Cultural Calendar: May 2023
Take a breather from studying and enjoy these free events in the month of May!
Final exams and term papers are upon us this month and next, but don’t get so caught up that you forget the world is still out there! Clearing your head can be a good thing, and May in Norway can be unforgettable!
Festivals and Celebrations
Syttende Mai 2023
Norway’s National Day is just around the bend and you will not want to miss it! Commemorating the signing of the constitution in 1814, this is an event that’s celebrated across Norway and beyond. Enjoy the rich variety of bunads representing the regions of Norway and the sight of teenagers celebrating their final semester of high school in russedrakter (jumpsuits). There will be hot dogs and ice cream, plus concerts and speeches around the city. Watch marching bands and the annual barnetog (children’s parade), and experience the throng of flags and people along Karl Johans gate. If you’re lucky, you might even get a wave from the Royal Family up at the palace!
If it all seems a bit too overwhelming and you don’t know quite what to do then SiO is organizing a 17th of may breakfast for students in Vigelandsparken where there will be great food and fun games. Find the event details here.
When: Wednesday, 17 May
Where: Various locations; see the day’s lineup here.
May 8th Open day at Akershus festning
Monday, 8th of May marks victory day all over Europe, where countries celebrate and commemorate the end of the Second World War. Therefore, Akershus fortress will open its doors to the public between 10.00-16.00. The day is also set to pay tribute to those that fought for freedom, so there will be a grand salute at 12.00 and ceremonies throughout the day. In Norway, the 8th of May is also Veteran’s Day, so some of the events shall also revolve around that.
When: Monday, 8 May, 10.00-16.00
Where: Akershus festning.
More info here.
If you enjoy balloon animals, Samba, and people-watching, you may want to head over to Grunerløkka the weekend of 13-14 May. Markveien and Thorvald Meyers gate will be closed off to traffic, and the streets will be full of people strolling! With street food and market stalls, Olaf Ryes plass is the place to go for local handicrafts. Highlights for Saturday include a free Samba dance class, a clothes exchange, and a tour of the area (in Norwegian or English). Check out the full program here.
When: Saturday, 13 May (11.00-18.00) to Sunday, 14 May (12.00-17.00)
Where: Olaf Ryes plass/Grunerløkka
Experience a celebration of solidarity and Palestinian culture on the West Bank of Akerselva, commemorating 75 years since al-Nakba. In addition to a marking in front of Stortinget, there will be an outdoor stage with music and dancing, theatrical performances at Grusomhetens Teater, and Palestinian club music late into the night. There will also be kites, face painting, and poster making for the kids! Learn more about Nakba and find updates here.
When: Saturday, 13 May, 12.00
Where: Eventyrbrua to Hausmania, Akerselva West Bank
Concerts and Nightlife Events
First of May, Worker’s Day concert
May 1st is a bank holiday here in Norway so that means pretty much everything will be closed. It’s a day made to commemorate workers rights and in honor of that a free open concert will be held in Storgata. Trond Granlund, a popular Norwegian artist who has been playing rock and folk music for 50 years will be there (check his music out here on Spotify). New up and coming band Villskudd will also be playing, they have just released a fantastic new album that they are sure to be playing (listen to their music here). Food and good vibes are also promised, all we can hope is that the weather also follows through.
When: Monday, 1 May, 16.00
Where: Folk i Storgata, Storgata
More info here.
Open Mic Night at Schous Bøker in Løkka
A small, independant, and super cosy bookstore named Schous Bøker, located in Grünerløkka, is holding an open mic night. They are inviting all creatives to give a small performance of something they’re working on whether it’s a song, a poem, or slam. All you have to do is sign up by sending an email to Post@schousboker.no. But if performing is not for you, then you are also welcome to watch and support the others.
When: Thursday, 4 May, 19.00.
Where: Schous Bøker, Schous plass 7A
Find more information here.
Free concert and DJ set-up at Tronsmo’s 50th anniversary
This May Tronsmo, a very popular and independent bookstore located in the center of Oslo will be celebrating its 50th anniversary. They will therefore be holding fun events all day long. From 12.00 to 16.00 there will be cake and jazz music, a relaxed and chill vibe. Then, in the evening and into the night, there will be a free concert where Los Plantronics will be playing (check them out here), there shall also be various DJs showing off their skills for the rest of the night.
When: Saturday, 13 May, 12.00-16.00; 20.00-00.00
Where: Tronsmo bokhandel, Universitetsgata 12.
Find more information here.
Eurovision 2023 at Chateau Neuf
Get out your glitter and ball gowns and head over to ChateauNeuf for a fabulous night of Eurovision! With a warm-up show by drag artist Salty, there will be bingo, voting, and karaoke, in addition to the Eurovision broadcast we’ve all been waiting for. This event is 18+. Find details here.
When: Saturday, 13 May, 19:00
Where: Chateau Neuf, Slemdalsveien 15. 0369
Know your city walking tours
Take a walk through the history of Oslo, courtesy of the Oslo City Museum. These free tours are perhaps best suited for those who speak some Norwegian; if you don’t, it’s a good excuse to find a friend who would be willing to slip you some translations along the way!
From slum to idyll - housing history east of Akerselva
When: Monday, 1 May, 14.30
Meeting place: Arbeidermuseet, Sagveien 28
The Palace and Karl Johan
When: Tuesday, 9 May, 18.00
Meeting place: By the Karl Johan statue in front of the Palace
Honoring those who should be honored
When: Tuesday, 16 May, 18.00
Meeting place: By the chapel in Vår Frelsers cemetery, Akersveien 33
When: Tuesday, 23 May, 18.00
Meeting place: On the lawn between Frogner Manor and Anne på landet Cafe
Food and drink in Kvadraturen
When: Tuesday, 30 May, 18.00
Meeting place: Christiania torv
Sunday Market in Ingensgate
Check out cool artsy wares for sale in Ingensgate every Sunday. From knitwear to ceramics, paintings to LP records, there’s a lot to see in this artistic alley. Make sure to enjoy the amazing street art while you’re in the neighborhood! Learn more here.
When: Every Sunday, 12.00-17.00
Where: Brenneriveien 9, Oslo, Norway
Fresh eggs, fish, artisanal honey, and more! Liven up your mealtime repertoire with an outside excursion to the farmer’s market in one of several locations this month, from Majorstuen and Grünerløkka to Lillestrom. See the full schedule here.
When: Select Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in May
Where: Various locations (see schedule above)
Need to update your wardrobe with something more seasonal? Head over to Lilleaker Bazar to check out their vintage and second-hand clothing! Enjoy a nice hike along the Lysaker river while you’re in the area. Find details about the Bazar here.
When: Saturday, 6 May, 10.00-15:00
Where: Lilleakervein 2E by Møllefossen
Giđđamárkanat // Sami Spring Market
All are welcome to browse the Sami Spring Market at Samisk Hus on Sunday, May 7! Enjoy a cup of coffee and a reindeer wrap or waffles. Browse jewelry, handmade textiles, handicrafts and more as you pay your respects to the vibrant Sami culture here in Oslo! Learn more here.
When: Sunday, 7 May, 11.00
Where: Samisk Hus, Dronningensgate 8 b, Oslo, Norway
Second Hand Market at the French School in Oslo
Nothing is more fun than strolling through a second hand market looking to find the perfect hidden gem. The French school in Oslo is hosting one on the first Sunday of May. The stalls are open to payments by both cash and Vipps (so no need to worry if you haven’t been able to get Vipps just yet!). You’ll find the French school very close to the Royal Palace so it’s perfectly located for a nice Sunday stroll before or after.
When: Sunday, 7 May, 10.00-15.00
Where: Den franske skolen, Skovveien 9
French cuisine night
For all my foodies out there, the French Institut in Oslo is holding a free event all about French cuisine and how it has influenced food in Norway. There is set to be a conference with guest Sigurd Bergflødt, a sociologist from OsloMet. This will be followed up by a fun quiz and then by Apéro (aka fancy French snacks). However, be warned that this event has limited places, so make sure to register via this link (Facebook event here).
When: Thursday, 11 May, 18.00
Where: Holtegata 29