About urkultA festival for all peope
THOUSANDS OF YEARS LATER
THE FIRES ARE ONCE AGAIN LIT
Urkult are welcoming new and old friends to Näsåker, where the festival of which goal always have been to create cultural meeting across borders, in a spirit of peace, love, inclusion and mutual agreement.
Together we build bridges and take down walls to the beat of the music lit up by the magic moonlight. High above the mighty old river, sounds from different parts of the world, the same time as theatre, fun activities and poetry sets the imagination in motion. This is a family festival where the little ones can join in, play and have fun in their own way.
From the warmth of the open fires, wrapped around the friendly atmosphere, spices from the food around, we will enjoy the music, the festvial spirit and a feeling of togetherness in a mythical place where people have come together since thousands of years back. And now we invite you to join..
Photo Gurra Tell
Urkult is a festival for all people, a meeting place and a source for inspiration
Photo Per-Johan Nylund
A FOLK FEST FOR ALL AGES
Urkult is a music festival that focuses on folk and world music, with a broad sense of the concepts. The festival program also includes courses, workshops, theaters for children, poetry slam and other activities. It could be anything from an international circus group to a knitting collective. Our ambition is that there always be something to enjoy for everybody even though nobody may like everything.
The musical numbers may be mostly unknown to many of us which makes for many unexpected and delightful discoveries.
Urkult has throughout the years turned into a family friendly festival as well as a meeting point for old friends which we are thrilled to see. We feel that it is a place where people feel safe and included.
The childrens festival has it’s own area by the local Folklore Museum and the Blue Circus Tent. There is also an area that we call ”Urspel” inside the festival area. It is made of playful constructions and is a great place for children and parents to be together.
NIGHT OF FIRE
The Night of Fire is Urkults inauguration ceremony and takes place during Thursday. The show can contain everything from dance to acrobatics to poetry and music in an artsy composition that always orbit around the element fire.
The Night of Fire looks different every year. We invite different acts that get complete artistic freedom to create something utterly unique. Urkult and especially The Night of Fire is known to create a unique atmosphere that attracts visitors every year and keeps them coming the following years to join together in joy and communion by Nämforsen, a place where people have gathered for thousands of years. Read more on our Night of Fire page.
Photo Gurra Tell
Urkults three principles
The local perspective
Urkults operation is based on voluntary effort from local associations and private individuals who we could not make this festival without. Material is acquired in the local area as far as possible and Urkult supports and helps its food vendors with finding local farmers. Local craftsmen are the first to be offered a place at our festival market.
The international perspective
The festivals musical stamp has its roots in the international perspective where music from different parts of the world are intermixed with traditional and modern influences. The festival has contributed to the musical world in that it has been a meeting point for many musicians that have inspired and influenced each other.
The solidarity perspective
Our ambition is to see the festival through in solidarity with nature and people. Everything sold inside the festival area and on the market street is organic, fair and locally produced as far as possible. The festivals waste is recycled in the best possible way and our work with equality, acceptance and inclucivity should permeate the entirety.
Urkult keeps reasonable sound levels (max 98 dbA measured during one concert) and the festival has become known for all the kids with earmuffs. You can find the Solidarity Square inside the festival area where organisations and associations market their operations.
FROM IDEA TO FOLK FEST
The idea to create a festival was born in the cultural association Botatons’s kitchen in Undrom where Ken Day – who worked with artists from all over the world – and Maria Telje – who helped organize local cultural events – often had coffee together. After visiting the festival area in Näsåker, invited by friends, it was clear that it was the perfect place to host the festival.
In 1995 they arranged the Folkfest by Nämforsen through the non-profit association Urkult. The intention was to arrange a festival the way they themselves would want it. It had to be organic, beautiful and of high quality. ”If we arrange something the way we want it then there is probably many others who would want it the same way.” And that’s how it went, even if none of them knew how huge of a project had just been started.
It was not economically successful to begin with. The festival cost more money than it made and the board had to invest their own money and with the help of support-contributions from regional cultural interestors – the festival could keep going and keep expanding.
Throughout the years we have been nominated and awarded prices in a range of different categories. It has been for our environmental work – that especially during the 90s was unique – for excellent hosting and for best festival in its genre – and we have been ranked internationally.
Every year Swedish Radio P2 records a number of concerts that are broadcasted throughout the year. Swedish Television has recorded and broadcast two hours of the festival in the TV-program ”Concert of the week”.
The non-profit association Urkult operated the festival that came to be Urkult during 10 years time. Then they decided to form the company Urkult Framtid I Sollefteå AB. The companies mission was to organize the festival. Urkult was operated as a community company which meant that the non-profit association owned the company and that there was no profit interest.
The organisation is completely dependent on people who take on great responsibilities in different areas of the festival and work with their own area-budgets. Since Näsåker is a small community most of what is needed for the festival has to be re-built every year when around ten thousand people visit the area. Hundreds of volunteers help make the festival.
At the office in Näsåker there is only a handful of employees that work to coordinate, plan and administer the festival.
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