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Opens Bodø as European Capital of Culture

You invite us all to create rich and beautiful communities - at a time when coming together is more important than ever," said the Queen as she opened Bodø as the European Capital of Culture in 2024.


Between 12,000 and 15,000 residents of Bodø gathered at the harbor to witness the grand opening ceremony, which included dance, song, orchestral music, theater, joik by the artist Ella Marie, light shows, and fireworks.

The grand opening ceremony in the harbor of Bodø. Photo: Jan Langhaug / NTB


Royal Patron

Bodø has been chosen by the EU to be the Cultural Capital in 2024, and the Queen is the royal patron for Bodø 2024.

"Think that Norway is once again the host country for a European Capital of Culture - and think that it happens here in Bodø and in Nordland! It is impressive," said the Queen in the opening speech at the Stormen Concert Hall. She added that all this might not have been realized without the distinctive nature of the people of Northern Norway. 

Bodø as a European cultural city is the largest cultural project in Northern Norway ever, and over 1,000 events will be organized in both Bodø and the entire region throughout the year.

Les Dronningens åpningstale

First North of the Arctic Circle

Bodø - located at 67 degrees north - is the first European Capital of Culture north of the Arctic Circle. The harsh climate became even tougher due to the storm named 'Ingunn,' which has blown with both gale-force winds and hurricanes in recent days. Many were therefore anxious about whether the grand outdoor opening ceremony could take place, and the storm subsided just in time.

People's celebration during the opening of Bodø 2024. Photo: Jan Langhaug / NTB.

The Sami culture is represented through a Sami cultural week and in the general cultural program. The Queen attended the Árran360° film screening in the morning and saw one of the films featured during the Sami cultural week. Árran360 is the world's largest lavvu, ten meters high, with a film screen along the entire inner wall, showcasing films that combine indigenous stories and innovative film technology. Árran means fireplace - a place where stories are told.

The Queen was present during the Árran360° film screening. Árran means fireplace - a place where stories are told. Photo: Jan Langhaug / NTB.

The European Capital of Culture Project

The Capital of Culture is an EU program that has existed since 1985. The very first Capital of Culture was held in Athens, and the purpose is to bring Europe's population together. Previously, Bergen (2000) and Stavanger (2008) have been European Capitals of Culture. This year, there are three cities as European Capitals of Culture: Bodø, Tartu in Estonia, and Bad Ischl in Austria.


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