Fri figur festival was organized by UNIMA Norway for the first time in Oslo in May 2007. But two festivals were precursors to this:

In connection with UNIMA Norway’s 30 year anniversary in autumn 2004, in cooperation with Oslo Nye Teater and Oslo University College, UNIMA Norway hosted an anniversary festival. During one weekend 11 different puppetry shows were staged. The program of the festival consisted solely of Norwegian-produced performances, with a wide range of expression. The interest and feed back from the audience was rewarding, and we started working for the next festival.

In autumn 2005, in cooperation with the Oslo Nye Teater and the City Council of Sagene, a festival with Norwegian and foreign performances were programmed, this time with a larger audience. The festival was organized in the wake of the international puppetry festival in Kristiansand.

With the experience from these two festivals the board of UNIMA Norway contacted key players in puppetry environment to bring about a permanent puppet theater festival in Oslo, a festival that would show the breadth and quality of Norwegian puppetry.

The goal then was to create a gathering place for Norwegian puppetry and show what opportunities figure theatre has as part of a modern theatre expression.UNIMA Norway wanted both to create a professional rallying for puppetry environment, but also to inspire and show the public the best of Norwegian puppetry.

In 2011, The International puppet festival in Kristiansand unfortunately closed down. Thus making Fri Figur  the only puppet theatre festival in Norway. For this reason UNIMA Norway expanded the legal directives to include a greater proportion of international performances.

The festival in 2013 was a result of this choice, programming performances from Belgium and Netherlands, in addition to Norwegian performances.

Programme from 2013