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First established over fifty years ago in 1953, the Bergen International Festival is a celebration of art in all its myriad forms including dance, theatre, opera, music, literature and the visual arts. Taking place over the course of two weeks each year in early summer, this festival is the largest annual arts gathering in all of the various destinations in Scandinavia and includes over 160 separate events.
The main aim of the Bergen International Festival is twofold. It is to celebrate the artistic output of Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and that of the Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and to provide a gathering place for artists from these regions. Despite this emphasis, however, the festival does not present a visage of a unified arts field in these nations but celebrates the differences and diversities present from culture to culture across the regions.
Neither is performance art neglected. Creative artists of all types are welcome at the annual 14 day event. Although the emphasis is on Nordic and Baltic art, international artists are also represented each year at the festival.
The Bergen International Festival is the foremost arts event of its kind in Norway, yet ticket prices remain reasonable enough that whole families can attend without fear of going over their annual holiday budget. Tourists from destinations around the globe escape the summer heat in their own regions by attending this celebration of art and music in the cooler climate of Bergen, Norway.