dark season blues 2014

Dsb2014blogpost Abovelongyearbyen 1, Nicholas Orloff

Valley of Longyeardalen, Svalbard.

Last week I visited the tiny Arctic settlement of Longyearbyen. The town of about 2,000 people is the largest settlement in Svalbard, a Norwegian territory. It so happens that this place is the northernmost human settlement on Earth, just 1,300 km short of the North Pole. So what could possibly interest an event photographer to spend a week in sub-zero temperatures in a tiny town wedged between a glacier and frozen ocean?

Well, plenty…like this:

Nicholasorloff Dsb14blog Pristine 2, Nicholas Orloff

Things are much more colourful indoors…

And this:

Nicholasorloff Dsb14blog Thorbjornrisager 1, Nicholas Orloff

…and louder…

And this:

Nicholasorloff Dsb14blog Grainneduffy 1, Nicholas Orloff

It’s called Dark Season Blues, and it’s been going for 14 years. The festival is held during the last week Longyearbyen sees sunlight before it slips into the polar night for four months.

The festival showcases diverse blues artists from around the world who play in an eclectic group of venues, such as:

Nicholasorloff Dsb14blog Maryannespolarrigg 2, Nicholas Orloff

Mary-Anne’s Polar Rigg: miners’ barracks turned into hotel and spa

Dsb2014blogpost Mine3 1, Nicholas Orloff

Mine #3: mining ceased here in 1996.

Nicholasorloff Dsb14blog Church 2, Nicholas Orloff

Svalbard church hosted the last event of the festival–gospel.

The festival was a great time for locals and visitors alike:

Nicholasorloff Dsb14blog Havingfun 5, Nicholas Orloff Nicholasorloff Dsb14blog Havingfun 3, Nicholas Orloff Nicholasorloff Dsb14blog Havingfun 2, Nicholas Orloff


It’s a great excuse for one last night out, before for four months…it’ll always be night.

Nicholasorloff Dsb14blog Lastnightb4night Kroa 1, Nicholas Orloff

Kroa restaurant

To see photos from the concerts, visit my Dark Season Blues 2014 gallery.