"If you ever wanted to combine blues with a European vacation, I have the answer. This summer, August 3-6, the Notodden Blues Festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary." (Art Tipaldi, Editor In Chief, Blues Music Magazine)
Blues Music Magazine is a widely recognized magazine which promotes blues music to a large audience. It is therefore nice that the magazine suggests that blues fans all over the world should visit Notodden Blues Festival in 2017. In the editorial Tipaldi continues:
"I’m betting that this celebration will feature an over the top, four-day talent roster featuring some of the biggest names in the blues.
Each year’s line-up reflects a broad minded, diverse musical
At this printing, they have already booked fest favorite Beth
Hart, Buddy Guy, a Trampled Under Foot reunion, an all-star Chicago band
featuring Charlie Musselwhite, Bob Margolin, Bob Stroger, Billy Flynn,
Kenny Smith, and Kingfish Ingram, a Clarksdale, Mississippi band featuring
Super Chikan and others. Bonita and the Blues Shacks, and Rev. Peyton’s
Big Damn Band. And they are still working hard on two major headliners to
make this the blues party of the year. So exciting is the over the top forecast
that the Blues Foundation plans to hold its Board of Directors meeting here
this summer. Keep checking the website or Facebook page for updates.
Over the years, the festival has won numerous awards in its
country for tourism. The festival turns the tiny Norwegian city of Notodden,
population 12,000, into a cosmopolitan blues center of Europe, drawing
over 20,000 fans from all corners of the blues world. For these days, the
entire city becomes a blues world. Everybody from children to senior
citizens walks the streets wearing blues garb and singing blues tunes. Only
in Notodden can you go to the public library and be greeted by the librarians
wearing blues festival T-shirts! The city was also recently named a World
Heritage UNESCO site for its pioneering use of hydroelectric power plants.
It has pioneered the building of the Bok & Blueshuset which
contains a museum dedicated to chronicling the growth of blues in this city,
the Juke Joint Studio for recording, a performance area, and the town’s
library, which houses the Europas Blues Senter, a very thorough blues
During the Festival, there is the two-day Union Blues Cup showcase,
a battle of the finest Norwegian blues bands, with the finalist representing
Norway at the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge.
The Festival has also partnered with Stephen Van Zandt, who has
attended the last two festivals as a guest, to co-sponsor its weeklong blues
camp. The camp, which began in 1989, invites 40 musicians aged 13 to 18
spend a week in a musical camp now called Little Stephen’s Blues Camp to
learn the traditions of the blues.
There is also its Talkin’ Blues sessions, four one hour intimate
meet and greets with many of the festival’s performers. [Full discloser: I
have been the host of these sessions since 1999.] In the past, fans have
heard personal stories from musicians such as Charlie Musselwhite, Elvin
Bishop, Little Milton, Snooky Pryor, Scotty Moore, Peter Green, Jeremy
Spencer, Jack Bruce, Mick Fleetwood, Beth Hart, Warren Haynes, Steve
Cropper, Honeyboy Edwards, Eddy Clearwater, James Cotton, Kim Wilson,
Rod and Honey Piazza, and many others.
Tickets and hotel accommodations in nearby Kongsberg can be
booked through the festival website. These Kongsberg hotels are also
where many of the festival bands stay.
With reasonable flights from Iceland Air and Norwegian Air to Oslo,
this is the perfect time to visit both this impressive festival and also have
time to behold the stunning Norwegian country. Most first time travelers
can book Norway In A Nutshell excursions from Oslo which offer tours of
mountains, fjords, and glacial waterfalls. Or you can rent your own car and
tour the back roads on your own. It’s not uncommon to drive a picturesque
road or mediate at the base of a 1,000-foot waterfall in perfect solitude.
“Let the music keep our spirits high.”
You can read the full magazine by clicking the link here!