Bergen is a weird city for DJ’s. It’s fairly small, with 270,000 inhabitants, and a city center the size of the Copenhagen Airport. But in contrast to its small size, it’s a city that facilitates musical greatness. From rather mainstream acts like Kygo and Alan Walker to club-legends Bjørn Torske, Røyksopp, and Skatebård; Bergen is a DJ’s city. Unfortunately – but obviously – the ongoing pandemic makes clubbing really hard. As of now all of the clubs and cafes are open, but there’s no guarantee that they’ll be whenever the pandemic ends. Let’s cross our fingers that they come back stronger than ever, and you’ll get the opportunity to experience these places on a new high! Meanwhile, I’m trying to stop by once in a while to leave a couple of, badly needed, kroner in the kitchen to keep the boat afloat.
Bergen, being the small city that it is, there aren’t those big couple-of-thousand-clubs. But what we miss in size, we make up for in sound and feel. I would say there are 3 main clubs to check out.
Østre (Østre skostredet 3)
Østre is a 2-floor concert-arena that host’s a huge variety of events. They have great facilities for arranging different sorts of nights, with 5m under the roof and a capacity for around 200 people. This, and Landmark, is where I’ve played the most out of any club-space in Bergen. They host the legendary electronica festival Ekko which has booked people like Nina Kraviz, Jon Hopkins, Bjarki, Legowelt, the list goes on. Østre is one of the most important venues in Bergen and a must-go for DJ’s… And, yeah, the sound system is smashing.
Pingvinen (Vaskerelven 14)
The name translates to “The Penguin”. I have no idea why, but truthfully I don’t really care; they serve really great traditional Norwegian food. A combo between a pub, bar, and restaurant, it’s one of my favorite places to eat. I like to order a huge plate of meat and potatoes with a huge beer and kickback. This is a horrible place for vegans, their best alternative might be some crackers without the cheese.
Apollon (Nygårdsgaten 2A)
Unfortunately, Bergen really lacks a scene for record-shops. Apollon is the closest you’re going to get, however they really don’t have much of dance-records outside of local releases. Either way, it’s a nice place and a proper bar in the evening. With a beer-selection that could satisfy anyone, it’s worth stopping by at both times, 2pm and 11pm, for some vinyl and beer.