The Danish summer is very unpredictable. But one thing is certain: it’s festival time. They take place all over the country, some with big international names on the line-up, and others with a great variety of Danish music. There’s something for every taste, whether you like metal, jazz, folk, pop or rock, while some are more family-minded. What they all have in common, though, is the good mood and the great opportunity to gather friends and family or to make new ones over a beer and some nice tunes.
Invest in an umbrella, a pair of rubber boots and you’re set to go nuts in all kinds of weather. Still, there’s no harm if we just cross our fingers and hope the weather will be nice this year.
Even though this Aarhus festival is only taking place for the third time, it’s already earned a reputation for having good line-ups. And this year is no different with international names like James Bake, The XX, Justice, Little Dragon and Snow Patrol, and Danish names like Kashmir, Oh Land and Turbo Weekend.
Ådalen, Aarhus; 15-17 June; festival pass: 1,395kr (one-day tickets sold out); www.northside.dk
Denmark’s biggest and most well-known event is the ultimate festival experience with music for every taste. This year the line-up includes Björk, Bon Iver, Bruce Springsteen and The Cure.
Roskilde; 30 June-8 July; festival pass: 1,790kr, one-day tickets 900kr; www.roskilde-festival.dk
A small festival at which the organisers prioritise personal space. Located in the Skalskoven forest, it’s a nice location to spend a few days enjoying good music. Includes international acts Gavin DeGraw, Ministry and Mika, and Danish acts LOC, Alphabeat and Kashmir.
Skalskoven, Nibe; 4-7 July; festival pass: 1,200kr, one-day tickets 425-525kr (some days sold out), under-12s free with adult; www.nibefestival.dk
On this small island not far from Aarhus, the main musical focus is on jazz and folk, performed by primarily Danish artists, but there is also some pop and rock. Aimed at the entire family, the big names include Sweethearts (DK), Larkin Poe Band (USA) and Paul Lamb & King Snakes (UK).
Tunø; 5-8 July; festival pass 600kr, under-12s free; www.tunofestival.dk
Another big family event, music-wise the festival offers a broad variety of genres. This year the line-up includes Nabiha, WhoMadeWho and Spleen United.
Vig; 12-14 July; festival pass: 1,025kr (with camping), 925kr (without camping), one-day tickets 500-625kr; www.vigfestival.dk
This small island festival has since 1989 been known as Denmark’s ‘hyggeligste’ (most cosy) festival because of its intimate atmosphere. The programme includes big Danish names Medina, Nik & Jay, The Storm and Aqua.
Samsø; 18-21 July; festival pass: 1,240kr, one-day tickets 500kr; www.samfest.dk
Known as ‘Denmark’s best garden party’, this is one of the most child-friendly festivals with both an amusement park and a big playland. But while this is no head-bangers paradise, the festival does offer a variety of good Danish music, including Rasmus Seebach, Kidd, Hej Matematik and Big Fat Snake.
Rudkøbing, Langeland; 21-28 July; festival pass: 1,695kr, under-13s 850kr, one-day tickets 600kr, under-13s 300kr, under-sevens free with adult; www.langelandsfestival.dk
Bork Havn Festival
This small and intimate harbour music festival is situated at Ringkøbing Fjord in the western part of Jutland. This year the headliners include D-A-D, Rasmus Seebach, Spleen United and Lukas Graham.
Bork Havn; 1-4 August; festival pass 1,145kr (with camping), 995kr (without camping), one-day tickets 385kr, under-12s free with adult; www.borkhavnmusikfestival.dk
Most Ugly Festival
As a counterpart to Denmark’s most beautiful festival, there sure isn’t a Seebach on the programme. The festival has existed since 2004 and this year the line-up includes Kites And Comets, Bottled in England and Rune T Kidde.
Brabrand; 2-4 August; festival pass 415kr, one-day tickets 220kr; www.grimfest.dk
This festival is located in the middle of Zealand and started back in 2005 as a one-day open-air event, which became an immediate success. Seven years later the festival is still going strong with Danish names like Burhan G, Tim Christensn & the Damn Crystals, and Carpark North.
Ringsted; 2-4 August; festival pass 695kr (until July 1), 795kr (after July 1), one-day tickets 295-395kr, kids 195kr; www.ringstedfestival.dk
Skanderborg; 8-12 August; tickets: festival pass 1,950kr, children 500kr; one-day tickets: Wed & Sun 550kr, Thu 850kr, Fri and Sat sold out; www.smukfest.dk
The beech forest and the Skanderborg lake are part of the reason why this festival is acclaimed Denmark’s most beautiful. But with four different stages, it also offers a wide range of great music to accompany the beautiful exterior. The line-up includes international names like Bryan Adams, Blur, White Lies and Ice Cube.
Denmark’s most southern festival is situated just above the German border, which makes it a whole lot easier to bring cheap beer to the camping area. But beer aside, this is also a festival that’s known for its international folk and roots music – this year the acts include Anthony Da Costa, Ahab, Runrig and The Low Anthem.
Tønder; 23-26 August; ticket sales start 23 June, festival pass 1290kr (with camping), 990kr (without camping), one-day tickets 390kr; www.tf.dk
2012 Festival Preview
This summer; all over Denmark