Norway’s independent pop music awards Alarm, close down day after seven years of existence. Alarm quickly became an important event in Norwegian music, and the demise of these awards certainly leaves a chasm in the Norwegian musical calendar.
When Alarm was first initiated back in 2001, it was first of all as an alternative to the established Norwegian music industry awards Spellemanssprisen. Alarm was to be a democratic and independent award focused on new talent, with the main Alarm prize annually awarded to an artist or band in the making. And very quickly the new event was embraced by the Norwegian music scene and the media. The attitude and profile of Alarm was very much in synch with the music scene itself, and a better indication of zeitgeist than most awards tend to be. So Alarm soon became an important event while still retaining its alternative flair, which was not lest due to the fact that the whole operation was based on volunteer work and that the awards stayed well clear of government money. -Or failed to receive public funding, as would be the opposite perspective. This fact was in many ways Alarm’s force, because in Norway most things are publically funded, and independence is therefore a rarity. Yet it was the same fact that finally brought Alarm to its knees. For when times get tougher, like they are right now, only public money can sustain something Alarm in a country like Norway. So in a way Alarm’s greatest advantage, also became their demise, It is a sad thing, and the cultural landscape has certainly been bereft of a major attraction and an important event. But on the other hand, Alarm wanted to call it a day while they were still on top, which is admirable in a business where so many take the opposite stance. And when the time is right, Alarm will most likely reappear on the musical firmament, for it is already missed.