Bergen – the City of Culture

Bergen has long stood out as a bold and innovative city of culture. In Bergen, "local" does not equate to unimportant or amateurish. Here, local artists are one step ahead, both nationally and internationally. They are simply performing at world-class levels!

Just look at musicians such as Aurora, Alan Walker and Kygo or institutions such as Carte Blanche – the Norwegian National Company of Contemporary Dance, the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Bergen National Opera, Bergen Kunsthall and KODE – the Art Museums of Bergen.

Carte Blanche – the Norwegian National Company of Contemporary Dance. Photo: Carte Blanche / Helge Hansen 

Creative clusters

The converted sardine factory USF Verftet is home to Norway’s largest collection of creative enterprises. More than 200 persons work here, producing and distributing art and culture with local, national and international impact. The clusters at USF consist of artists, designers, musicians, producers, festivals, record companies, management agencies and industry associations.

Aurora is one of the artists represented by local music management agency Made: Photo: Tony Kearney.

Made is one of the companies located at USF that have achieved great international success. Since its inception in 2009, the company set itself up as one of Scandinavia’s leading music management agencies, representing artists such as Aurora, Sigrid and Sondre Lerche. At USF you also find Brak, Norway’s first competence center within the musical field.

Another important creative cluster is Bergen Kjøtta factory for the production of art, culture and music. More than 340 persons have Bergen Kjøtt as their place of work.

In the heart of downtown Bergen you’ll find Skostredet, the city’s hippest and most vibrant street. Visit Litteraturhuset for literature, debates and cultural experiences, and move on to S12 Open Access Studio and Gallery for experimental glass art. Next door lies Østre – House for Sound Art and Electronic Music. Here, you can get a taste of the city’s pulsating club scene.

The Museums

KODE Art Museums of Bergen is one of Scandinavia’s largest museums for arts, crafts, design and music. Experience a unique combination of art museums and composers’ homes. Stop by the museum buildings in the city center (KODE 1, 2, 3 and 4) that hold works of, among others, Edvard Munch, and proceed to visit the homes of the composers Ole Bull, Harald Sæverud and Edvard Grieg. On the same axis in downtown Bergen you’ll find Bergen Kunsthall: one of Norway’s premier arenas for contemporary art.

Take a walk in the area from Bryggen to Old Bergen Museum in Sandviken. Here you will find several historical and culturally important buildings and museums, such as the Hanseatic Museum, the Bryggen Foundation, Bryggen Museum, Sandviken Coastal Culture Centre, Norwegian Fisheries Museum and Old Bergen Museum. At the Norwegian Fisheries Museum you can experience the long history of harvesting the resources of the sea and the cultural history of the coast. The Hanseatic Museum shows you how the Hanseats lived in Bergen and the commodities traded by Hanseatic merchants between Northern Norway and Germany through Bergen.

KODE 1 – KODE’s building for fine craft and design. Photo: Dag Fosse / KODE

Come along on an art voyage

Coast Contemporary is an art voyage aboard Hurtigruten (The Norwegian Coastal Express) that will take place between 21st and 24th September, starting in Lofoten and ending in Bergen. Coast Contemporary gathers 150 Norwegian and international artists, journalists, art institutions, museums, commercial and independent galleries, art professionals, art collectors and people interested in art aboard Hurtigruten. From Bergen, the showroom Entrée, Bergen Assembly, Bergen Kunsthall and KODE will participate, in addition to individual artists. The voyage ends in Bergen, where the participants will see as much as possible of the city’s art scene. The program is concluded with a panel discussion at Bergen Kunsthall, followed by a party at Landmark.

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