I’m preparing lots of music for a trip next week to the Lofoten Islands of Norway, inside the Arctic Circle. Their summer festival of chamber music is already established as a rather special event in the calendar, and their new winter festival is an intriguing experiment in which I am one of the guinea pigs scheduled to run about in the dark. I’ve been told that the scenery is spectacular, so I’m hoping that daylight will now and then reveal it.
In dealing with the organisers, who actually live on the islands, I’ve been struck by their high level of promptness and efficiency. Whenever I ask a question, they ping right back with the answer, even outside of office hours and on weekends. I’ve now dealt with administrators, hotel owners, and local journalists. All have been models of competence and friendliness. It’s all so different from my usual experience of dealing with big festivals, and makes me realise once more that small is beautiful.