Due to take place on Thursday 6 November at Edinburgh’s Voodoo Rooms venue, the night will aim to bring the two music scenes together and encourage closer cooperation between musicians, promoters, labels and media from both countries.
“There are two very striking aspects to the Norwegian music scene,” says Born To Be Wide co-founder, Olaf Furniss. “The first is the sheer diversity of excellent acts, and the second is that lots of people love Scottish bands. In Oslo they were raving about Twilight Sad and The Fence Collective months before they started to attract attention in Scotland.”
The seminar will highlight hot Nowegian artists and what support is available for local promoters who book them, as well describing some Norway’s most exciting festivals and explaining how Scottish bands can get gigs playing to their Nordic cousins.
It’s participants include Runar Eggesvik, the booker for Scandinavia’s largest showcase event, by:Larm, as well as leading music journalist Harald Fossberg from the Aftenposten newspaper. They will be joined by Oslo venue-owner Per Nordahl, Music Export Norway’s UK manager, Jonas Vebner and Eva Vasbotten Lous, from Norwegian Embassy.
Furniss has a long-standing connection to Norway, where he has covered several music festivals for The Scotsman, BBC Radio 4, Music Week and Record Of The Day, as well as planning seminars for Bylarm. Last year he and Nordahl organised a band exchange between goNorth and Oslo’s Øya Festival club night.
“I’ve been wanting to host a Norwegian night for a long time,” he says. “[Consul] Mona had come along to Born To Be Wide a couple of times, so I invited her to DJ. When I heard that Runar and Harald were going to be in Scotland, I thought ‘why not make a night of it?’”
For Lous the collaboration will be the continuation of the embassy’s commitment to support UK promoters and journalists interested in all areas of Norwegian music.
“The Born To Be Wide night will provide an excellent opportunity to develop closer ties with the Scottish music scene,” she says.
After the Born To Be Wide seminar, the evening will continue with Røhne, Nordahl, Vebner and Fossberg each playing a selection of their favourite records, although Furniss points out that in addition to recordings by The Smiths/Morrissey and Joy Division, one other act will be barred.
“For one night only we will also have a ban on Aha, but if anybody feels the need to play death metal, singer songwriters or even jazz, that’s fine by me,” he says.