The project, a brainchild of Romania's ARTmania Festival, Norway's Inferno Metal Festival & Music Conference and Midgardsblot Festival, was not just a series of concerts but a movement. It brought together artists, music enthusiasts, and cultural entrepreneurs from Norway and Romania. This fusion was a celebration of music and a deep dive into cultural exchange and artistic innovation.
This partnership is not just about music; it's a cultural odyssey. It reflects our commitment to bridge the artistic worlds of Romania and Norway, creating a mosaic of sounds and stories that resonate with every heart. Codruta Vulcu, Director and Founder of ARTmania Festival
Asgard meets Transylvania
The project's legacy lies in its ability to have forged connections between artists and the thousands who share a love for the metal genre. It was a journey that started with the idea to transform music into a medium for cultural exchange and professional growth.
As the festivals unfolded, they became more than stages for performances. They transformed into hubs of cultural interaction, where Romanian and Norwegian artists collaborated, learned, and created.
Beyond the mosh pit
Each festival served as a chapter in this narrative of cultural fusion, nurturing and showcasing the rich tapestry of rock-metal music and contemporary art.
This bilateral collaboration established a foundation for long-term partnerships, knowledge transfer, and cultural enrichment. It celebrated diversity and creativity, illustrating how music can be a powerful tool for unity and understanding.
As Runa Lunde Strindin, Founder, Owner and Artistic Director at the Midgardsblot Festival in Norway explains, “if you develop a collaboration like this, you get new ideas and find new artists and promote more artists. The basic funding allows you to bring artists from Romania to Norway and vice versa – who otherwise might not do it.”
Besides the actual cultural exchange where we take our music to Norway, and bring Norwegian acts to Romania, we also have a partnership on exchanging information and exchanging knowledge. Codruta Vulcu, Director and Founder of ARTmania Festival
“Within the overall commitment of the RO-CULTURE Programme, we are happy to say that the 'Musical Bridges' project has significantly contributed to diversifying the cultural offer for both the Romanian and the Norwegian public. The collaboration between the three metal festivals is a living proof that the opportunity for bilateral partnerships facilitated by the EEA Grants has been seized to the fullest”, says Bogdan Trîmbaciu, director of the Project Management Unit – Ministry of Culture Romania (Programme Operator).
The impact of this project extended beyond the live music experience. It was about building a sustainable cultural ecosystem, nurturing talent, and supporting cultural entrepreneurship. This enriched the music scene and consequently contributed to the socio-economic fabric of the communities involved, creating new jobs and enhancing professional skills.
When it comes to concrete results, these festivals achieved remarkable success in attendance, online impact, and a diverse array of concerts and activities, underlining their cultural significance.
Our cultural projects are even more about experiences and emotions, about a strong sense of well-being and togetherness. In the end, that is exactly what culture is all about. Monica Vasincu, communication officer for RO-CULTURE Programme
The ARTmania Festival 2023 in Romania spanned over three days with a line-up that included famed bands like Porcupine Tree and Emperor. Meanwhile, Norway's Inferno Metal Festival & Music Conference and Midgardsblot Festival drew in a combined audience of nearly 20,000 metal enthusiasts. These events transcended music, offering an array of 21 artistic and historical experiences, including museum tours and captivating installations. With six vibrant stages and the support of numerous partners, these festivals were not just concerts but a rendezvous of art, history, and storytelling, leaving an indelible mark on the 280,000 people reached online.
I consider it extremely important, in a world that’s becoming increasingly polarized that we can have cultural collaboration and get to know the other country’s distinctive cultural expression. It’s a crucial antidote to the whole “us versus them” mentality. Runa Lunde Strindin, Founder, Owner and Artistic Director at the Midgardsblot Festival in Norway
The 'Musical Bridges Through Cultural Entrepreneurship' project is a cultural initiative financed within the RO-CULTURE Programme, which aims to strengthen social and economic development through cultural cooperation, entrepreneurship, and heritage management. The programme targets two main outcomes: firstly, the improved management of cultural heritage through the restoration and revitalisation of monuments, support for cultural exhibitions, and the revival of Roma heritage; and secondly, increased access to culture by promoting cultural entrepreneurship, expanding audience reach, and developing Roma cultural initiatives.
The programme also plays a crucial role in fostering international cultural cooperation between Romania and the Donor States Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway, covering both cultural heritage and contemporary arts. The collaboration between the Romanian festival ARTmania and the Norwegian festivals Inferno and Midgardsblot under this project is a testament to the programme's commitment to bridging cultural gaps and enhancing mutual understanding through the arts.
“Since 2018, the RO-CULTURE Programme, financed through the EEA Grants, has been a strong supporter of culture in Romania. When you add up the figures and find that, so far, over 460,000 people have rejoiced close to 250 cultural events, now that’s a feeling like no other! Because, behind all the Programme numbers and indicators, our cultural projects are even more about experiences and emotions, about a strong sense of well-being and togetherness. In the end, that is exactly what culture is all about!”, says Monica Vasincu, communication officer for RO-CULTURE Programme.
Discover more about the fascinating world of "Musical Bridges through Cultural Entrepreneurship" and the opportunities offered by the EEA and Norway Grants here: https://www.ro-cultura.ro/en