In my previous post I mentioned a bit about Vinjerock. I have also shared a lot on social media throughout the festival, but let’s start with a little summary for those who have not seen them before. Vinjerock is a festival that brings music and nature together at one of Norway’s most beautiful national parks for 12 years. This festival, which is famous for its tickets being sold out within 3 minutes, not only has a great location but also joyful daytime activities, courses, workshops and a well designed line up with its bands.
Throughout this article, I will try to sort out my festival experience as well as questions you’ve asked to me.
The festival is on the mountains of Jotunheimen, where you may have heard its name if you have some interest in Nordic mythology. The festival area is 1060 meters high, on the edge of a huge lake. Surrounded by mountains up to 2600 meters high. It is very popular to do music festivals in the middle of nature in Norway but there is no other festival I know that brings music and nature activities together(There is also a festival called Fjellfilmfestivalen but it brings nature activities and movies together not music :). A total of 4000 people participated in the festival this year with over 700 volunteers.
How to get there?
I thought getting to the festival might be difficult because it is in the mountains, but there are festival buses that go directly from some cities of Norway to the festival area. It takes about 5 hours from Oslo to the area along with rest stops. You can also combine regional buses and shuttle services to get there. There were also people who walked to the festival: D or biked through mountain roads. Also you can find people on Facebook groups who are going to drive and have space for you. If you come with your own car, you have to leave the car in a parking lot 30 minutes away. From there you can come to the area with shuttles.
What About Tickets?
As I’ve said above, buying festival tickets is a bit difficult. If you can’t get tickets, you can still get some help on the Facebook groups. But if you are not lucky enough to find a ticket, you can be a volunteer at the festival. If you are fast enough to buy tickets, this year’s tickets were 2080 NOK.
There were about 700 volunteers at the festival this year. Applications for volunteering does not ends as early as the festival tickets, but it is still a good idea to keep your hand quick. Since many people apply for being a volunteer, you are asked to write a short cover letter about why you want to be a volunteer. If you are accepted, you will be entitled to a festival pass for mostly 2 shifts of working. You can also get 1 meal per 6 hours of work at the volunteer tent which also has coffee, tea and snacks for you.
I had a press pass, but I wanted to experienced volunteering because I haven’t been a volunteer at such a festival. I asked to be one and they said they let me know if they needed one. Then the message I expected came in, they said they need one person for 2 shifts. My task was to collect garbage, emptying trash and checking toilets if they have enough toilet paper. But there wasn’t too much garbage to pick up since everyone had already separated their trash for recycling 🙂 I definitely suggest to be a volunteer in Vinjerock to being part of the festival and for meeting nice people. If I go to the festival next year, I will probably apply for volunteering again. At first, I thought it might be a problem because I didn’t speak Norwegian, but I didn’t encounter any communication problem since everyone is very good in English.
You can not get tickets, you can not volunteer, but you can still come if you want to come 🙂 You can come to the tent area and set up your tent. You can not just enter the festival area to listen to concerts, but you can still have a great festival experience.
What About Camping, Is There Any Other Alternatives?
This time we were lucky because Norway might be so cold even if it is summer. It was very hot this year, campfires weren’t allowed in the tent area. Instead, there was an area near to the lake where you could use your own camp stoves. There was also hot water service throughout the day in the same area and large barbeques for everyone’s use. But still you have to be prepared for cold weather. Also there are big stones on the ground so you have to bring a nice/ thick mat, a sleeping bag (+10 or lower).
Most of the participants are staying in tents, but also there are two facilities that you can stay in; Fundsbu (DNT) and Eidsbugarden Hotel. But I would suggest camping for the authentic festival experience. If you do not want to bring your own tent or staying in a hotel, there are very limited VIP tents called Lavvootel 🙂 If you do not have any camping experience before, that is still okay, you can come and camp without hesitation.
The camping area is so big and beautiful that there are even people who come to hang out at the camping area instead of the festival area. There were even tents who came together to organize their own mini-festivals with some nice line ups :). Even if there isn’t any, there is another party on every corner of the area. You can bring your own food and drink to camping area. It is the right decision to bring a lot because there isn’t any shops. Tiny streams that pass through the area were used as fridges for food that has to be stay cold and drinks to be cooled. At the same time the surrounding waterfalls were individuals who want to cool down 🙂
The toilets are all portable but in general they were clean and thanks to the volunteers, they always had toilet papers 🙂 If you do not prefer natural waters for the shower, you can also use DNT’s showers.
Who Is Playing at the Festival?
The festival participants were mostly from Norway and some from neighboring Sweden 🙂 The line-up that come out are also very local names, but if you are following Nordik Simit, you have definitely encountered these names before. For example, at the festival this year, there were names like ARY, Cezinando, Fay Wildhagen, Pasha, Silja Sol, Sløtface and Silvana Imam that we shared a lot or added to our playlists.
Festival’s favorite name was Fay Wildhagen. I’ve seen her during by: Larm this year. I had loved her performance there, but her Vinjerock performance was even better. She came to the festival by hiking but she was still so energetic. 🙂 Some other popular names among the ones I shared were ARY and Silvana Imam. When Cezinando was on the stage, there was a huge line for entering the festival area. There was a surprise name at the festival, and we did not learn that name until they were on the stage. I had a few guesses, I saw a few people on the festival, but I couldn’t guess it right. Before the surprise name, there was a small queue, and when I was in the line, the band went out on stage. This song was so familiar to me, and after a few seconds I understood that they are my favorite group, Highasakite. I don’t remember the part where I went in front of the stage from the line because of excitement.
What Else Is There?
Vinjerock Festival is not only about concerts. There were also many workshops, sports activities and competitions. I’ll talk about them below, but you can freely explore nature without taking part in these activities, as long as you are familiar with Norwegian laws. Thanks to “Allemannsretten” or “freedom of roaming”, you can discover nature however you like and wherever you are. There is only one rule: you have to respect nature 🙂 There are many mountains you can hike, there are many lakes you can have a dip. You also have the right to collect berries and flowers on your way. If you want to camp up there, you can do it too. The only requirement is that if there is a house/cabin near, you need to camp 150 meters away from it.
There are also activities such as hikings, tree and flower safaris, yoga workshops, glacier walks, fishing, rafting, SUP, kayaking or beer tasting. Also for the first time this year, there was a pride walk under the name of Vinjepride.
I thought a lot about the difficulties when going to the festival because it was in nature, but it was a really well-designed organization. I want to join them again and again until they say “you cannot come this year, it’s enough!”. Vinjerock will be held again on July 18-21, 2019. Let’s meet there?
You can also follow announcements made by the festival on their Instagram account from below.