Nikolai André Toverud, one of the organisers of Midtsommerfest, told Norway's Dagbladet newspaper that he wanted to remove the incentive for festival-goers to turn up at the gates already drunk.
“In many places, the routine is that the audience is shit-faced when they arrive,” he said. “We want to level it out, so that people actually get something out of the festival, and we can better control our audience.”
Norway is well known for its high alcohol prices, with the website pintprice.com rating a pint in Oslo the most expensive in Europe at a steep $10.43.
The Midtsommerfest festival will sell beer at at $4 a pint, less than half the Oslo norm, and slightly lower even than the average in the UK.
The festival organisers say that the $4 price is just enough to recoup the cost of buying the beer, explaining that it sees selling beer as nothing more than a way to enhance the audience’s experience.
The Blue Cross, a Norwegian Christian temperance movement, told the newspaper that it did not support Midtsommerfest's plan.
”Festivals with an alcohol licence have a responsibility to ensure that people are not drunk when they enter and to avoid serving drunk people,” Sten Magne Berglund, Chief Advisor of the group said.