Vega to put new spin on live music

New project, Lydkultur, re-examines the traditional concert format

Bright lights, a stage, a bar, an audience and a band – the traditional recipe for a successful live concert experience – no longer does it for Vega, one of Copenhagen’s largest concert venues.
Vega is determined to tweak the concept of live music by adding a few ingredients of its own: loudspeakers in the restrooms, original and over-the-top decorations, optical illusions and much more.

VegaÂ’s standpoint on live performances is shared by Livelaboratoriet (Live laboratory), an independent organisation whose goal is to inspire and modernise Danish music life through research, discussion, coaching and live events. Together, Vega and Livelaboratoriet have created Lydkultur (Sound Culture), a project aimed at developing concerts and the live music experience as a whole.

“Anything can be rethought; you have to be willing to experiment in order to see what works,” said  Line Engberg, VegaÂ’s spokesperson and the project manager for Lydkultur. “That is VegaÂ’s  approach. We look at specific concerts and try to determine where we can do something extra so that the concert can be different, from creating special themes to doing something before and after the shows.”

Having received half a million kroner grant from the Greater Copenhagen Regional Authority, the Lydkultur project seems to be off to a good start. Along with five other venues – Global (Copenhagen), Gimle (Roskilde), Templet (Lyngby), Forbrændingen (Albertslund) and Klaverfabrikken (Hillerød) – Vega will begin their journey to find the best way to put across LydkulturÂ’s vision of live music that has never been seen (or heard) before.

LydkulturÂ’s first official initiative will be the Vegas Udvalgte (VegaÂ’s chosen) concert on January 20. The six chosen bands – Ulige Numre (indie-rock), Penny Police (singer/songwriter), Rangleklods (electronica), Shaq Boosie (alternative rapper), Death Valley Sleepers (‘60s pop) and Soffie Viemose  (electronica) – will be videotaped and the videos will be released online.

The new stage seems to be set, but the outcome remains to be seen. Given the ongoing change and financial difficulties the music industry has seen in the past few decades, itÂ’s difficult to predict how yet another development will be received by artists and music fans.

“The odds are tough”. Fabian Holt, a lecturer at Roskilde University and researcher of live music, told Urban newspaper. “Bands come in with completed shows, so can you get them, their managers, booking agencies, and so on to rethink their framework? It’s many years of routines you are up against”.

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