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Events and Festivals in Tromso

BuktafestivalenEverything from beer to reindeer racing, midnight sun marathons and rock music on the beach, Tromso has plenty to offer when it comes to events and festivals.

Every month of the year there is something going on for every age and taste, from traditional music festivals in all genres to the downright bizarre.


Music and Film

Tromso have brought many well known artists and bands to the world, and the city’s festival scene reflects the variety of music and arts that goes on here.



The annual Tromso International Film Festival (TIFF) is the largest film festival in Norway.  This year the festival celebrates its 20th anniversary with documentary, short and long films from around the world. Read our guide to TIFF.



Tromso hosts many music festivals every year, ranging from jazz and rock, to classical and electronica. There is something to suit everyone.


Bukta Open Air Festival is arranged every year in July, and is a rock festival true to its genre. Staged on the town beach, artists such as Iggy and the Stooges, Ray Davies, Patti Smith and Kaiser Chiefs have played to the crowds and the midnight sun in this stunning location.


The Northern Lights Festival which takes place in Tromso between 28th January and 9th February started out as a classical music festival, but has since evolved to include a wide range of music.


The festival prides itself on giving up and coming artists a stage to perform and have had many well known musicians such as Jan Garbarek, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Grace Kelly performing at the festival.


There are also many other music festivals in Tromso worth mentioning, including the techno and electronica festival, Insomnia (external site) (October), the Barents Jazz festival (external site) (November), and the Dognvill (external site) rock and pop festival (August).



ReinsdyrkjoringReindeer Racing

Most medium sized cities have a couple of decent music festivals, but very few have an annual reindeer race through the main street – Tromso has both.


Every year during the first weekend of February Tromso hosts the annual Reindeer Racing Championships – which is, in case you’re not an avid follower of this sport - someone on skis holding on for bare life to a reindeer running at up to 60km/hr.


This event was listed as number one in the Lonely Planet Best of Travel 2009 Christmas Crackers – and it is understandable as it is a very spectator friendly sport.


Watch videos from previous year's races.


February is also an excellent time to visit Tromso in search of the northern lights.


The Midnight Sun Marathon

If you’re the sporty type, you will be hard pressed to find a more exotic marathon than the Tromso Midnight Sun Marathon in June.


The race starts in the evening; the course takes you along the coast and the fjords and ends up in the main street around midnight, depending on physical ability.


It is a magical experience running at night, accompanied by the reddish midnight sun and the soft sea breeze. Highly recommended.


The Tromso Annual Beer Festival

If running 26 miles isn’t your thing, sampling some of the beers produced in the northernmost brewery in the world might sound more tempting.


Every year in August, the local brewery Mack hosts the annual beer festival. Not quite Oktoberfest perhaps, but definitely worth a trip to Tromso.


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