Some walk with broken shoes
“Somliga går med trasiga skor” is the title of a collaborative project between Notodden Blues Festival and large parts of the Norwegian trade union movement associated with LO. The project started small in 2011 with a free concert on the last day of the festival. Since then, the project has grown and the collaboration has led to free concerts open to everyone being organized every single day during the festival.
On the festival’s opening day, a free concert is organized throughout the day. The sub-project is called Jailhouse Stage since it used to be a concert where various blues bands from Norwegian prisons were allowed to perform. Since then, the content of this day has only grown and grown. Several prison bands have been given space, but also bands made up of musicians with various mental and physical disabilities. The Jailhouse Stage has become a fantastic and popular feature of the festival event. Jailhouse Stage is a collaboration between Blues Factory AS, Notodden Blues Festival and “Some walk with broken shoes”. Blues Factory AS uses blues as a musical educational platform to teach prisoners, those released from prison and young people who for various reasons fall outside ordinary educational and working life courses to play in bands, with guidance from established blues and rock musicians both inside and outside the prisons.
“Barrikaden Blueskro” is organized all day during the day on Friday and Saturday during the festival. Here, the public gets to experience both new and established bands without paying an entrance fee. The program attracts a lot of people throughout the day. The audience enjoys the good moments when they see young, unestablished bands for the first time, or relive established bands playing music they know and can recognise. Changing newly established bands create a great atmosphere with their enthusiasm and joy of playing.
Solidarity show Sunday
As a grand finale to the entire festival, the concert “Somliga går i trasiga skor” is organised. This has become a profile concert that attracts an audience of 2-4,000. The concert is free and artists who have performed here include Michael Wiehe, Anne Grete Preuss, Odd Nordstoga, Notodden Blues Band, Valkyrien Allstars, Norsk Utflukt, Kåre Virud with Jan Erik Vold, Knut Reiersrud, Damer I Blues, Steinar Albrigtsen, etc.
Solidarity work at practice
In connection with the concerts and LO’s stand during the festival, money is collected for income for Norwegian People’s Aid’s relief work both nationally and internationally. The collaboration between the Notodden Blues Festival and the Norwegian trade union movement associated with LO is solidarity work in practice and means a lot to many. The collaboration has grown from 24 to over 70 participating organizations under the LO umbrella that contribute to this important ollaboration. This collaboration has developed from a free solidarity concert on the closing day, to 4 days of free concerts in the service of solidarity. Concerts are open to everyone, and have become very popular features during NBF. The collaboration has also developed so that LO members can get discounted tickets to the festival through “LO Favør”. For the Notodden Blues Festival, LO and Norwegian People’s Aid represent popular values, solidarity and a grassroots commitment that gives the event an extra dimension.