August is that really nice bit of summer, isn’t it? The news business gently succumbs to “silly season,” where benign stories about, like, penguins doing something cute on a Cape Town beach make headlines because politicians are too busy on their family holidays to keep fucking the world up as aggressively as normal. Ice cream becomes a legitimate meal, at any time of day. You get your legs out, and look down at your bare arms thinking, ‘yeah you know what? I love these things. I almost forgot what they’d looked like under direct sunlight for the past eight months.’
Haha who am I kidding, I live in England where August often is about nine hot days scattered at random and a lot of trying to find even one bum-width’s worth of space in a public park when one of those days lands. So maybe this year say ‘fuck it all’ and go to Oslo? Idk, just a thought. There are fewer people there than in London, so maybe the park's will have more to offer. But more importantly, the Norwegian capital’s Øya Festival will be on from Tuesday 7 to Saturday 11 August, and has pulled together a line-up so strong that January's classic ‘post-holiday hell’ makes me want to open up a Google Flights search tab immediately.
Some of the names confirmed so far include: Patti Smith, Superorganism, J Hus, Noname, Sleaford Mods, Jorja Smith, SASSY 009, Arcade Fire, Brockhampton and Wolf Alice, rounded off by headliners Arctic Monkeys, Kendrick Lamar and Lykke Li so far. As in previous years, the festival's pulled together a mixed and hugely talented group (as long as Arcade Fire steer clear of that last album, let's be real), but one that still feels cohesive. In the current era of single tracks trumping all, and a resultant fractured music landscape, that's not an easy accomplishment. And even though August isn't exactly a sizzling month of non-stop 30-degree days in Oslo either, that list of names is more than enough of a pull.
Øya Festival runs from 7 to 11 August in Oslo's Tøyen Park; get tickets here.