So you’re a student and you have no money. Well, you’re in Norway, so you have less than no money. Okay, maybe you have a little money. What do you do to entertain yourself? We talked about some options for this at the beginning of the semester, but I’d like to delve into detail on one option today, Bergen’s own folk music club, the Columbi Egg. On selected Mondays (generally) Columbi Egg hosts acoustic folk musicians. Musicians are both international and Norwegian. Their site is in Norwegian, get your translators ready!
Why you should check it out if you love folk music:
- The host, Gabriel Fliflet, is delightfully enthusiastic about the music. You can see it in his face even if you don’t understand his Norwegian (or rather, any Norwegian). He usually sits down after intermission and leads the audience in, what I assume is a traditional Norwegian folk song on the accordion. Fantastic! (I shared the video of the folk song in a past blog, but here it is again in case you missed it).
- Enjoy not only more standard folk music performances, but also slightly unexpected ones such as Tango for 3, a recent performance at the Egg. Tango for 3, a Norwegian tango quartet, was Norway ‘s first pure tango ensemble, established in 1986. Their performance was amazing fun, and I truly recommend checking them out if you have the slightest curiosity about them. You can even listen to them for free on Spotify or play some of their tunes while checking out their website.
- Get a chance to potentially talk to the performers, and they are so close you could reach out and touch them (but don’t, though, that would be considered rude in Norway – and most places).
Why you should check it out if you don’t care about folk music:
- It is inexpensive. For most shows student tickets are only nok 50! You might be convinced as I was.
- Surround yourself with Norwegians, they show up 🙂
- Practice your languages: Norwegian is likely to be spoken, English may be spoken, especially by visiting musicians, and at the last performance I attended, even German was spoken.
- Or, you could just grab a glass of wine at the wine bar directly next to where the Egg performances occur and try to listen in (this will probably cost you more than the ticket to the show).
What you should know:
- It might be confusing to find if you’ve never been there before. The performance is in a room within the Augustin Hotel (22 C. Sundts Gate). The room is tucked away near the Altona wine bar also located in Augustin Hotel. It appears to be a hotel meeting room or a small banquet hall. A giant line of people may give it away. You can enter the hotel from either the C. Sundts Gate or the street behind. If you cannot figure out where the Egg is, ask at the wine bar or the front desk!
- These performances are popular. It can be crowded. I’d recommend getting there early, probably at least 30 minutes early. I’ve yet to get there early enough to get a good seat!
- Remember your student ID
Coming up tomorrow:
Gjertruds sigøynerorkester, six Norwegians and a Hungarian, specializing in European gyspy music of Hungary, Romania and Russia, and Kristoffer Kleiveland a great accordionist, will play a concert this Saturday.
Doors at 19. Concert starts at 19:30. Dancing from 21 till midnight.
Gimle, Kong Oscars gate 18, Bergen. Entrance from Øvre Korskirkeallmenning.
Tickets are a bit more for this one, nok 250 general public 200 for students
For more upcoming shows, click this link. Most shows on Mondays at the Egg are nok 50. You can also check Columbi Egg’s Facebook page for upcoming events.
Speaking of cheap things
Want to try to win free tickets? Student Bergen holds a weekly drawing for cinema tickets and sometimes also other events. They hold a drawing every Friday. Try your luck, and save some nok!
Also, stay tuned next week, when I attempt to get myself to the art museum for free!
Do you have a fun low-cost or free activity that you’d like to share with us or that you want me to write about? Please comment below.