Niche music festivals multiplying thanks to increase in municipal funding

How the likes of Chipwrecked and Raise Your Horns are making themselves known

From chiptune music to Norwegian black metal, niche music festivals are growing in number and size around Denmark.

Becoming mainstream
Music festivals may have begun as a refuge for counter-culture hippies seeking an opportunity to be themselves, but in recent years they have become a business and cultural juggernaut, with events like Roskilde Festival being attended by up to 160,000.

Now, however, we are seeing smaller, niche music festivals dedicated to obscure genres of music becoming more frequent.

Municipalities getting involved
The municipalities are beginning to sponsor and sometimes even organise them, resulting in a rapid rise in the number of local festivals.

“Local businesses benefit from an influx of tourists while the community is brought together,” Olav Harslof, a professor in performance design at the University of Roskilde, explained to DR.

Bornholm has become a home for niche music festivals, with five new annual events emerging in the past year.

‘Raise Your Horns’, a festival dedicated to heavy metal, will take place from September 7-8 on the island. Bands like Bleeding Utopia, a death metal outfit, and Avslut, a black metal outfit, will be in attendance.

Chipwrecked, a festival dedicated to chiptune music, a genre derived from 80s video games, took place from August 23-26. With 36 artists and more than 100 attendees, the small festival attracted fans from all over Europe.

No threat to the larger festivals
The internet fosters small communities of niche music lovers by connecting them and facilitating the sharing of music, resulting in events organised by the fans of music with support from others in their tiny subgroup.

It is unlikely that this new wave of music festivals will impact the sales of larger corporate festivals, contend experts. They are more likely a result of a growing trend and subculture of festival-goers.