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Published 2024-06-20

VG-Lista – a success with legacy

On Friday 21 June, VG will host one of its most unique branding initiatives, a tradition since 1998 – VG-Lista – Scandinavia’s largest, free outdoor concert. 

Photo: Kenneth Sporsheim

Vjollca Moazzem has been working with VG-Lista since 2012, but the concept dates back to the beginning of VG. It started out as VG’s own list of the top hit songs in Norway; every Wednesday, the newspaper showed the album hits, and on Fridays, the top singles. 

“In that way, it’s a national treasure. VG has access to the most played, most loved music in Norway throughout the decades,” Vjollca says. 

Then, in 1998, VG decided to nurture the list’s potential for branding and commercial purposes and hosted the first-ever VG-Lista concert – a free, outdoor concert in the city center of Oslo, on the square in front of the town hall. Since then, the concert has exploded in popularity and size. In recent years, as many as 50,000 people have gathered in front of the town hall to enjoy live music from top artists like this year’s Matoma, Marcus & Martinius, Arif and Delara. 

“I don’t think people really understand that producing large commercial campaigns is something so many brands do, but what you give people through VG-Lista is an experience they share with people they care about – it’s so much more,” says Vjollca. 

Produced together with partners

From 2000-2022 VG-Lista was hosted in cooperation with NRK. Last year, VG partnered with Bauer Media to co-host the concert. Bauer’s radio channel distributes VG-Lista Top 40 every Saturday.  The other partner since last year is TikTok as a channel for viewing the concert, it is distributed live on VG-TV and on VG’s own TikTok account. 

“This production is unique in a way – it’s shown both in horizontal and vertical formats. When the concert starts, there is one horizontal and one vertical screen in the TV bus, ensuring the streaming fits both formats.”

Having TikTok as a partner and using vertical formats are, of course, aimed at the prime audience for VG-Lista in the last years – young people. 

“The most important initiative VG does to reach young people – is VG-Lista. We realised in the last few years that it has become sort of a youth festival, and so we book artists to fit that. It’s super important for us that we are not only able to reach young viewers but that their hearts and minds are also in it.”

At the finish line

Vjollca is grateful to VG who sees the value and is willing to invest heavily in the project. Having worked with the concert for twelve years, she often gets the same reaction when she tells people a large part of her job is hosting VG-Lista: 

“There is something about it that stays etched in people’s minds and hearts. People always say: ‘Oh, I love VG-Lista, I was there when I was 15-16.’ It becomes an important memory from their youth.”

On Friday, they raise the stage in front of Oslo City Hall for the 26th time, and Vjollca admits that after having worked with VG-Lista for so many years, it feels emotional every time they reach the finish line: 

“So many people work so hard for so long, and when you’re down there in front of the stage, looking at everything you’ve worked for happen live, you’re just completely exhausted. But then you see 50,000 people start jumping to the music, and there is not one person in the crowd who’s not smiling… I don’t know if everyone understands how special it is that VG is able to give that experience to people.”