Government takes over boards of music festivals

The Cultural Revolution has finally made it to Norway. The Labor party’s Minister of Culture has spent the summer traversing the music festivals of the country trying to figure out which ones should receive the status as a foundation festival. This status comes with millions in government support for the festival. But that was last summer.

The minister appeared in the media last week with the other half of his plan, which would have made him a little bit less welcome on his tour last summer: He now wants to appoint one or all the board members to the festivals. The recipients are no longer too happy about their status.

The minister actually promised during a debate at one of the festivals that he wanted to drop government control over the board composition as a requirement. He lied. Go figure; that never happened before.

The naiveté of the current festival boards shows that politics are not for amateurs. This is another nail in the coffin of Norwegian philanthropy and volunteerism. These festivals are built with the sweat and tears of volunteers and people with passion, and now the festivals will wither and die while the Labor Party members get schooling and up their cool status. The volunteers lost control of their baby. This fate is not wholly undeserved as my good friend Vampus points out on her award winning political blog.

They whimpered and begged for government support, they have scorned corporate donations. They deserve this.