Bukta – a summer festival
Bukta is a rock festival in Telegrafbukta, a beautiful outdoor area and beach at the southern tip of Trømsøya Island. The festival opens in mid-July, during that lovely, light summer holiday period, and runs from Thursday to Saturday. The best bands in Norway come here to play, along with international musicians, and it's extremely popular.
Northern Norwegian and international musicians at Bukta
Motörhead, Iggy Pop and Patti Smith from the USA, Kent and The Cardigans from Sweden, Thin Lizzy from Ireland, Biffy Clyro from Scotland and The Pretty Things from England are only some of the international artists that have played at Bukta over the last decade or so. The big Norwegian names like Kaizers Orchestra, CC Cowboys and Monica Heldal have also visited Bukta, but what makes Bukta so special is that the musicians of Northern Norway are so well represented here. Sivert Høyem, Violet Road, Mari Boine, Hekla Stålstrenga and Senjahopen are among the big Northern Norwegian names that have appeared here in recent years. New bands on their way up also get to try out, since the powers behind Bukta are deeply rooted in the Northern Norwegian music scene and want to promote as much good Northern Norwegian music as possible.
The Bukta atmosphere
The Tromsø summer is full of surprises. One year, the festival is bathed in the midnight sun, and people are swimming by the beach. The next year, a north-west wind hurls ice-cold air across the festival arena, and the thermal underwear and polar gloves come out. Tromsø locals are used to piling on the layers and getting on with things. The audience is predominantly made up of people from Tromsø, but plenty of people also travel from elsewhere in Northern Norway. In other words, it's a great opportunity to meet people from all over Northern Norway.
Beer and seafood at Bukta
A festival held in the city that's home to the northernmost brewery in the world is, quite simply, not going to serve Heineken. Mack is the word here, and the brewery has even brewed a special Bukta beer for the occasion. You can also buy regular Mack and an assortment of the brewery's other beers too. Fesk og potedes is the festival's version of fish'n'chips, and wraps of Matjes herring, sushi, Arctic burgers and several types of whale are also served – seafood is the festival's culinary hallmark. A drying rack is also erected, where you can get free dried fish.
Bukta for everyone, Bukta in the city
On Saturday afternoon, everyone is invited to a free, alcohol-free event in Bukta. This gives families, young people who aren't old enough to be allowed in, and anyone else who can't normally go to the festival the chance to sample the festival atmosphere. Bukta also finds its way to the city centre, 2 km north of the festival site. When the last encores have been played in Bukta, and the chilly night air has descended, the hardier students gather at Studenthus to have the afterparty to end all afterparties.
Getting to Bukta
In the quiet summer season it's relatively easy to find accommodation in Tromsø during the festival, and the airline companies have numerous special offers on tickets. Bukta has its own website bursting with information about this year's programme. The tourist office Visit Tromsø also has plenty of information about attractions, activities, accommodation and food in Tromsø outside the festival.