The best way to have a good life in Trondheim is to make connections. So why not make them while having fun? Finn Fram Fest 2023 is a free festival where you can discover all the hobbies Trondheim has to offer. This article was written in partnership with Trondheim Kommune.
One of life’s greatest pleasures is to sit on your couch and watch TV. But… it can be a bit isolating. And this goes doubly true for those of us new to Trondheim.
However, here’s the good news: the solution doesn’t have to be to cancel your subscription and throw your sofa out of the window in a dramatic fashion. No, it’s simply to find an activity you can sprinkle throughout your life as you see fit. But where to begin…
The easiest place to get started
“After the pandemic, we saw a lot of leisure activities were fading away and many people were losing touch with their hobbies,” says Elisabeth Trøan Johansen. “So we wanted to gather people together and try to create a festival with all the activities you could find in Trondheim.”
Elisabeth works for the Trondheim municipality and she and her colleagues did just that. In 2022, they threw a huge festival along with Idrettsrådet i Trondheim and Trøndelag Idrettskrets where over 80 different cultural, sports, and volunteering groups presented the opportunities the city has to offer. And luckily enough, they’re doing it again this year.
“Last year was a tremendous success and all the exhibitors who joined us said ‘Oh, this should be done every year!’ So we went for it again,” says Elisabeth.
The festival is called Finn Fram Fest and takes place on April 16th from 12:00-16:00 at Trondheim Spektrum. The doors open at noon and it’s completely free. So you can just show up and browse all the hobbies Trondheim has to offer — which range from e-sports and traditional folk dancing to flying model planes and roller derby — all under one roof.
Who’s it for?
This all sounds terrific… but isn’t this just all for kids? “One of the most popular activities we had last year was racing remote-controlled cars, and the age of the ‘children’ was up to 68 I think,” says Elisabeth and laughs.
Tanja Plasil, Elisabeth’s colleague, agrees. “There is a lot of focus on children, but there’s also plenty of things for students, young professionals, and older people. Organisations like salsa dancing and brass bands are there that are great for adults.”
Tanja also says the event will be perfect for people of all ages who want to discover their niche by getting a true feel for an activity. “Great thing about Finn Fram Fest is that you don’t have to google everything. And the benefit of Norway is no one will immediately go ‘Come here!’ — they’ll just leave you in peace and you can wander and browse at your own pace” says Tanja.
She also says there are tons of other ways to engage with hobbies, for example volunteering for youth theatre productions and sports — as these activities wouldn’t take place if it wasn’t for volunteers.
But wait, am I just supposed to give my time away for free?
Volunteering isn’t a chore
“Focusing on not getting paid is the wrong way about it,” says Tanja. “There’s so much value in volunteering and it can lead to great friendships and opportunities.” And Tanja really knows what she’s talking about.
Originally from Austria, she moved to Trondheim to live with her partner who was working at NTNU. To integrate into the community Tanja started volunteering right away. For her, it’s an uplifting way to grow your network in Trondheim and acquire local references for your CV. “One thing is for sure, I wouldn’t have the job I have today if I hadn’t volunteered.”
Trondheim won the bid to become the European Volunteering Capital in 2023, so there will be a particular focus on humanitarian organisations during Finn Fram Fest this year — in addition to the incredible variety of other hobby activities.
So to make the nights you do decide to snuggle up at home more enjoyable — as well as your life in Trondheim in general — see what opportunities for connections there out there. You won’t regret it.