all have a free ticket to a national concert in the Cathedral at 1800 hrs, where the Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra will perform Norwegian music traditions associated with this very special day for Norwegians. See the programme page (in Norwegian only).

On Saturday night all participants are invited to a sightseeing tour in the skerry guard of Kristiansand. The southern coast of Norway is famous for its small islands and thousands of small private boats and yachts. Even if May is a bit too early for the summer season activities, the magic northern summer light will be there.

Hotel Norge
Bragdøy Island

The sight seeing trip will end at the Bragdøya Island, where there is a famous coastal heritage centre http://www.bragdoya.no/ (page also in English). There will be a dinner in an old salting shed hosted by NRK. Here you will be offered a variety of European dishes, including Norwegian seafood. The party will be entertained by the accordionist Ivar Bøksle playing and singing typical Norwegian songs from the region. He also has an international repertoire of well known songs. Will the participants join in?

Grimstad, town of the authors Ibsen and Hamsun, is located only 50 kilometres from Kristiansand. We offer a guided tour on Friday night from 1900 to 2200 hrs. Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) lived in Grimstad as an apprentice in the pharmacy from 1844 to 1850 and wrote poems and, Catilina, his first play here. Life in the small wooden town can be traced in many of his later works. The Ibsen Museum (Norwegian page only). Knut Hamsun (1859-1952) bought the farm Nørholm in 1918 and lived in Grimstad to his death. He used much of his Nobel Prize money to cultivate land and set up - at least for this area - the impressive buildings we see today. Please notice that only a limited number of seats will be available.

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Kristiansand view