Sing it with gusto, its voice gets stronger every year

Copenhagen’s singer-songwriter scene is thriving these days. Pretty much every night of the week you can be out listening to original music somewhere. In fact, the man behind the annual Copenhagen Songwriters Festival, Brett Perkins, claims that the Danish capital is the centre of live songwriter performance in Europe. His festival, which takes place from August 16-18, supports his claim as it is growing bigger every year. This year the festival celebrates its fifth anniversary and, once again, it is ready to offer original songwriting, workshops and performing artists from all over the world.

During the three festival days, there will be more than 100 performances, with more than 150 artists from not only all over the Nordic countries, but also from Ireland, the UK, the US, Germany, Australia and Kurdistan. The festival’s slogan is “celebrating songwriters new and known” and every year there are a few well-established names at the festival. The biggest name this year is the Danish singer-songwriter Tobias Trier, who also visited the festival in 2011. In previous years there have also been surprise concerts from names such as Aura, Tina Dickow, Mads Langer, Ramus Nøhr, Tue West and Annika Aakjær.

The main focus of the festival, however, is on the up-and-coming artists, many of whom are part of the vibrant songwriting scene in Denmark. The goal of the festival, according to Perkins, is to provide an inclusive, annual multicultural entertainment and educational event and to help raise awareness of the songwriting scene in Denmark in general and in Copenhagen in particular.

Apart from the concerts, the festival also offers songwriting workshops, open stage performances and a late-night jam scene. The workshops are hosted by Koda, which is a non-profit membership-based organisation that exists to protect musicians’ copyrights. This year three workshops with tips on songwriting and the music industry are being arranged.

When Perkins first came to Denmark from southern California, he soon discovered that the country had a very fertile environment for singer-songwriting music, and in 2009 he was able to realise a dream by launching the first Copenhagen Songwriters Festival. Being a songwriter and music presenter himself, Perkins has high ambitions for the festival. 

“The festival model by its tenth anniversary will be similar to the Copenhagen Jazz Festival,” he told InOut. “I expect that with a two-week period we would have Tivoli involved, and we would have shows in the Opera House and in many small cafés. It will be internationally known: one of THE festivals to go to if you are a fan of singer-songwriting.”

Although the festival might be bigger and last longer in five years’ time, the quality of the music and the performers is already top-notch, so if you are indeed a fan of singer-songwriting, you do not want to miss Copenhagen Songwriters Festival. And if you are not quite sure about it, you can always check out the free opening night party on Thursday (August 15) before buying tickets for the official three-day festival. The opening night party kicks off at 8pm and will be centred around three stages this year featuring 18 different performers. 

Copenhagen Songwriters Festival
Råhuset, Onkel Dannys Plads 1-9, Cph V
Starts Fri, ends Sun
Tickets: day pass: 150kr, 
Festival pass: 300kr

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