Borealis 2024 celebrates innovative experimental sound and music making from across Norway and Sápmi. Over 5 days we bring together adventurous listeners in concert halls, on mountain tops, and in swimming pools to listen together. In collaboration with partners across the city, from Festplassen to Åsane, we’ll be taking over venues, and bringing brand new commissioned work to Bergen audiences. With exhibitions, family events, conversations and immersive sonic experiences Borealis opens up for different encounters with how art and music can help us explore the world around us. 2024’s festival is for the first time programmed in collaboration, this year with Sámi artist Elina Waage Mikalsen, bringing a whole programme of experimental Sámi artists together in a way that has never been done in Bergen before.

How does who you are affect how you listen? 

Are you excited or tired, or both? 

Are you with friends or alone? 

Are you listening to something you know, or is it new to you? 

What histories and structures are you assuming are “normal”? 

There is no standard way of listening, just as there is no standard way of making experimental music.

Over two years the festival has been working with Sámi artist and musician Elina Waage Mikalsen to ask some of these questions, to think about who gets to define what music is, how it should be presented and how we should listen. Together we’ve planned a festival that draws on different ways of making music and listening from across Norway and Sápmi. For the first time we are bringing together many indigenous artists, and thinking together about what experimental sound, music and listening mean within a Sámi context, and what that means for an experimental music festival in Bergen and in Norway.

As always our focus remains on experiencing new sound and music together, and how we can strengthen and grow our community of experimental music makers and adventurous listeners – in the concert hall, in the swimming pool and on the dancefloors. 

Bures Boahtin!