Address: Edvard Griegs Plass 1, 5015 Bergen
Telephone: (+47) 55 21 61 00
Fax: (+47) 55 21 61 99
Ticket sales & programme information:
Exceptions: 21. May–4. June
Telephone: (+47) 55 21 61 50
Seating plan: Griegsalen, Peer Gynt-salen and Klokkeklang has unnumbered seats.
Edvard Grieg had plans to open a concert hall in a wooden building in Engen as early as 1894. The open area, which at the time was a large parade ground, was ideal building land, but it was allocated to the DNS theatre. Work was started on the current Grieghallen in 1968, and it was opened ten years later. The concert hall seats 1434 and the stage is one thousand square metres in area. The building also contains the Peer Gynt Hall with 600 seats, a television studio, two 800 square metre audience foyers, offices and sales outlets.
Grieghallen was designed by the Danish architect Knud Munk. Its shape reminded people of a grand piano with a bouquet on the lid. The building process dragged on, as full financing was a problem. For a couple of years the performance area was an empty shell, which gave rise to enthusiastically sarcastic comments. The entire project was described as ‘a concrete monster – a gigantic bunker’. One Oslo newspaper proclaimed Grieghallen to be the symbol of Bergen’s megalomania.
During the opening of Grieghallen the Bergen International Festival presented an event on the grandest scale up to that time: a marathon performance of Grieg compositions, starting at 1 pm and lasting until 11 pm. As many as 15 000 people took the opportunity to view the new concert hall. The work performed to celebrate the opening was Harald Sæverud’s Overtura Monumentale. Although the opening performance was a huge success, news coverage the following day highlighted the audience exit. As crowds thronged to leave the hall, the steps began to sway. One member of the audience described it as ‘like walking on the deck of a ship in high seas’. There was no danger at any time, but for audience comfort measures were taken to avoid a recurrence.
Griegsalen: Tickets for wheelchair spaces should be bought in advance by contacting the Grieghallen ticket office (55 21 61 50). There are a restricted number of permanent wheelchair spaces at events with numbered tickets.
Peer Gynt and Klokkeklang: Most events have unnumbered tickets, so special tickets are not required for wheelchair users.
Griegsalen: wheelchair lift from ground floor foyer to upper floor
Peer Gynt: passenger lift from ground floor to upper floor
Klokkeklang: passenger lift from ground floor to lower floor
Griegsalen: near entrance A, ground floor
Peer Gynt: near lift in upper floor foyer
Klokkeklang: near entrance A on upper floor
Facilities for reduced hearing
Griegsalen: infra-red sound distribution; receivers available by main entrance, ask security.
Peer Gynt and Klokkeklang: no facilities available.
Transport and parking
Cars may be driven on to the Grieghallen forecourt to drop off and fetch mobility impaired passengers. Parking in Grieg Garage under Grieghallen; occasionally long queues after performances. Also in the multi-storey car park above Bergen Storsenter. Some street parking in the vicinity.