The cost of cleaning up 41 tonnes of trash last year has organisers of the Distortion festival considering a break with one of its founding principles by cancelling its popular free street parties.
In the last few years Distortion, which began in 1998 as a nightclub festival, has become more popular for the “open-to-all” street parties leading up to the club events, for which there is a charge to attend.
The street parties attract tens of thousands of people during the weeklong festival, and have made Distortion one of the country’s largest entertainment events. But after being presented with a 350,000 kroner clean-up bill by the city after its street parties last year, festival organisers had begun selling wristbands for 100 kroner that people could buy on a voluntary basis to help defray costs incurred by the free events.
With few of the wristbands sold a month before the 2012 festival begins on May 30, Distortion founder Thomas Fleurquin, who also founded The Copenhagen Post, took the dramatic step of writing an open letter declaring that if sales of the wristbands did not increase, this would be the last year street parties were held.
“The day events at Distortion are supposed to be low-key. Those who want craziness will have to pay to attend the evening events – otherwise we will have to close down the street parties,” Fleurquin wrote.
According to festival organisers, between 15,000 and 25,000 wristbands need to be sold in order to generate enough money to clean up after the street parties.