Birgitte Mandelid is head of programming and marketing at the Øya Festival, where she started as a volunteer in the artist department almost twenty years ago. The festival was founded in 1999 and celebrate 20 years this year. Since 2004 Birgitte has been a member of the festival’s booking team, the last few years with responsibility for the electronic stage and some of the foreign artists and bands playing the other stages.
– Congratulations with 20 years! Will there be another 20?
– I’d say! I don’t want to think about how old I’m going to be then, but Øya is a lasting concept that I’m sure some of the qualified youngsters on our team will bring into the future in the best way possible.
– What are you looking forward to this year?
– I’m beyond excited to see Erykah Badu, she’s been my dream booking since I started here, but since that’s a somewhat obvious choice, I’d rather to use this space on ELIZA. Not only is her singing amazing (just check out some of the videos on her instagram @elizalovechild), she has a super-tight band and great stage presence to boot. She was easily the best thing I saw at Eurosonic this year, heck, even the soundcheck was top level great. Laidback and bass heavy neo-soul is never wrong.
– Where would you recommend to eat?
– Hitchhiker seems to have something to my taste on their menu every year, but I’m going to try to sample as many as I can. Some of the city’s best restaurants are at Øya, it’s smart to take advantage of that.
– What landmarks should international gruest see in Oslo?
– The Botanical Garden right next to the festival site! It’s a beautiful place for a stroll or a picnic, a place to enjoy some peace and quiet between gigs. It’s also worth mentioning that the festival wristband gives free access to the neighboring Munch Museum and their final exhibition before they move next year.