2007 - December 14.
Article in Rogalands Avis, Thursday December 13. 2007
Translation by Dag Sirnes:
In line for Christmas dinner
4200 are going to the Christmas gala in the same tent
By: Elisabeth Krey Jenssen and Marie von Krogh (photo)
Plates for 4,200 people are rolled into the party tent, which on Friday will be the arena for one of Norway's largest Christmas dining event.
The organizer "Julegalla Norge AS" comes to Stavanger for the first time to arrange a Christmas gala with a concert and Christmas dinner. And it happens inside a huge "party tent" of 5600 square meters which is built next to Stavanger Forum.
The Christmas gala was held in Bergen last weekend, but received a lot of negative coverage in the newspaper: "The food was cold, the sound was miserable, the queues long and the atmosphere annoyed" it was said in Bergensavisen about the event which gathered 2600 participants.
Organizer Espen Arnesen says the problems in Bergen were due to errors with the booking system, but promises that everything is under control before Friday's big party in Stavanger.
Largest in Stavanger
''Of the ten Christmas galas we arrange in Norway, Stavanger is the largest with 4200 people registered. We have full control and it will be a wonderful experience. There will be many buffets and many toilets, so there will not be much queue'', says Arnesen.
The organizers have already planned that two Christmas galas will be arranged in Stavanger next year.
"The interest has been enormous, so next year there will be two evenings," says Esspen Arnesen.
Since last Monday, workers have been working to put up the huge tent, which will contain both a concert stage, dance floor, buffets and a long table with Christmas guests.
From the stage entertain Marit Larsen, Lene Marlin, Postgirobygget, Bård Tufte Johansen and Harald Eia. Morten Abel, Bertine Zetlitz, Silje Nergaard, Lise Karlsnes - and Jo Nesbø.
Companies at Christmas dinner
"95 percent of those who come to the Christmas gala are companies that have Christmas dinners," says Arnesen.
Last night there was hectic activity with rigging the stage and stacking plates and chairs.
"This is the largest tent we have been involved in building," say the assembly leaders Krister Hell and Petter Mårtenson from the Swedish company Tent 4 Event.
60 toilets are ready for the party participants and the kitchen is brought along.
"A total of 250 people are involved in arranging the Christmas gala," says organizer Espen Arnesen.
ROLLING PLATES: Yesterday, the Belgian Peter Vitse rolled plates and equipment to the huge Christmas table in a 5,600 square meter party tent in Stavanger on Friday night. The organizer believes he has everything under control, despite complaints about cold food, bad sound and long queues in Bergen last weekend.
LARGEST: The gala in Stavanger will be Norway's largest - with 4,200 at the table.