Alternatives to the traditional outdoor arena are now being sought, while Voldsløkka will so far be the only large arena in Oslo that can seat up to 50,000 people – but only twice a year.
This was demonstrated at a meeting of the Oslo City Council Culture and Education Committee on Wednesday afternoon. There, the city’s advisor for culture, sports, and volunteering, Omar Sami Gamal, was aware that the focus was now on finding alternative areas to Valley Hoffen.
“In the long term, we are now in the process with city and culture authorities — and as we are in dialogue with the concert organizers themselves — to find other areas that can replace the challenging capabilities at Valle Hovin,” Jamal said.
Valle Hovin will reopen for big concerts
Both city council groups of Conservatives and Liberals throughout the year have called for a clear answer as to whether Valle Hovin could also be a larger concert arena after the rehabilitation of the venerable skatepark.
This time it was Halsten Bjerke of the Liberal Party who asked the question. Bjercke said he was “deeply pissed off” when he read in VG that Justin Bieber was going to Trondheim, not Oslo. Welcome Bieber to Trondheim Moreover, said Bjerke, but was concerned that Oslo should also have the opportunity to arrange this kind of major concert.
Painful doubt about Valle Hovin as a concert arena
To this, the Cultural Council responded that they “recently received comments from Oslobygg regarding an assessment of whether Valle Hovin could be used for the concert arena.”
– Their calculations show that there are certain limitations because the track surface will not bear the load that can occur when more people approach the surface there, and the challenge here is when you jump, when many jump in time. There are technical reactions, Jamal said, adding that the situation is difficult.
The city council can say that a final assessment in the form of a report is around the corner.
Previously, technical limitations were also that it was planned to build a roof over the new Valle Hovin.
“Since the last time a major concert was held in Valle Hovin, there has been a development in the area, among other things, several hundred new apartments have been built in the immediate vicinity. This, combined with the fact that a roof can be built over the facility, may make The facility is not suitable for future concerts, ” City Councilor Omar Sami Jamal wrote For the Liberal Party city council group in August this year.
The end of the festival as we know it?
It’s a golden age of big concerts in Oslo that ends with the destruction of Valle Hoeven. The world’s greatest artists have delighted their audience on the former concrete deck of Valle Hoffen for three decades; Bruce Springsteen has played there a full seven times, the Rolling Stones five times.
U2 has visited Valle Hovin three times, as have Tina Turner, Pink Floyd, AC/DC, and Metallica, while Michael Jackson, Guns N’Roses, and Madonna have two concerts here. Not to forget Prince, Paul McCartney, Dire Straits and Iron Maiden.
At the same time, Omar Sami Gamal confirmed in a Wednesday interview that there will be two weekends in Foldsluka in 2022, and that he wants Foldsluka as a permanent concert venue. Restrictions relating to residents across the region mean, however, that use of Voldsløkka is limited to two summer weekends per year.
The city council said – I’ve given signals in the short term – and informed the committee about this earlier – that two events will be arranged for Voldsløkka, also in 2023, and we aim for a permanent solution.
Group leader Anne Habeth Rigg of the Conservative City Council group describes it as “very poor planning” as Vale Hoffen will now likely be canceled for future big concerts.
– This has been a very special arena for several decades, and Oslo cannot call itself a cultural city without a large arena for this type of concert. Oslo is building a challenging cultural capital with the new Deichmanske, Munch Museum, National Museum and Opera already in place. Then there should also be venue for venues that can host big concerts somewhere other than Voldsløkka twice a year, Haabeth Rygg believes.
She adds that the last words have not been said, and that they have not given up completely yet.
– Now we will turn carefully to the report that the city council is referring to to see what can be achieved without significant negative consequences for the rehabilitation of the ice rink, says Ann Habeth Rigg.
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