A tantalising look at the summer’s best festivals
For music fans, the pandemic has been particularly hard to deal with. Even average buskers have been getting big crowds, such has been the deprivation.
It was no surprise to see tickets for Roskilde and Copenhell sell out in record time, and more festivals are likely to follow suit.
From June to September
Fortunately, there are still plenty of options to choose from with summer just around the corner, and we have accordingly gathered together a fair selection of the best festivals between June and September.
Given the increased interest this year, you had better get your skates on if you don’t want to miss out.
Many of the popular festivals have already sold out, including Roskilde, Smukfest and Copenhell.
Big names in Denmark
It’s funny, but Roskilde, traditionally the country’s biggest draw, hasn’t added any names you would call particularly goliath.
If anything, the pretender to its crown, Smukfest in early August, has the more impressive line-up, with Rick Astley, Justin Bieber and Melanie C among its headliners. With Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, it’s guaranteed to ‘Make me smile’.
But it can’t raise a candle to Copenhell. With Metallica, Iron Maiden, Kiss and Judas Priest onboard, has there ever been a more impressive line-up in metal music?
RIGHT ON YOUR DOORSTEP
June 15-18; Refshaleøen; sold out; copenhell.dk
Tickets to the popular Copenhell metal festival are sold out but you may still be lucky enough to secure a ticket if someone is selling theirs. Headliners include Metallica, Iron Maiden, Kiss, Judas Priest Destruction and Redwood Hill.
June 1-5; various venues in Cph K & V; festival pass 850kr, one-day tickets 200kr; cphdistortion.dk
From dancing and art workshops to multiple talks and music events, Distortion offers a wide range of cultural activities to enjoy. The festival is organising 20 free street parties in the Vesterbro neighborhood on June 2, but most of their events are ticketed this year. Music genres are diverse and will include underground afro-beat, reggae, house, and hip-hop.
Aug 11-13; Tiøren, Amager Strandvej 246, Cph S; festival pass: 1,299kr, one-day tickets: 599kr; aiasoundfestival.dk
With the purpose to create an urban environment featuring mainstream and international music, Aia Sound Festival is hosting this year several acclaimed artists and bands such as Tyga, Donkey Sound, Tobias Rahim and Hans Phillip.
Aug 13, 20 & 27; various venues in Copenhagen; strm.dk
Why have a festival over three days, when you can do it over three weeks, reasons Strøm Festival ahead of launching a new format spread across three Saturdays in August. Presenting some of the best selections of electronic and alternative music, this will empower the electronic music scene in Copenhagen. Including a number of free concerts in public areas in the capital.
Syd for Solen Festival
June 10-12; Søndermarken, Frederiksberg; one-day tickets: 650kr; sydforsolen.dk
Head to the heart of Copenhagen to enjoy some of music’s biggest names perform in what was originally a 17th century royal garden. Among the headliners are Liam Gallagher, the National and Jungle.
Copenhagen Jazz Festival
June 14-July 10; various venues; jazz.dk
Encompassing more than 100 venues, 1,000 concerts, and 250,000 guests, the Copenhagen Jazz Festival is one of northern Europe’s biggest music events. It has been wowing audiences since 1979, although its roots can arguably be traced back to the 1960s when a great many US greats made the Danish capital their home. Headliners this year include Jeff Beck, Melody Gardot, Herbie Hancock and Gilberto Gil.
WITHIN REASONABLE RANGE
June 25-July 2; Roskilde Station and follow the crowds; festival pass 2,250kr, one-day tickets 1,100 kr, all sold out; roskilde-festival.dk
Art, music and activism are the three main pillars of the Roskilde Festival. For its 50th edition, the festival will feature more than 290 artists from different parts of the world including stars such as Dua Lipa, Megan Thee Stallion, Baby Keem and Anitta. In addition to the music, the festival will host artistic events and activists tackling topics such as anti-racism, LBGT rights, freedom of expression and climate change. Again it’s sold out, but check internet forums for tickets!
Aug 18-21; Slotsslyngen, Bornholm; festival pass: 1,120kr, one-day tickets: 525-625kr; wonderfestiwall.dk
Enjoy the final days of summer at the WonderFestiwall amid the exquisite nature of the popular holiday island Bornholm. With 33 concerts in three days, the festival will present some of Denmark’s most famous artists including Branco, SpleenUnited and Mina Okabe.
July 21-31; ten-day concert tour; festival pass: 799kr, one-day tickets: 350kr; groenkoncert.dk
Over 10 days, Grøn Festival will tour eight venues in Denmark, starting with Amager and then passing through Kolding, Aarhus, Aalborg, Esbjerg, Odense, Næstved, and finally reaching Valby. The festival will present a line-up of well-known local and international artists such as Andreas Odbjerg, Tessa, and Deed.
Femø Jazz Festival
Aug 2-7; Darrehøjsvej, Femø; festival pass 1,700 kr; femoejazz.dk
For all the jazz lovers out there, head to the Femø Jazz Festival located near the Småland Sea north of Lolland and enjoy traditional jazz music on a beautiful beach meadow.
June 2-4; Egeskovgade, Kværndrup; festival pass: 2,005 kr; heartlandfestival.dk
Music, arts, talks, food and much more are all happening at the Heartland Festival this year. The festival engages diverse communities with contemporary art and critical discussions while showcasing multiple Danish and foreign music acts including M.I.A and the Pet Shop Boys.
July 29-31 & Aug 6; Sønderborg, Aarhus, Silkeborg & Frederiksberg; stella-polaris.dk
Enjoy good vibes and music at the free admission Stella Polaris festival, which this year will tour Sønderborg, Aarhus and Silkeborg before enjoying its final day in Frederiksberg Have. Stella Polaris is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, as its inaugural festival took place in 1997 in Vennelyst Parken in Aarhus. Since then, it has switched to Botanisk Have.
June 23-25; Tusindårsskoven, Odense; festival pass: 2,345kr, one-day tickets 1,195; tinderbox.dk
TinderBox Festival will again feature many acclaimed international artists this year, such as Imagine Dragons, Kashmir and Stormzy, while offering a fun site with an electronic stage, a ferris wheel, and a groove box. In collaboration with Odense Municipality, the festival will present Forum 2022, a new annual climate conference to discuss green initiatives and sustainable development.
Jelling Music Festival
May 25-28; Jelling; one-day tickets: 650-825kr; jellingmusikfestival.dk
Following a two-year break, the Jelling Music Festival’s 2022 edition will feature tens of talented and international music artists. Among them are top Danish acts such as D-A-D, Folkeklubben, and Spleen United. These bands will instantly put you in the mood for rock and pop, while other music genres range from poetry pop to electric rave and contemporary rock.
Rock under Broen Festival
June 10-11; Middelfart; festival pass: 850kr, one-day tickets: 300kr; rockunderbroen.dk
This festival is open to all age groups and is childr-friendly. Headliners include Suspekt, Martin Jensen and Status Quo.
July 20-23; Strandskoven ved Ballen, Samsø; festival pass: 1650 kr, one-day tickets: 675kr; samfest.dk
From 1989 to 2022, Samsø Festival has always succeeded in bringing cosy and chilled vibes to Denmark’s summer. Some of Denmark’s most talented musicians are playing this year, including the likes of Benjam Hav and Familien, Det vildeste band, Disco Dasco med Swingtime, Samsø Pink Floyd and Tobias Rahim. Relax in the exquisite nature of the island and its delightful beaches.
Aug 4-6; Kalvøvej, Frederikssund; festival pass: 975kr, one-day tickets: 500kr; frederikssund-festival.dk
Spreading joy and knowledge of music, Frederikssund Festival offers a wide range of old and new along with multiple music genres. Featured artists include Go Go Berlin, Walter Trout and Patina.
Grimfest (The Ugliest Festival)
Aug 4-6; Brabrand; festival pass: 795kr, one-day tickets: 375kr; grimfest.dk
It will get ugly at Denmark’s Ugliest Festival! Bring your fun spirit and spend your weekend enjoying the outdoor concerts of some of the best local and international artists.
Aarhus Jazz Festival
July 9-16 Aarhus; tickets sold per concert; jazzfest.dk
Celebrating one of the city’s strongest traditions, the Aarhus Jazz festival will fill up the neighbourhoods of Denmark’s second-biggest city Aarhus with live jazz. For eight days, the festival will host Danish jazz and classical music concerts. Among the headliners are Sam and the Soulmate, the Aarhus Jazz Orchestra and Human being Human.
June 2-4; Aarhus; festival pass: 2,295 kr, one-day tickets: 1,195 kr, two-day tickets: 1,895kr; northside.dk
For this year’s NorthSide music program, the Aarhus festival will feature a number of well-known artists such as Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Burhan G, MØ, Andreas Odbjerg and the Minds of 99. Given the effect the pandemic has had on stifling new acts, Northside is particularly keen to welcome a lot of rising stars.
June 29-July 2; Nibe, Bork Havn; festival pass: 2,005kr, one-day tickets: 785kr; nibefestival.dk
Head to the scenic Sklaskoven in Nibe to indulge yourself in a cosy atmosphere. Headliners include Carly Rae Jepsen, Tom Jones and the Black Eyed Peas. When you’re not jiving to the music, enjoy the beautiful nature and nearby cool communities.
Aug 25-28; Vestergade, Tønder; festival pass: 1,720 kr, one-day tickets 620-1,020kr; tf.dk
Tønder features some of the best traditional and modern folk music in Europe. This year’s line-up includes acclaimed artists from the US, Ireland, the UK, Scandinavia, and other parts of Europe. Among them are the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Madrugada, and 9Bach.
Haze over Haarum Festival
June 9-11: Stausholmvej, Harboøre; festival pass: 1,100 kr, one-day tickets: 500-850 kr; haze.dk
Kick off the summer with the three-day Haze over Haarum festival. The festival puts you in the right summer mood with a great camping site, outdoor stages and many cool performances.
Varde Open Air
July 28-30: Varde; festival pass: 950kr, one-day tickets: 400-600kr; open-air.dk
Varde Open Air started in 1978, making it one of Denmark’s oldest festivals, and it continues to this day to offer a great program for both adults and children. Held in Arnbjerg Parken, which is well-known for its scenic nature.
Kløften Festival /3hrs
June 23-25; Gasværksvej, Haderslev; festival pass: 1,300kr, one-day tickets: 600-700kr; kloften.dk
Kløften Festival is held in a park in the middle of Haderslev town, generating fun and energetic vibes from a diverse music line-up encompassing rock, pop and a genre that is best described as summer music.
Aug 3-6; Bork Havn; festival pass: 1,400kr, one-day tickets 515-575kr; borkfestival.dk
Bork Festival returns this year with a fun atmosphere and cool concerts featuring multiple Danish soloists and bands such as Tobias Rahim, Malte Ebert, Poul Krebs and Jonah Blacksmith. The festival is also well known for offering a delicious food experience.
July 31-Aug 7; Skanderborg; festival pass 2,995kr, one-day tickets: 1,250-1,495kr; smukfest.dk
Amidst beautiful scenery with a line-up featuring talented Danish and international music artists and speakers, Smukfest is considered one of the best festivals in Denmark. The majority of the tickets to Smukfest have been sold out but you might still be able to put yourself on the waiting list or work as a volunteer. The headliners include Rick Astley, Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, Limp Bizkit, Melanie C and Justin Bieber.
June 2-4; Skive; festival pass: 995kr, one-day tickets: 600-650kr; skivefestival.dk
Enjoy the first days of summer at the Skive Festival in the company of prominent Danish and European musicians such as Tobias Rahim, Rasmus Seebach, Melanie C, and many more.