Copenhagen's Distortion Festival ended on Sunday after four days of events across the city. Despite successfully drawing hundreds of thousands of revellers, organisers warn that the festival may have to be cut back next year.
The festival – which has been running for 14 years and celebrates dance music and club culture – is divided between free street parties and ticketed events. It has had difficulty in recent years turning a profit.
Although the free street parties often draw around 100,000, they also incur costs of around 500,000 kroner each for clean up, health and safety and toilet facilities.
Last year the festival introduced the so-called ‘street armband’ costing 100 kroner, which grants no privileges except to financially support the street parties.
According to Distortion spokesperson Christian Langballe, armband sales this year totalled a disappointing 8,000.
“We are very disappointed that over 300,000 people attended free activities but that only 8,000 chose to donate 100 kroner to support them,” Langballe told Jyllands-Posten newspaper. “We needed to sell 14,000 street armbands to pay for two large parties in Copenhagen as well as a harbour party next year. So something will have to be changed next year.”
By Saturday the organisers had noticed the disappointing sale of the armbands and issued a plea on its website.
“We also love the street parties but our night-time music festival can no longer afford to pay for them,” they stated.
Distortion is financed through ticket sales, sponsorships and funding from the City Council, which together will guarantee the city one large street party next year.
Distortion cut the street party in the city centre from this year's schedule and warned that next year either Nørrebro or Vesterbro will also have to be trimmed.
“People took but didn’t give,” Langballe said. “So there needs to be some changes next year, but it’s not in the spirit of Distortion to hold the same party two years in a row.”