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We went to take something special to the North Pole, but left with an overwhelming abundance of special moments in our hearts that we will never forget. We did our best to make the city of Bodø experience a mix of the art we have to offer; stilt walkers with impeccable self-made costumes, an emotional fire show with musical elements, a body painter from the urban scene and one of the few muralists whose main medium is paper, not paint. Here is how our artists left their footprint at the Arctic circle and what we learned from this very special time in Bodø.

1. Pre-Promotion Is Crucial

First of all, it is very important to let the artists connect with the place they are going to perform at. It improves their feeling for the mood of the audience and they can adapt their show and behavior accordingly. If you allow them to feel the energy of the festival location, they will let all their inspiration flow into their art work.

Having them coming to your location a day before the festival day is also great to do a little pre-promotion of the actual event. The more unexpected, the better it works. For example: stopping public transport!

JAGO & L-ION together with 4 models painted by Cris Neves
JAGO & L-ION together with 4 models painted by Cris Neves
A little guerilla promotion on the streets of Bodø
A little guerilla promotion on the streets of Bodø

2. Encourage Interaction With Locals

The more interaction your artists have with inhabitants, the more attention your event will draw. Having fun and taking pictures with some mysterious creatures wandering in your city is ideal to create brand awareness or attract more guests for your festival. We were amazed to see how many good moments JAGO & L-ION and the models painted by Cris Neves had with the citizens of Bodø playing with children, chatting with them and distributing flyers.

JAGO & L-ION
Kids love them, parents love to take photos of them with their kids.
Bodypainting model by Cris Neves
That moment when a painted naked man hands you a flyer.
JAGO & Lion
Big stilts, big costumes, big impact.
JAGO
Finally all the jumping power work-out pays off.

3. Use Unconventional Surfaces (Skin)

Why should you promote your event on paper when you have tonsHaving a group of people painted with your festival’s logo and colors and walking in the street is another original initiative to entertain passersby and draw attention to your upcoming event. Cris Neves created some floral and colorful designs to promote “Bodø2016”, and the result is particularly beautiful:

Bodypainting by Cris Neves
Behind the scenes: bodypainting by Cris Neves
Bodypainting by Cris Neves bodø art gallery
Painting skin, not canvasses in Bodø’s Art Gallery.

4. Go for Mural Art Without Paint

Although it’s the most obvious way of creating a mural, using paint sometimes isn’t the best option. Whether you want the artwork to be temporary or you simply want something less common than graffiti, using thousands of colorful origamis is a stunning and surprising alternative. Mademoiselle Maurice took about ten hours to paste all the pieces on the wall of the Stormen Library. This dazzling fresco was definitely worth the effort.

5. Adapt to the environment: Something For The Ice Cold Night

When planning an artistic performance, the best is to always take the surroundings into account. The organizers of the festival wanted something stunning, uncommon in Norway and that would particularly adapt to the cold and dark nights of their city. This is why we came up with a creative combination of a fire show with live music that would perfectly contrast with the low temperatures and surprise the citizens. No matter what the event is, it is always important to take the atmosphere into account and come up with something creative.

6. Most important: Art From The Heart

Artists with the Book a Street Artist team
Happy group photo with all the artists

What Bodø, its people and its nature gave back to us is not easy to put into words. The highlight of it all is that we got our shared life’s dream fulfilled: to see the Northern Lights.

The Northern Lights
The Northern Lights on October 13, 2016.

The Aurora Borealis was the cherry on the cake. Here are more impressions from our trip:

Trying out the sunglasses we found in our goodie bags 🙂
Mademoiselle Maurice & Charlotte Specht from Book a Street Artist
Mademoiselle Maurice & Charlotte from Book a Street Artist
Mario Rueda & Charlotte Specht with the mayor of Bodo Ida Maria Pinnerød
Mario and Charlotte with Bodø’s mayor, Ida Maria Pinnerød
Jago & Lion with the Radisson Blu staff
The amazingly supportive Radisson Blu staff
The whole crew in speed boat gear