Blues in Norway
Today one can hear live Blues as easily in Europe as in the US.
Norway, in contrast to it’s small population, has a large and well organized blues scene, producing more and more internationally recognized Blues Stars such as Knut Reiersrud, Kid Andersen and Bjørn Berge. Norway has at least 200
active Blues Bands, and Blues-related music is one of most popular forms of live
music played in Norwegian venues today.
Norwegian Blues Union
Norwegian blues clubs across Norway banded together to form the Norwegian Blues Union (NBU) in 1997, and today has 60 members. There are between 30 and 40 Blues Festivals in Norway as well, including The Notodden Blues Festival, which is one of Europe’s largest.
This vital Norwegian Blues environment is stimulated and encouraged by the Norwegian Blues Union and Blues News.
An active organization
The NBU is an organization of blues clubs and international festivals. There are also several blues-related venues and other participants in the blues environment affiliated as associate members.
The NBU aims to create and facilitate an active and prolific environment for blues in Norway. NBU wants to increase awareness of the blues and related genres in Norway through arranging concerts and academic presentions.
The NBU was created in 1997 by enthusiasts in the Norwegian blues environment. At its inception it consisted of 23 NBU Blues Clubs. Since that time there has been an enormous growth in the organized blues milieu, and today The NBU can claim more than 60 blues clubs and festivals. Taken together, this represents approximately 7.000 people.
Award Winning Membership Mag
The Blues News is the leading journal for Blues and Blues-related music in Norway, with a circulation of approximately 9,000. The magazine has a close relationship with the NBU, and is mailed to each of the NBU’s 7000 members. It is published five times a year and sold in Norway at Narvesen.
In 2013, The Blues News received the prestigious “Keeping the Blues Alive” award from the American Blues Foundation.
Blues News contains interviews, portraits, historical pieces, festival reviews, concert reviews, CD reviews, and the individual members of the NBU have their permanent sites where you can read about their activities and concerts. There is also a listing of Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish Blues Bands. The magazine showcases what is happening in Norway, but also features international events through it’s contributing columnists in Sweden, Denmark, and England.
Union Blues Cup
The Norwegian Blues Union organizes an annual band contest, the Union Blues Cup, which aims to recruit new talent for Norwegian blues scene. Since 1998 the Union Blues Cup has steadily gained in recognition, and is the NBU’s most important investment project.
The Union Blues Cup is organized each year with the cooperation of clubs, festivals and regional outlets around Norway. The local winners go directly to the finals at The Notodden Blues Festival in early August.
Blues in Norway