Nearly two years after the ‘last hurrah’ fan party – which was held during a-ha’s final weekend as a band – it’s clear that many fans are just as passionate about a-ha as they ever were.
We were not sure if there would be any interest in more official fan events after the band retired, however there have been at least a dozen fan-organized events around the world since December 2010. When we saw how high the interest was, and how quickly the community jumped on the chance to meet again last December in Oslo, we knew that with some careful planning, we could offer something even more special than ever before: a weekend devoted to a-ha and their musical legacy.
Months of planning, together with a-ha’s manager Harald Wiik, came together finally last month in Oslo. There were 800 fans from around the world attending a special program of events on September 14-16, and there is a lot to share with you from that amazing weekend! It is more than we can report in a single post, so here is an overview of each of the events, please click the links to read more and see additional photos. Enjoy!
And to those of you who have asked: yes, at this point, we have every intention of continuing the tradition in some form for as long as there is interest. So if you could not make it this time, we hope you can join us whenever the next ‘a-ha celebration’ takes place!
Photo book collection and signing
Fans who pre-ordered the a-ha photo book were able to pick it up on September 14 at Sentrum Scene, and photographer Stian Andersen was there for several hours signing books and speaking with fans.
Morten’s birthday concert
Morten performed on his birthday at Sentrum Scene in Oslo, Norway. Fans began queuing as early as 10:00am on the 13th, and there was an excited atmosphere leading up to the concert. Family and friends filled the gallery, while an international audience of fans waited eagerly on the floor level for the concert to begin.
Morten seemed very glad to be back on stage after a couple months’ break. And given that it was his birthday, the fans couldn’t let the occasion pass without an appropriate greeting:
a-ha 30th anniversary fan party
There is simply too much to say about the fan party to put into one post, so we’ve broken it down into several posts! Click the links to read more about the different things going on during the big night:
Red Cross charity collection
Fan guest book
Stella’s a-ha nail art
Capturing the celebration
It’s all about the music
a-ha fan convention
This year we held a kind of ‘mini-convention’ in which we presented four individuals who have worked closely with a-ha and on solo tours for a Q&A session that lasted nearly 90 minutes. About 500 people filled the seats at Sentrum Scene and listened to stories about the unique experiences of the guest speakers:
Erik Ljunggren & Dan Sundhordvik – backing musicians for a-ha, Morten & Magne
James Maillardet – production manager for a-ha and Morten
Harald Wiik – business manager for a-ha and Morten
People asked a lot of great questions, including how live setlists are chosen, why certain songs are released as singles, what the panelists’ most memorable concert venue was, and much more!
Before the celebration weekend, we had the thought that some fans might ask about Paul’s current projects. So we asked him for an update, which we can share here as well. Paul said he is really excited to be getting prepared to release some music very soon. He asked us to pass along his thanks to all of you for your interest in his projects. Very soon you’ll hear more, and he said he’s looking forward to connecting with everyone more online.
Morten and Stian Andersen at the Oslo Book Festival
On Saturday 15 September, Morten and Stian Andersen participated in a Q & A session as part of the Oslo Bokfestival 2012 program. The session was held at Spikersuppa, in the center of town, after the fan convention concluded at Sentrum Scene.
Following the session, Stian signed books for those who bought their copies at the Bokfestival, or missed the previous signing session.
a-ha: The Photographs Exhibition
Stian Andersen’s photo exhibition opened at Stolper + Friends in Oslo on August 30 and ran through September 23. There were special extended hours throughout the weekend for fans to visit around the other scheduled events.
Mini-Exhibition: From Bridges to Butterfly – Three decades of a-ha
The National Library of Norway collects, preserves and documents Norwegian music history. A selection of their extensive a-ha archive was presented in the exhibition From Bridges to Butterfly. Three decades of a-ha.
Note: For those who plan to visit Oslo in the future, apparently you can contact the library in advance and ask to arrange to see part of the collection during your visit, and they will try to accommodate you.
‘I Wish This Was A Song’
Apparatjik has an installation called ‘Everybody is a composer’ at the exhibition, ‘I wish this was a song’ at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Oslo, which opened on the 13th of September and runs until January 2013.
During the course of the exhibition, the security cameras mounted around the Apparatjik/Audiokolor installation are recording the movement of the visitors; this will be converted into a musical arrangement, which will be performed on December 11 by the Oslo boys’ choir Sølvguttene.
With grateful thanks
We would like to sincerely thank the fan party team for all their help in organzing the event, and for all their enthusiasm! The fan party team was:
Emma Bailey-Jones, Valerie Carannante, Stella Danker, Mary Eckert, Mags Foremka, Anne-Marie Forker, Yvonne Hendrich, Kati Klinke, Stefanie Mehrwald, Marina Meuter, Sara Oswald, Sarah Robertson, David Sowter, Yvette Suss and Gina van Haperen-Tijnagel.
Thanks also to Liane Crae for helping us out at the raffle table and to Samantha Carey for taking photos on the night.
Grateful thanks also to Harald Wiik, without whose input, advice and support this event would not have been possible; to our speakers Erik Ljunggren, Dan Sundhordvik and James Maillardet; to Stian Andersen and Press; the Sentrum Scene staff, who were nothing short of fabulous; and to all of you who supported the event in person and from afar. Keep the flame alive!
Tags: a-ha.com, Fan Parties, Norway