‘File sharers to blame for expensive festivals’

Music fans in Norway will have to shell out more than ever before for festival tickets this summer, with one organizer blaming file sharing for the hefty price hike.

'File sharers to blame for expensive festivals'
Suzann Gaber (17), Marlene Chauviere (17) and Renee Forseth (18) take in Ringo Starr and His All Star Band at last summer's Norwegian Wood (Photo: Aleksander Andersen/Scanpix)

Full passes for seven major pop and rock festivals, including Norwegian Wood, Slottsfjell, Hove, Øya and Bukta, will cost an average of 198 kroner ($33) more this summer than in 2010, broadcaster NRK has found.

“Fans have themselves to thank,” said Joakim Haugland, booking manager for the Bylarm festival.

“The record industry has always said that their products cost money to produce. That’s why this summer festival-goers are paying for illegal file sharing.”

Of the eight festivals examined by NRK, only Storås has retained the same prices it charged two years ago.

Jørgen Roll, who heads up the Norwegian Wood festival in Oslo, attributed the price increase primarily to a marked rise in artists’ fees.

“We’ve been doing this for more than 20 years and the development has been explosive in that period. It has to with supply and demand,” he told NRK.

Prices for a festival pass for Norwegian Wood have shot up by almost 800 kroner since 2007.

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‘Take On Me’ tops a billion YouTube views: What makes 80s Norwegian hit so enduring?

It’s arguably the biggest success in the history of Norwegian pop, and A-ha’s 1984 pop classic ‘Take On Me’ this week reached a new milestone.

'Take On Me' tops a billion YouTube views: What makes 80s Norwegian hit so enduring?
A-Ha performing in 2015. Photo: AFP

The song combines synthpop with acoustic guitars, keyboards and drums and is indisputably the band’s signature tune and one of the most evocative pop songs of the decade.

That is complemented by a memorable music video which combined live action sequences with black-and-white pencil sketch animated overlays, in what was then an innovative technique called rotoscoping. It won six awards at the 1986 MTV Music Video Awards.

Perhaps the combination of both music and visuals has driven Take On Me into the realms of YouTube royalty. The official video, originally released in 1985, was recently restored and upgraded to 4K resolution to improve visual quality, Warner Music Norway wrote in a press statement.

In any case, A-ha now join a small list of artists with music videos that have tipped the 10-figure mark for total views on the social media website.

While South Korean rapper Psy’s 2012 hit Gangnam Style and Despacito by Luis Fonsi (2017) have famously garnered monstrous numbers of YouTube views, it’s arguably harder for songs which pre-date widespread use of the Internet to rack up those kind of figures.

Take On Me joins two Guns N’ Roses songs (November Rain, Sweet Child o’ Mine), Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody and Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit in an elite club of just five songs from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s with over a billion views.

Numb by Linkin Park was the first pre-YouTube video from the 2000s to reach a billion views.

“Obviously the video is unique and it has some features that stand up and stand the test of time,” he shared. “It’s hand drawn which makes it what it is,” A-ha guitarist Magne Furuholmen told Billboard last year.

“The song also seems to resonate with people across time. It’s just very fortunate to have such a big song in our catalogue,” Furuholmen said.

“We probably spent a few years talking it down, trying to get people to focus on new stuff we’re doing. At this point, certainly speaking for myself, I’m just surprised and proud that the song has done so well and still finds an audience,” he added.