Making merry with the minstrels

Performed on five stages over three days, the Copenhagen Songwriters Festival is hitting its stride

Step aside Distortion and Strøm festivals. The next festival to hit Copenhagen’s music venues, the Copenhagen Songwriters Festival, celebrates Denmark’s song-writing scene and puts the spotlight on musicianship and acoustic performances.

The festival features more than 150 local and international artists who will perform on one of five stages during the three-day event.

“The basic vision was to acknowledge the fruitful Danish songwriting community and the current renaissance of the craft in Denmark,” the festival’s founder, Brett Perkins, told

“The long-term vision is to establish Denmark and Copenhagen as the EU's song-writing centre – which I would argue that it already is, at least in terms of having an active, accessible live scene.”

Perkins, an American songwriter and touring artist living in Denmark, says the main theme behind the festival is “The L-factor: listening, learning and loving”.

This year, the musicians being welcomed to the stages include Ida, who won last year’s X Factor, and Simon Lynge, a Greenlandic artist who has been winning fans across the United States. The website for the festival also promises special surprise guests, which in past years have included Mads Langer and Tina Dico, both of whom have won critical acclaim at home in Denmark and abroad. And as no acts are allowed to perform two years in a row, repeat-visitors can be assured that the surprise guests won’t be recycled.

“I hope that when we reach our tenth year, we can use the entire city in a performance model similar to the Copenhagen Jazz Festival,” Perkins told

A free opening party will be held on Thursday August 16 at Råhuset from 20:00 to 24:00 for those who want to get a taste of what the weekend ahead will have to offer before buying tickets.

And once more, access to training workshops is included in the price of the tickets, which this year offers the opportunity to participate in up to nine KODA workshops. KODA is a non-profit, membership-based organisation that works to support and protect the Danish music scene.

For the first time, the festival will include a Nordic showcase stage, and there will be a dub/house set on Friday night from 00:00 to 02:00 to pump up party-goers and anyone looking for a night of good music. The organisers are prepared for Denmark’s unreliable weather, with four of the stages located indoors and the ability to move the main stage indoors if necessary.

This event is not to be missed by anyone disillusioned with the current music industry, as it will showcase the best of artists who have already established a name for themselves, as well as those who are still up-and-coming. For aspiring musicians, it affords the opportunity to make connections and get tips from professionals and helps create a community feel in what can often be a cold business.

“Some might call me an old Californian hippie, but I believe in synergy and strength in music and the community around it, in support of something bigger than just the pursuit of individual careers,” Perkins told

Copenhagen Songwriters Festival

Råhuset, Onkel Dannys Plads 1-9, Cph V; starts Fri, ends Sun, open 10:00-02:00; tickets: 100kr each evening, three-day pass 200kr,;

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