Following the almost complete write-off of 2020, festivals are continuing to be forced to rejig, reorganise and reconfigure their concerts this year due to ongoing restrictions. The 2021 Borealis festival in Bergen, Norway, has just been announced, and whereas last year it managed to take place just about normally before large-scale lockdowns began, this year it’s scaled back physically in parallel with a generous digital presentation.
Running from 17-21 March, the line-up is typically diverse and interdisciplinary, featuring among others, new audiovisual works from Ruth Bakke & Anne Marthe Dyvi and Marshall Trammell, a dance-infused piece by Nikima Jagudajev, alongside performances by Andreas Borregaard and Sarah Hennies, and a concert by BIT20 devoted to music by Raven Chacon. The number of works involving visual elements, though hardly unusual for Borealis, is also due in part to the festival’s determination to tailor the online experience and thereby “combat streaming fatigue and adapt the artistic content so it resonates through the screen as well.” Under the bold strapline, “Live&Online, Safe&Weird, Home&Away, Kind&Wild”, it certainly promises to be an eclectic and unpredictable experience, whether real or virtual.
For those who are able to get to Bergen, there’s a limited number of tickets available for each event. For the rest of us, Borealis will be streaming online, and everything will be free of charge. Full details can be found on the Borealis website.