"The festival program is ready - there will be innovation, celebration, and reunions in the anniversary year."

"When festival director Ragnheiður Skúladóttir presents the program for the 59th Festival in Northern Norway, it is with a program that celebrates art and culture, for children, youth, and adults alike. This year's festival marks the 60th anniversary of the region's largest cultural event, and continues important initiatives for children, youth, and the North Norwegian industry."

Great Music Experiences

This year's program offers a wide range of music – starting with the opening show "Rækved," featuring Kartellet and the Arctic Philharmonic. Families are invited to dive into the music of Lillebjørn Nilsen – where Thea & the Wild will pay tribute to the beloved artist many have grown up with. Beyond this, the festival week will feature well-known artists such as the MGP winners Gåte, Seigmen, Anneli Drecker with the Army's Music Corps, and Mari Boine. Bodø artist England Brooks will also join forces with Ole Børud for an evening filled with groovy soul, funk, and jazz, while Moddi brings together a star team of North Norwegian artists in "Det nye nord" (The New North).

- "We're excited to fill the Main Hall with such diverse music, and it's particularly worth mentioning that the opening show will have a couple of solid surprises. 'Det Nye Nord' is entirely new music about our changing region, and I'm eager to hear what happens when we create new stories about Northern Norway," says festival director Ragnheiður Skúladóttir.

Star-Studded Performing Arts Program

Former young artist Ibrahim Fazlic has achieved national success with his performances and now tackles the mid-life crisis of the middle-aged man in the show "Torvald." There will also be premieres of newly developed shows from the performing arts community in Tromsø with "Abundance," and for young artist Oliver Paulsson, who combines contemporary dance with photography. "Flytende Speil" is a show that has received glowing reviews, available at the Utenfor Allfarvei in Hilsegata. The American puppet theater company Wakka Wakka is already world-famous and has garnered rave reviews for its Animalia trilogy – the Festival will show all three performances.

- "The 'Flytende Speil' show has received fantastic responses, and is a unique opportunity to experience some of the country's strongest actors up close. I cannot emphasize enough how wise it is to secure tickets to this. At the same time, our festival is an opportunity to see entirely new performances, and I hope as many as possible will catch the premieres. If I were to offer an insider tip, all the Wakka Wakka shows at Harstad school are examples of fabulous performing arts," says Skúladóttir.

Full Party: Hip Hop Bonanza and Festival Finale

The Festival is focusing on music in the Nordic Hall this year, kicking off the week with a new edition of Hip Hop Bonanza – now with artists Tyr and Oscar Blesson leading the charge. They are joined by Unge Funksjonell, Regz, and Foad Noor, representing a new wave of talent from Northern Norway's hip hop scene, while Carl Critical, music producer and filmmaker, ties these artists together as the musical leader and DJ. Three North Norwegian bands are tasked with ending the festival with a proper public celebration:
- "Nordic Hall will be packed with a variety of music, but both Saturdays we'll pull out all the stops with two concerts the audience can have high expectations for. Poppa Lars has put together a powerhouse of a hip hop concert, while we know the triple concert on the last Saturday will be an uncompromising powder keg of a public celebration with Not My Time to Die, Joddski, and Senjahopen. Finnmark rock, hip hop, and Senja's version of British pub rock, this is something to look forward to," continues the festival director.

Packed Children's Program

The Festival's focus on children's and youth performances continues, with a range of engaging and fun shows for the youngest. This year, there are also more shows and workshops for older children, with Katrine Strøm's new show "Frida" and the show that addresses divorce from a child's perspective, "Jordbær."
- "We've aimed to engage the older children even more, and it's especially nice to see that such fine performances are being created that take this age group seriously. Many of the workshops this year are aimed at older children, and we hope many are eager to join Kompani Krakkaveldi, a real kickstart to the summer holidays for children who want to be creative and make things together."

Anniversary City Festival

Many eagerly anticipate the city festival program each year, and this year there's a particularly large free outdoor program. There will be a circus show, fun play, and not least, the audience favorites Saurus return. The city festival's finale will be the largest ever public choir – where everyone is invited to sing along to Ola and Kari Bremnes' "Song to the City" in Generalhagen.
- "Outdoor performances fill the city with life and excitement – and that's when you really feel that it's festival time. We're focused on bringing as much