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Updated: Jun 13, 2022

Sunday, June 12th will be remembered as an important day for many people in the town Notodden, Norway - and the many people who worked with the Notodden Blues Festival over the years.

Photo: Per Ole Hagen

See the Bluestown Rising documentary on the Norwegian national broadcaster NRK - but please note that viewing is limited to Norway and certain other geographic areas:

But everyone can learn more about the documentary, the story, the people and the place here

The Bluestown Rising Pitch

The wheels of industry grind to a halt in 1987. The factories in this isolated Norwegian town of Notodden close overnight, leaving nothing. From the dust, young women and men create a Blues Festival that now 30 years later is one of the best in the World.

The kids were 18 and 19 years old back then. Working the blazing furnaces at the ironworks under chimneys spewing dark brown smoke over town - dirty smoke that meant money, the townspeople always said. In the evenings they listened to music and they played music. Music always walked hand in hand with the workingmen in this town. Work hard, play hard, party hard, making music.

But the search for profits by the factory owners causes them to close the factories almost overnight. In 1987, in this town of 12,000, one thousand people are thrown out of work. The smoke disappeared, as did jobs and money. It was a devastating blow to the town, the region, and the country

This is the story of Notodden, the town that would not give up.

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