Two of electronic music’s greatest meet in Oslo, Norway in August, when French electro pioneer Jean Michel Jarre meets the young duo Röyksopp for a spectacular outdoor concert event at an old fortress.
For the first time ever, Jean Michel Jarre will perform as part of a multi-artist music festival, however it is not a normal festival that will take place at the Akershus Fortress in Oslo on August 28th. When concert promotor Atomic Soul, who had arranged for Jarre to play indoors in Oslo in 2008 and 2009, learned that Jarre was on the road again in 2010, they decided to go bigger than the two previous concerts, by producing an outdoor concert at an unusual location, and also by creating an entire festival around Jarre’s performance. While the majority of his concerts in 2010 are indoor arena gigs, the concert concept has been designed to be allowed to be performed outdoors. The promotor took the opportunity, and not only did they get permission to use the old fortress as a concert venue (the first time in the fortress’ history), but they also secured renowned Norwegian electronica duo Röyksopp as the second billing for what will become a music festival.
Two generations of electronic music will therefore meet at Akershus Fortress in August. In addition, two other acts – synthpop bands The New Wine and The Very Best – are confirmed, with more bands possibly being added later.
French synthesizer legend Jean Michel Jarre is currently touring Europe with his 2010 tour, which is inspired by science fiction and the novels of Arthur C. Clarke. The tour is an upgraded and improved version of his 2009 arena tour, and the Oslo outdoor gig will be even more expanded, with a fireworks display designed by Norway’s leading pyrotechnics company, Engelsrud NFI. It is also expected that Jarre will perform concerts in other continents in 2010 or 2011. At the moment, only two outdoor concerts are confirmed for 2010, of which the Oslo gig is one. Jarre has made it a habit of performing spectacular outdoor concerts at unusual locations, such as the Eiffeltower, the pyramids of Egypt, a windmill park in Denmark and the urban areas of Houston, Paris and London.
Röyksopp debuted in 2001 with the much acclaimed album Melody A.M. (the single Poor Leno sold over one million copies) and has sold an estimated two million albums. They have received the Spelleman Award (Norway’s Grammy) seven times for only three albums, and also won international awards for their videos, incuding a Best Video award from MTV. Their latest album Junior came out in March 2009.
Akershus Fortress was built in 1299 as part of a defence chain against army forces from Sweden and Denmark, as well as local warlords. The first battle at the fortress took place in 1308, but it has never been taken by enemy invaders, until it was closed down as a military fortification in the late 1800s. The fortress is still a military area with strategic significance, with war museums being open to the public.
Update: A third band is also playing, The Irrepressibles. Also featured is the Norwegian Army Staff Orchestra and Oslo Philharmonic Choir with soloists.
Written by Dag Blomberg at Planet Origo on March 25, 2010.