Things to do
Autumn, Winter, Spring … Festival
The Danish summer is very unpredictable. But one thing is certain: it’s festival time. They take place all over the country, some with big international names on the line-up, and others with a great variety of Danish music.
There’s something for every taste, whether you like metal, jazz, folk, pop or rock, while some are more family-minded.
What they all have in common, though, is the good mood and the great opportunity to gather friends and family or to make new ones over a beer and some nice tunes.
Invest in an umbrella, a pair of rubber boots and you’re set to go nuts in all kinds of weather. Still, there’s no harm if we just cross our fingers and hope the weather will be nice this year.
In the hood
July 31-Aug 1; Søndermarken, Frederiksberg; festival pass: 995kr; one-day tickets: 695kr, billetlugen.dk; vanguard-festival.com
Almost right in the middle of Copengahen, Vanguad is a cosy, two-day festival in Søndermarken. The acts are hip-hop, and it is guaranteed to be a chilled out event, perfect for a cold beer in the sun. This year you can enjoy Thee Sugarhill Gang + Grandmaster’s Furious 5, Mobb Deep, S!VAS Bikstok and many more.
July 30-Aug 1; Copenhagen Skatepark, Enghavevej 80-82, Cph SV; festival pass: 500kr, one-day tickets: 225kr, billetto.dk; trailerparkfestival.com
Graffiti, skateboards and good music – that’s all you need to know about Trailerpark. So come along, find a perch on the ramps from which to dangle your feet and enjoy a line-up that includes the likes of Den Sorte Skole, Cancer and Shura.
New Note Festival
Aug 6-8; Klaverfabrikken, Hillerød; festival pass: 350kr; newnotefestival.dk
Volunteers work hard to create a local, environmentally-friendly festival with space for lots of up-and-coming artists. This year three stages will be put up around the local CO2 neutral venue ‘Klaverfabrikken’ to create space for names like Alfakat, Gooms, Oh Land, Rest in Beasts and Santiago.
July 30-Aug 1; Lystanlægget, Rigsted; festival pass: 895kr, one-day tickets: 445kr, billetto.dk; ringstedfestival.dk
Ringsted Festival has never aspired to be the biggest, but it might just be the cosiest. Relax in garden chairs under the trees and enjoy a great mix of old and new Danish artists. Among those on the line-up are Christopher, Joey Moe, Lars Lilholt and Kim Larsen.
Jul 18-25; Rudkøbing 5900, Langeland; festival pass: 1,845kr (kids 925kr), one-day tickets 650kr (kids 325kr), billetnet.dk; langelandsfestival.dk
The south of Funen provides the scene for Denmark’s most kid-friendly festival. In the outskirts of the island’s largest town, children can find new play buddies, take part in a football school or build sandcastles on the beach. Tons of food stands and some time to relax in the sun make it also worthwhile for the grown-ups. And don’t forget about the music! This years’ line-up includes Dizzy Mizz Lizzy, Gnags and Shaka.
July 9-11; Ravnsbjergvej, Vig; festival pass: 1,075kr, one-day tickets: 650kr; vigfestival.dk
Branded as “a festival for the whole family”, this started out as a single concert by Kim Larsen back in 1994, when a barber decided a summer concert would a good idea. This year the line-up includes Jacob Haugaard, Turboweekend, Medina and ‘X Factor’ charmers Citibois.
Jul 22-25; Søndervangsvej, Rørvig; festival pass: 550kr, one-day tickets: 180kr; nakkefestival.dk
Nakke is a community festival truly for the people. Heaps of volunteers work hard to spread a spirit of happiness, and the festival oozes people who are open-minded and welcoming. This year the line-up includes Being Frank, Los Fuegos, Kvørn and Rækværk.
In the outback
Way Out West Festival
Aug 13-15; Goteborg, Sweden; festival pass: 1,895 Swedish kroner; wayoutwest.se
A park festival combining outdoor concerts and club gigs, this is a Swedish festival you don’t want to miss. The line-up includes Alt-J, Beck, Florence + The Machine, Years & Years, Tove Lo, Little Jinder and Lorentz.
July 22-25; Emmaboda, Sweden; festival pass: 495 Swedish kroner; emmabodenfestivalen.se
Since its inaugural year in 1988, this festival has developed from a one-day affair with just one artist to five days including 70 artists and three stages. The indie-pop theme attracts young Swedes from the whole country, and if you fancy a week of cosy music featuring the likes of Doctor P, Panda Da Panda, Captain Hook and Don Diaplo, the train runs straight from Malmö throughout the festival.
Aug 20-23; Hammerhus, Bornholm; festival pass: 295-515kr, billetlugen.dk; wonderfestiwall.dk
Bornholm is hosting its own festival in the ruins of Hammershus. This year the line-up includes Marie Key, L.O.C, Vinnie Who, Anya, Wangle and The Minds of 99.
In the sticks
Aarhus Jazz Festival
July 11-18; various venues in Aarhus; ticket prices vary; jazzfest.dk
If you missed the world-famous Copenhagen Jazz Festival (July 3-12), don’t worry as the fun continues in the country’s next biggest city. Parks, streets, bars, theatres, small intimate stages, and the bigger, more elaborate concert venues will play host to a varied line-up that includes Danish Arosia and Italy’s Luca Ciarla Quartet. The Aarhus festival has been on the jazz map since 1989.
Aug 5-9; Birkevej 20, Skanderborg; festival passes sold out, one-day tickets: Wed 800kr, Sun 350kr, sold out Thu, Fri & Sat; smukfest.dk
Smukfest has been running since 1980 and caters to most music lovers. It has been branded the most beautiful festival in Denmark because of its pristine location in a beech forest in Jutland. It is the second largest festival after Roskilde, and this year you can experience Danish superstar Mø, who is right now riding the crest of a week thanks to this summer’s hottest hit, ‘lLean on’ with Major Lazer. Another big Danish name on the bill is L.O.C, quite possibly the biggest name right now in Danish rap. Among the international names this year are house DJ duo Avicii and Tiesto.
July 16-19 & 23-26; various locations; one-day tickets: 210kr; groenkoncert.dk
Since 1983 the on-the-road music festival has steadily grown to become Denmark and northern Europe’s biggest of its kind, and this year it will stage eight concerts, visiting Copenhagen, Aarhus, Odense, Aalborg, Kolding, Randers, Esbjerg and Næstved. Among the acts on the line-up are Tina Dickow, Djames Braun, Oh Land, Turboweekend, Vild Smith, L.O.C and Medina.
July 30-Aug 1; Grimhøjvej 20, Braband; festival pass: 750kr, one-day tickets: 395kr, billetlugen.dk, grimfest.dk
As opposed to the most beautiful festival, these guys have branded themselves the ugliest. And according to them, it is because they don’t care. They have merely created a festival where the focus is getting people together, drinking some beers and having a good time. So if you don’t care about it being beautiful either, join them and experience the likes of Av Av Av, Flogging Molly and Spectors X Nonsens.
Aug 27-30; Papegøjevej, Tønder; festival pass: 1,390kr, one-day tickets 700kr, tonderfestival.billetten.dk; tf.dk
For more than 40 years the festival has been catering to lovers of folk music, and it is today one of the most respected folk and grassroots festivals in Northern Europe. The festival tries to combine up-and-coming acts in the folk, indie, roots, and singer-songwriter genres with big names such as Chris Smither, Adam Holmes and the Embers, and Ida Wenøe and the Silver Cords.
July 15-17; Strandskoven ved Ballen, Samsø; festival pass: 1,185-1,395kr, one-day tickets: 500-550kr, family ticket options available; samfest.dk
If you wanted this summer holiday to include a music festival and a mini-break, why not hit two birds with one stone? Samsø Festival is held on the delightful island of Samsø, which is located between Jutland and Zealand. The island is the perfect destination for families as it is quite small with lovely green areas and beaches. This year’s line-up includes D:A:D, Rasmus Seebach, Turboweekend, Infernal, Magtens Korridorer, Stine Bramsen and Suspekt.