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ARENA

The festival uses many different venues, but mostly churches. The churches are the region's most beautiful buildings, and many have excellent acoustics. The region's large number of Steinway concert grands amazes many. But the two cultural centers are also in use: Lofoten Culture Center in Svolvær and Meiriet Culture Center in Lekenes. Galleries and museums are also used, and when the weather permits, God's free nature. 

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BUKSNES CHURCH,
GRAV VALLEY

This bright and beautiful wooden church was built to mark the liberation in 1905, and is therefore in a dragon's head style inspired by stave churches. The architect was Karl Norum, and the church has around 600 seats. Who made the altarpiece is unknown. The organ was built by Ryde & Berg in 1998.

For many years, we have had this church as a permanent venue for the final concert. The church got its first Steinway in 2007, a C model, but changed in 2018 to a beautifulmodel D in red mahogany. 

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Borge church

Borge church is located on a hill in Bøstad, and was inaugurated in 1987. Architect: Knut Gjernes. The church is a so-called working church, where the church itself has 350 seats, and the adjoining parish hall a further 300. The altarpiece is a binding by Else Marie Jakobsen. Organ: Tyde and Berg.

In 2009, the church received a first classSteinway model D as a gift from Lofoten Sparebank. 

Below the church is Lofotr, the Viking museum, one of the region's most visited tourist attractions.

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Vågan Church - Lofoten Cathedral, Kabelvåg
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The Lofoten Cathedral was completed in 1898, replacing a church from 1799 that had become too small. This church stands today in the north of Værøy. The Lofoten Cathedral holds a total of 1,200 people.

It is the region's largest church and the largest wooden building north of Trondheim. It was built to house the many fishermen who flocked to the Lofoten fishery in the winter. The architect was Carl J. Bergstrøm, and it was built as a cruciform church in timber. The altarpiece is by Fritz Jensen. The organ was built by Olsen & Jorgensen. The church has a large collection of portraits of clergy from many centuries. The oldest is from 1534. 

The church was the subject of an extensive restoration in the years 2008-2010. When the restoration was finished, money was collected very quickly for a new oneSteinway D. It was inaugurated during the festival that same summer. 

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Stamsund church

This church is built in concrete and was inaugurated on 13 July 1937 and has 500 seats. The architect was Sigmun Brenne, and it was kept in a modern, functionalist style. 

The altarpiece is by Andreas Nilsskog and shows Jesus' last meal with the disciples. 
The church was renovated on the outside in 2018, and the interior renovation is now on its way. 

The organ was built by J.H. Jørgensen in Oslo for the inauguration. 

After many years of fundraising, this church also got its ownSteinway Din 2012. The collection was led by the then chairman of the parish council, Robert Solberg, and the dedication took place on his birthday on 21 December. 

Vågan church, most often called the Lofoten Cathedral. Photographed in beautiful winter light. The Lofoten Cathedral is one of Norway's largest wooden churches.

Lofoten Cathedral 18.1.24. Photo: Peder Pedersen

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Svolvær church

Svolvær church was inaugurated on 25 April 1934, and was designed by Harald Sund. Medieval long church was the model. It is built in concrete and has 400 seats. Before that time, it was Vågan church (the Lofoten Cathedral) that was the parish church, and Svolvær town was without one. But the town wanted its own church, and it was financed by private funds. 

The organ was bought used from Fagerborg Church in Oslo, and has been the subject of many repairs. It broke down in 2017, and they are now in the process of getting a new one. 

Here, too, oneSteinway D which is owned by the festival, and it came to the church in 2019. 

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Lofoten Culture House, Svolvær

Had Lofoten Kulturhus opened on 2 January 2007, it would have simultaneously marked 100 years of cultural center history in the Lofoten capital. Instead, it was opened on 9 May 2009; then it has been 102 years since Festiviteten was put into use.

Calling Festiviteten a cultural center is perhaps a stretch, but it served as the town's main hall from 1907 until the house burned down in the early 60s. After that time, local cultural life has led a tumultuous existence, to say the least.

The Festiviteten was both a cinema and an assembly hall, and was replaced on the cinema side when Svolvær Filmteater got its beautiful premises adjacent to the town hall in 1938. In the period from the Festiviteten burning down until Svolvær got its new main hall in the Svolvær primary and secondary school's auditorium in 1970, the town was without some fixed scene. The cinema had very limited stage space, and some revues were shown here, and it was also used for various larger meetings.

At the end of the 80s, the cinema scene was expanded, and Svolvær Byteater, among others, has used the stage and a number of theater performances have been arranged for children. Most importantly, the cinema has nevertheless been a meeting place during this period.

Both Svolvær Church and the Lofoten Cathedral have been used as concert venues, and in recent years Våganhallen has functioned as the city's big stage after fire restrictions limited the use of Svolvær school's auditorium. A few cultural events have also taken place in King Øystein's hall in Kabelvåg. The picture also includes the two music houses in Svolvær and Kabelvåg, which have also provided space for a number of different events.

The pubs in Svolvær and Kabelvåg have also had important functions in cultural life. Kabelvåg Hospits, the Hotel in Svolvær and in recent years Bacalao, Præstengbrygga and Anker Brygge have hosted hundreds of concerts, and in Kabelvåg the Arbeidern's stage has been an important meeting place.

Lofoten Kulturhus holds 700, and has a large hall and a much smaller black box. The house has been the festival's good partner since its opening in 2009, and from 2023 is even more central as we have our base there and hold most of the rehearsals in the two halls. The house has two large concert grand pianos. TheirSteinway D came to Lofoten already two years before the cultural center was finished, and then stood for 2 years in the Lofoten Cathedral. The others are a very Petrof, a full 10 cm larger than the Steinway. It stood in the primary and secondary school, which was demolished in 2010, and which, after a thorough renovation, works excellently as the house's "workhorse". 

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From a concert in the cultural center July 2023: Quatour Èbéne and the Engegård Quartet in Mendelssohn's octet.

Meiriet Kultursenter

The Meieriet Kultursenter in Leknes was inaugurated in 2017, and it is, as the name suggests, it is the old dairy that was the starting point for the building. The cultural center then got a large hall with space for around 350, and a black box which is white for the occasion. It holds about 100. 

It is a center for the institutionalized cultural activities in the municipality, and in addition to the cultural center also houses the cultural school, the cinema and the library. The main hall is also a cinema hall. There is also a restaurant and a gallery in the building.

The center received its concert grand piano for the official opening, a restored oneSteinway D from the Berliner Philharmoniker themselves. 

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