Celebrating their freedom

The freetown of Christiania, or ‘Staden’ as your average Copenhagener would call it. Thirty-four acres worth of liberal, laid-back, hash-tolerant Copenhagen.

A good 41 years (give or take  a few days) after its founding, Christiania’s familiar three-dot flag still billows convincingly in the mild September wind.

In spite of numerous disputes over land-ownership claims and the more recent issue of escalating tensions between cannabis pushers, Christiania’s status as an autonomous borough of Copenhagen has rarely looked more secure than it does at the moment, a fact that many Copenhageners are no doubt quite enthused about.

Last year’s 40th anniversary celebrations were quite the marquee event, emphasised all the more by the creation of the crucial Christianiafonden; a fund that was set up to generate the 76 million kroner needed for Christiania’s residents to legally purchase the government-owned land on which the borough lies. This year’s shenanigans do not look as grand nor as large as last year’s, but there is plenty to celebrate all the same.

Here’s a brief run-through of what to expect from this year’s birthday festivities.

Martin Rode & Sally Vox &
Jake Juke & B Days Medley & DJ Hvad

Loppen has played host to far more eye-catching line-ups in the past, but what the heck, it’ll probably be fun all the same. Hip-hop producer Jake Juke will raise quite a few right-wing eyebrows with his pro-Christiania lyrics and hefty beats, whilst the erratic DJ Hvad is sure to spice things up with his satirical show.

De Splittergale & Hans Nørlund + Jørgen Thomsen
Christiania’s most intimate venue should be packed to the brim on the 26th. De Splittergale, or The Barmy Troupe as they are known in English, are a large troupe of performers who’ll use anything from pots and pans to plastic bags and scrubbing boards in their intriguing blend of gypsy-influenced circus music. Many of the troupe’s members have gone through psychiatric therapy at some point, and their live show is in some ways a lively portrayal of this. If Balkan-esque accordion-heavy music that sounds a bit out of sync, but is great fun to dance to, is your thing, Operaen is definitely the venue to check out on the day.

Von Dü
Nemoland has been known to host a mix of unknown and established acts in Christiania in the past. Located on the fringes of the Green Light district, Nemoland’s stage is to Christiania what the Orange Stage is to Roskilde Festival, albeit on a far smaller scale of course. The main highlight of the entertainment this year will be Von Dü’s performance on Nemoland’s homely stage. The lively nine-man reggae orchestra received quite a hiding from music critics for their recently released album, Beskidte Tanker, which is unfortunately far from impressive. This notwithstanding, they remain a decent live act, and their rock-meets-reggae fusion is sure to light a few sparks and suit the Nemoland stage quite well.

ConNection (King G, Chen, K Tattz, and Miss Reyes) & Mamut Is In Love & Spoket + Mambe & Son of Sun + The Bombasquad & Von Daler + Low Pressure
Cafe MåneFiskeren
The aptly named Moon Fisher Cafe is a lot more laidback than other music spots in Christiania. Von Daler & Low Pressure are the sort of band that fit the bill as far as playing at MåneFiskeren is concerned. Expect deep, deep dub that’ll send you into a pleasant comatose.  Mamut is in Love are another name to watch out for at this venue, with their catchy electronic sounds that sound remotely like bands such as The Knife and Coco Rosie.

Christiania’s 41st Birthday
Christiania venues Loppen, Operaen, Nemoland & Cafe Månefiskeren; all day Wed; most events are free