Erlend Øye has a penchant for appearing in untoward places strumming his guitar – from abandoned roof tops and busy trams to wind swept ferries and late night campfires – even sometimes taking to a stage, and in a little over a week he can be found playing on the opening night of the sold-out festival Into The Great Wide Open on Vlieland.
It seems this island in the northern Netherlands is one of the places he keeps being drawn back to, with this being his third consecutive year at the festival. Last year he performed with the Kings of Convenience and in 2010 he played with his band The Whitest Boy Alive (recently seen at Lowlands) and, although he hasn’t had so many scheduled solo dates this year so far, he makes an exception for ITGWO – a festival of which he is a big fan it seems.
Øye, hailing from Bergen in Norway, will open the festival on Thursday 6 September 2012, when he hosts the new stage Vuurboetstuin, located next to the lighthouse, and where at his request he will also be joined by Icelandic reggae band Hjálmar (hands up who saw them playing in Groningen last week?). Anyone reading this who is lucky enough to be heading to the festival but won’t be there on the Thursday, never fear! You might also get chance to see him at one of his impromptu campfire sessions or maybe you’ll be woken to the sound of him playing outside your tent? He has promised the ITGWO organisers that he will play wherever he gets the urge over the course of the few days, so you never know where you might catch him!
So yes, independent of what delights the festival goers might be treated to, we can also give ourselves a treat and take a moment to take in some soundtracks of his troubadour wanderings in these videos. (The Amsterdam one really makes me smile. Keep watching till the end; I love the way he keeps playing, even when the policeman gets in on the picture.)
Into The Great Wide Open, happening from 6 to 9 September, is an event surrounded by nature where music is central but there are also visual arts, film and much more. Watch this space for the other couple of previews of Nordic-related niceness happening at the festival which are bound to delight your musical and visual taste buds.