FREE FESTIVAL: Thanks To, Among Others, Our Main Partners DNB, Equinor And Bergens Tidende, The Bergen International Festival Was Able To Offer This Year's Digital Festival Completely Free Of Charge To A Worldwide Audience. Here From A Concert Recording On Lysøen Island With Amalie Stalheim. Photo: Thor Brødreskift.

Loyal main partners

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June 18, 2020

The festival's three main partners, DNB, Equinor and Bergens Tidende, have all maintained their support for the Bergen International Festival even in the exceptional year of 2020.

When the coronavirus caused lockdown in large sections of society in March, cultural life faced an uncertain future, as did both the festival and sponsorship market. On Tuesday, April 7, the government introduced a ban on cultural events until June 15, and on the same day, the Bergen International Festival announced its plans for an alternative programme. One month later, the Festival was ready to launch its digital festival. The festival was free to view, and by the festival's final day, the total number of audience views were tallied at more than 500,000 initiated streams across 116 different countries, and 126,000 viewers on NRK2.

‘To a large extent, we achieved this thanks to loyal supporters such as our main partners’, says festival director Anders Beyer.

DNB, a sponsor since the beginning

DNB and the Bergen International Festival share a long history, as DNB sponsored the festival in its very first year in 1953. Since then, the collaboration has continued, and the corona year of 2020 has been no exception.

‘DNB wants to be a good partner, even in difficult times. When the corona crisis happened, it was a swift decision to stand by our partner, even though the festival took on a different form than what was initially planned. We want to commend the Bergen International Festival for, in a short period of time and under unpredictable and difficult circumstances, having managed to complete a great digital festival, says Ingrid Gjøstein, senior adviser for sales and marketing activities at DNB.

30 years with Equinor

The Bergen International Festival's sponsorship collaboration with Equinor is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, and for Equinor, being a long-term partner is important.

‘Equinor and the Bergen International Festival have had a good collaboration for many years. It was really great that this year's festival was carried out, and that we, as a partner, could contribute to an even larger audience getting to experience the music and events, while simultaneously giving artists and cultural assignments during a difficult time’, says head of sponsorship at Equinor, Cathrine Instebø.

The festival and Equinor’s collaboration focuses on the talent program Heroes of Tomorrow, which creates arenas for young talents through, among other things, the Festival Youth Performance.

Culture is important for the people of Bergen and Bergens Tidende

Bergens Tidende has also sponsored the Bergen International Festival for many years, and one of the reasons why, is that cultural offers in Bergen are of great significance to the people who live here.

‘Bergens Tidende has for many years been a proud sponsor and collaboration partner with the Bergen International Festival, and it was only natural to also be present during a special year. BT wanted to be a good partner and supporter to the Bergen International Festival through a challenging and demanding period. We think the Bergen International Festival made a formidable job of turning things around to create a digital festival, and are very pleased that we got to share some of the content with our readers at, says general manager of Bergens Tidende, Mari-Marthe Aamold.  

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