As the summer mania gently ebbs back into the sea of routines and obligations that the rest of the year concerns itself with, so too do the festivals of August away from the excesses of the early summer. Meet Strøm Festival, Distortion’s younger, better-behaved sibling, now in its sixth year in Copenhagen and here to bridge the gap between the seasons. While Distortion is loud, proud and rowdy, Strøm aims to add other dimensions to the festival experience while catering to a broader audience.
This year’s event runs from August 12-18, featuring an impressive raft of workshops, avant-garde musical experiences and quality parties that make it Scandinavia’s foremost festival of electronic music. Here’s the best of what to look forward to:
Anglola on Pump
Pumpehuset, Studiestræde 52, Cph V; Thu 21:00-04:00; tickets: 130kr
Fusing Angolan kuduro percussion with modern electronic music is no easy feat, but Buraka Som Sistema popularised the entire genre of music almost single-handedly a few years ago with their daring exploits. The Portuguese/Angolan group will be leading a mouth-watering line-up at Pumpehuset, where the likes of Copia Doble Sistema will also perform.
Put on your opening night shoes
Tietgenkollegiet, Rued Langgaards Vej 10-18, Cph S; Mon 15:00–16:00; free adm
Panorama, in conjunction with the Red Bull Music Academy, presents the official opening party at Strøm this year, and it promises to be a gig unlike any other. Located at the architectural marvel of Tietgen Kollegiet, a building that looks like a modern-day miniature Colosseum, the event features the artistic Mike Sheridan and British pioneer Martyn Ware, whose combination of lo-fi sounds and synthesiser mastery will leave Amager reverberating in the wake of their performance.
Vestamager Station, Øresunds Boulevard 99, Cph S; Tue 19:00-21:00; free adm
Now an established highlight of the Strøm Festival, this immersive experience features performances by several artists in the crammed confines of the Copenhagen Metro, making for one of the most unique commuting experiences known to man. To be honest, for many it will be a bit too cramped, and the atmosphere is somewhat nervy, so it’s definitely not one for the claustrophobic at heart. But on the other hand, the ‘Trans Metro Express’ is a one-off experience that doesn’t happen in many other cities, and it should not be missed.
Sound Station 66, Gammel Kongevej 94, Frederiksberg; Tue 17:00-18:00; free adm
Whoever said that vinyl was dead? Record label and club owner Kenneth Christensen will play a special ‘vintage’ set for vinyl bods and the like at his Sound Station 66 shop in Frederiksberg. In an age of digitalised playback, ‘Vinyl Love’ will surely be a much-needed stroll down memory lane. Watch out for two other vinyl love events during the festival.
Say Jah to Tubbys
Outside Rust, Guldbergsgade 8, Cph N; Wed 16:00-22:00; free adm
The infamous soundsystem Jah Tubbys from the UK will be hosting a street party in the heart of Nørrebro that will surely rival Distortion’s opening day bash in the same area of town. And with the Danish dancehall revolution showing few signs of subsiding (Raske Penge, Top Gunn and Klumben will be performing later in the evening), this could be one of the best parties of the summer.
It’s hot in here, wherever it is
Location TBA; Fri (Aug 16) 15:00-19:00
One of the world’s most credible online music shows, Boiler Room, will be hosting an event at a secret location in the city. The only detail known to the public at the moment is that the likes of Kasper Bjørke, Kenton Slash Demon and the legendary Trentemøller will be performing.
Strøm Festival; Various locations across Greater Copenhagen; starts Monday, ends Aug 18; www.stromcph.dk