Credit: Rena Song Fest 204

While you might think the summer season has no Eurovision-related events, artists and songwriters have already started working hard on preparing potential songs for next year’s edition of the contest. In fact, a songwriting camp has recently taken place in Rena, Norway. Here’s everything you need to know about Rena Song Fest 2024.

Among the attendees at this year’s songwriting camp was Lasse Midtsian Nymann, one of the Norwegian songwriters of Nemo’s Eurovision 2024 winning song, “The Code.” Stig Karlsen, Norway’s Head of Delegation for Eurovision from NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation) was also present. Additionally, the camp includes the former Latvian Eurovision representatives, Citi Zēni, along with other previous Melodi Grand Prix contestants.

Lasse Midtsian Nymann at Rena Song Fest 2024

What happens at a songwriting camp?

The songwriting camp consists of seminars, lectures, and short courses open to everyone, conducted in both English and Norwegian. Participants learn about songwriting, rights, the music industry, and, of course, the Eurovision Song Contest and the secrets of success in the competition. During the Rena Song Fest, there were 37 established and temporary studios, all centrally located in Rena at The Woods studio complex and Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences.

Rena Song Fest is open to everyone, welcoming established professionals, semi-professionals, and newcomers. The camp forms groups of 3-5 people, ensuring that each group includes an artist or vocalist. These groups work together to write a new song each day, and the best songs are presented in plenary sessions in the main hall of Åmot Cultural Centre. The groups change daily, giving everyone the opportunity to interact with a large number of participants.

Rena Song Fest 2024 – Crew

Rena Song Fest 2024

Rena Song Fest is already renowned in the music industry, thanks to the participation of a large volunteer effort. Among its partners are Åmot Municipality, Innlandet County Municipality, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, the Norwegian Music Publishers Association, TONO (the Norwegian collective management organization), NOPA (the Norwegian Society of Composers and Lyricists), DanMusikk, and Broadcast.

Rena Song Fest is organised by the Norwegian music companies The Woods, daWorks, BYRÅ, and Song Farm. The team is led by Rena Song Fest’s Camp Manager, Carl-Henrik Wahl, who wrote and produced Subwoolfer’s “Give That Wolf A Banana,” and Jørn Dalchow, who has over 30 years of experience with MGP/ESC and has been responsible for four participants in the international final. These companies are among the most experienced organisers of songwriting camps in Scandinavia, also behind the annual Out of the Woods and MGP camps in Rena, Song Farm in Sweden, and Bad Manors in England.

The aim of the songwriting camp

From Thursday 27 to Sunday 30 June, over 150 songwriters and artists from 32 nations gathered in Rena, Norway, for Rena Song Fest 2024 — a songwriting camp so large it transforms into a mini-festival. The main aim is to compose at least 100 new pop songs for the Eurovision Song Contest, build networks, and enhance participants’ knowledge and skills. This aim was reached, with participants creating an impressive 106 new songs.

The ultimate goal for the songs created at this songwriting camp is to be featured in as many national selections as possible for Eurovision 2025.

Lasse Midtsian Nymann at Rena Song Fest 2024

A little interview with Emmy from MGP 2021

Among the numerous past Melodi Grand Prix contestants present in Rena was Emmy, who participated in MGP 2021 with “Witch Woods.” With the great help of volunteer Marcel Schicken, we managed to send some questions to her:

Can you give us a little background on why you decided to take part?

I have been to camps at The Woods, and it was at the Woods that “Witch Woods” was made! So when I saw they were gonna have a Eurovision camp, and the biggest camp in the world, I thought wow, that would be kinda cool! And I love Eurovision!!

Marcel and Emmy at Rena Song Fest 2024

 

What expectations did you have before arriving at Rena Song Fest 2024?

I was very excited for how the camp would look like, what songs would be made, who would be there, and a lot more!  

Does the camp meet your expectations? How do you find this experience?

It definitely has met my expectations, and goes beyond them as well! The people here are so talented and nice, and fun to work with, and the way they have managed to arrange the biggest camp ever is just so impressive!

What type of song would you like to hear in your National Selection? Was this camp useful to craft that type of song?

I would like a song that just feels magicly good. This camp has absolutely been a place where people have made magically good songs, I’m so so impressed over the quality of songs.

Who are some of the most inspirational people you met there?

All the people I’ve worked with have been inspiring in their own way! It was cool and inspiring to see how the Band Citi Zeni from Latvia make their songs!!

Would you like to enter the Rena Song Fest next year again?

I would absolutely like to enter again if they would have me! It has been such an interesting and educational weekend! 

How the volunteers feel about the camp

Besides the huge number of artists and songwriters present at the Rena songwriting camp, there are also volunteers helping with all the organizational details. Marcel Schicken from Germany shared his own experience as a volunteer at the camp:

“I’m very happy that I joined the camp as a volunteer, which was actually an amazing recommendation from Elsie Bay to find out how a songwriting camp works. The whole crew behind Rena Song Fest is amazing and I felt very welcome the whole time, also Sara who was here working with me as a volunteer in the camp. The joy coming from all musicians on site is incredible! I will enter Rena Song Fest 2025 again, maybe even as a songwriter. And I can recommend all musicians who would not just love to go to Eurovision, but also meet many creative and talented singers, songwriters & producers to join the Rena Song Fest 2025. You will love it!”

Sara Törnqvist and Marcel Schicken – Rena Song Fest 2024 volunteers

 

What do you think? Is the songwriting camp a good idea? What sort of songs would you like to hear in the national selections? Let us know in the comments below.

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Jose
Jose
5 days ago

Ehhhh. Prefer self-penned music. Or music done locally. These camps are 90% filler songs that we’ve heard before. And these songs get passed around to countries to buy for ESC. Georgia, Malta,Azerbaijan, Cyprus, and some other smaller countries will buy any generic song for their artist.

Anonymous91
Anonymous91
12 days ago

Kontopoulos teaming up with Elsie Bay!!!!!!!!

amazing, greece’s next entry, maybe for a Katerine Duska comeback or for Josephine

Rena Song Fest the best thing invented ever! the more english songs, the better

Sun
Sun
13 days ago

This same idea was started last year 2023 by RTVE with the name “Composition Camp”, a camp for composers to create songs for the Benidorm Fest.

Jake
Jake
12 days ago
Reply to  Sun

What songs from BF23 came from the camp?