Set amongst the beautiful back drop of Middelalderparken, or Medieval Park, in Oslo, Øya Festival is one of Norway’s largest outdoor music festivals. The park is a magical place, set on the shores of Oslo’s main fjord and holds the ruins of a medieval castle and yet is just a short walk from the city centre.

The festival hosts more than 200 bands on four stages, over four days, and your ticket includes access to clubs on the festival site on the day before the bands start. There is no camping available in the park, but the nearby Ekeberg Camping site is an option recommended by the festival’s organisers. Thon Hotels are also recommended, as they offer a discounted rate for Øya Festival goers.

The festival features UK, US and Canadian bands, as well as bands native to Norway. A full festival line-up for 2011 is not yet available, but there have been some great bands already announced. There’s something for everyone, with highlights of the festival so far including post-rockers Explosions in the Sky, Canadian melodic hardcore merchants Comeback Kid, Seattle Sub Pop folk band Fleet Foxes and Bring Me the Horizon, UK metalcore upstarts.

Øya is also known for being one of Europe’s most environmentally friendly festivals, having recently been awarded the title of “Greenest Festival in Europe” at the European Festival Awards 2010. The festival runs its stages on hydro-electric power, all rubbish from the event is sorted and recycled and almost all of the food stalls serve organic, locally sourced and produced foods.

Øya Festival runs from 9th until 13th August 2011 at the Medieval Park, Oslo. A five-day festival ticket will cost you 1940 kroner (which is roughly £210) plus tax.

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