Ask most people what comes to mind when thinking of music festivals and the answers are likely to be similar: big-name bands, big stages and a vast open space (be it field, beach or forest). While that sort of experience is obviously great, that's not the only form a music festival can, or should, take.
It's important to recognise and celebrate some of the smaller festivals that aren't always able to shout as loudly as those with bigger budgets and grander set-ups. Festivals that have their own unique charm, and portray exactly what is so great about the huge diversity in music festivals across the globe.
In our latest instalment in our Under the Radar series, we take a look at Traenafestivalen, which welcomes around three thousand special guests to journey to perhaps the most remote festival in the world.
Where's it set?
The festival is held in the municipality of Traena, Norway. These majestic, tiny islands are a boat ride away from Bodø on the northern coast of Norway. As Traena is an archipelago there is really only one way to get to the festival, by boat.
This however, does not deter music fans, as the festival runs shuttle busses to and from the festival over the four days it’s taking place. So it is actually a lot easier to get to the world’s most remote festival than you would think.
The idyllic, charming location complete with spectacular mountains, caves and lush forests treats fans to a musical experience like no other.
What’s the festivals ethos?
Traenafestivalen happens each year to prove that paradise does exist and it doesn’t necessarily have to be on a white sandy beach in the blazing sun. This festival is about appreciating and respecting all that nature has to offer.
As it takes place in one of the country’s smallest municipalities, the festival takes advantage of the astonishing natural features the island presents, turning striking caves into cathedrals, ancient Chapels into intimate concert spaces and its colourful harbor into a gathering of food, letting you eat all the fresh fish you desire.
What kind of music am I going to hear?
Although Traenafestivalen has attracted national mega stars to headline, the festival is very much dedicated to supporting local talent. Showcasing an eclectic mix of Scandinavian acts and DJs. Expect to hear folk, electronica, gypsy punk and hip-hop to name a few, all happening in the most extraordinary locations and stages.
What else will be happening?
In addition to the music, the festival has endless possibilities for extracurricular activities. As Traenafestivalen is in such a unique location, it’s only fitting that everything else should be too.
One of the more unusual activities, which you are unlikely to find at any other festival, is the kayak tours around some of the mini islands in the archipelago, making it a paddling paradise. There will also be hiking and climbing tours of the majestic mountains, yoga on the beach, stunning midnight sunsets and day trips around the 9,000 year old fishing village.
The island also hosts its very own Traena Pride Festival. Possibly one of the world’s smallest, this is a chance for festival-goers to take to the streets to celebrate the LGBQT community.
What type of people will I find there?
Traenafestivalen welcomes a range of people from every corner of the world to its shores. You will find locals, thrill seekers, scenery searchers, open minded music enthusiasts and plenty more. However, the underlying trait that most Traena-goers share is a passion for the outdoors.