July 10th began in Førde (Norway) with a free breakfast for all the town’s residents and visitors alike, provided by Førde Folk Music Festival. Normally, it is held outdoors, but the threat of rain led the organizers to locate the event in the skybridge of a downtown shopping center. The breakfast included the famous and tasty svele (thick Norwegian pancakes).
At 11 a.m. one of the most popular festival traditions took place. Every year,Førde Folk Music Festival’s performers take part in a colorful parade along Førde’s river bank.
The mayor of the city and the director of the festival lead the international parade, which honors the artists and their diverse cultures. Some of the performers participate on foot, while others ride in horse-drawn wagons. In 2010, the parade was led by the spectacular brass sound of Boban i Marko Markovic Orkestar (who would perform outdoors later in the day). At the end of the parade, the Dhoad Gypsies of Rajasthan entertained the large audience with music, dancing and fire breathing.
“It’s a very colorful event,” said World Music Central’s Angel Romero. “Even though it drizzled earlier in the day, the rain was pretty much gone and thousands of people turned out to see the parade.
It was as family event, with children, parents and grandparents. as the parade approached, you could hear the loud brass sounds of the great Serbian band Boban i Marko Markovic Orkestar. They were followed by a series of wagons and musicians on foot organized by country, with performers on fiddles, guitars, percussion and various other instruments.
At the end of the parade, the Dhoad Gypsies of Rajasthan entertained children and grownups alike with eye-catching street performance that included a fire-breathing fakir and spirited music and dancing.”
One of the main musical events of the day was the outdoor concert at 3 p.m. by Boban i Marko Markovic Orkestar, by the river. The Serbian musicians presented a powerful attention-grabbing performance, demonstrating that they are one of the leading brass bands from the Balkans.
Throughout the afternoon there were concerts by Orquesta Chékara Flamenca, a collaboration between Poland’s Kroke and Norway’s Tindra, Talent 2010 (featuring young musicians from various countries) and Palestinian singer Amal Murkus.
At 8 p.m. the Folkemusikkgala took place at Idrettshallen, Førdehuset, with musicians that did not perform in the opening concert.
The gala had a similar format as the opening concert. Performers included the colorful Dhoad Gypsies of Rajasthan (India), the fiddle brilliance of Frigg (Finland/Norway), the music of the South American plains performed by Cimarron (Colombia), the fiddle-organ collaboration between Annbjørg Lien & Bjørn Ole Rasch (Norway), the sensational accordion masters who are known as The Samurai, the best of contemporary Swedish folk with Väsen (Sweden), Indian dance troupe Jyotsna Shourie’s Dance Centre (India), young musicians from the Talent 2010 project (Norway/Brazil/Cape Verde). The event was hosted by Tove Karoline Knutsen and Ola Bremnes.
All photos by Angel Romero