University Post
University of Copenhagen
Independent of management


Guide to Denmark's summer festivals 2012

Summer is right around the corner and so are the many festivals that sweeten this time of year. The University Post brings you 10 festivals worth looking forward to, including NorthSide - where you can win tickets in our photo competition.

Long days at the library and nightmares about failing exams. This time of year is a living hell for most students. The light at the end of the tunnel seems far away but it’s there alright. As exams and summer are closing in on us, so are the many great festivals in DK. Here’s a list of the best. You can even win tickets for one of the festivals, NorthSide just by entering into our ‘Show us your room’ photo competition.

The guide is in chronological order so you can just print it out and stick it on your fridge door.

25-27 May: Copenhagen Carnival

Check out the half-naked folk strutting their stuff down the streets of Copenhagen. Copenhagen Carnvial is the city’s largest festival of world music. It is known for the big carnival parades through town to Latin and South American rhythms. Besides the parades, there are concerts, dance performances, workshops, children’s activities, stalls and partying in Fælledparken.
Put on your feathers and flashy sequined outfit because the Carnival vibes are contagious!

See more here on their website.

30 May – 3 June: Distortion

You might not be done with your exams for this festival, but everybody needs a break once in a while. Try the five-day long street party every day from 14:00-23:00: it’s free, and it’s in a different neighborhood of Copenhagen each day. After that, the party moves inside to different clubs around the city. Prepare yourself for a long weekend of good music and dancing. Distortion is inevitable exam procrastination for must students since it takes over Copenhagen completely. It’s basically almost impossible not to run into Distorition.

Check out the line-up, here.

15 – 17 June: NorthSide Festival

NorthSide Festival which takes place in Aarhus, is said by insiders to be even better than Roskilde (see about Roskilde in a moment.). Now the good thing about NorthSide is that if you read this before 23 May, you may even have the chance to win free tickets. Send the University Post a picture of your room in the University Post photo competition. The line-up at NorthSide includes Oh Land, The Stone Roses, Garbage, Kasabian, Kashmir, Justice, The Hives, Marina and the Diamonds and many more.

Read more here.

5 – 8 July: Roskilde

A classic, perhaps the best: Eight days of constant partying and music. Maybe this is the sole reason you chose to study in Copenhagen? Roskilde Festival is the largest North European music festival and over 150 bands from around the world play each year over the course of a week. Before the big international artists start to play from 5 to 8 July, there’s a 5 day camping warm-up. Consider camping at the event to enhance your stay. Get a free ticket by signing up for a volunteer-job at the festival site, but hurry they might all be taken!

Buy your ticket, check out the musicians and look for vacant volunteer jobs, here.

6-15 July: Copenhagen Jazz Festival

Copenhagen Jazz Festival is one of the largest music events of its kind in Europe. The Festival takes place in venues all over the city and usually hosts loads of big international jazz stars. If you think Roskilde is a bit too much, the Jazz Festival is a mellow and mature alternative. On the other hand, coming home from Roskilde, you can also use this festival to acclimatise to civilised city life. You can sleep at home and party with the bohemians of Copenhagen all day.

Find the programme, here.

25 – 28 July: Nakke Festival

Tired of hot and humid city life? Nakke Festival is an intimate and cheap outdoor camping festival where Nordic indie, rock, punk and alternative genres come and perform. Placed in the north-west of Zealand, the scenery is breathtaking. You are in walking and bicycling distance from some of Denmark’s best beaches and the small villages surrounding the festival will allow you to experience authentic rural Denmark. You even have to jump on an old ferry to get there if you’re coming from Copenhagen. If you are one out of many wishing that you could travel back in time and visit Woodstock or Roskilde in the 70’s, Nakke Festival is really worth paying a visit.

Find the progamme and ticket prices unfortunately, in Danish only, here.

3-5 August: Cultural Harbour

Cultural Harbour is an annual festival held every August at Islands Brygge harbour park in central Copenhagen. Cultural Harbour presents the diversity of Copenhagen to the public in an active, family-orientated festival in the heart of the city. Enjoy the habour front, take a dip and eat lots of good food.

Check out here to find out more.

3-5 August: Stella Polaris

If you’re not up for the whole family thing and you’re still suffering from severe festival hangovers Stella Polaris is the best remedy for you. Calling themselves the biggest chill-out event in Denmark the festival takes place in the inner city park Østre Anlæg. It is completely free and attracts a mixed crowd of all types and ages. Bring a blanket, beers or food and take a nap with the rest of the Copenhageners to lovely dreamy music.

Check out the programme, here.

8-12 August: SmukFest

Still not tired of festivals? Travel over to Jutland and check out SmukFest, which claims to be Denmark’s most beautiful festival. This year’s acts include Blur, Ice Cube, Bryan Adams, Medina and Miike Snow.

See if it is worth the trip unfortunately, in Danish only, here.

15-20 August: Strøm

Strøm is Copenhagen’s week long festival exclusively for electronic music. During Strøm the green surroundings of Enghaveparken, Vesterbro, create space for free open-air electronic music concerts, shows, and dj sets. Forget Rock’n’Roll and Roskilde and listen to the digital masterpieces of Gold Panda, Mount Kimbie, Pantha Du Prince and Four Tet.

Check out what Strøm has in store, here.

24 August – 4 July: Copenhagen Cooking

This annual event allows you to take a bite of culinary Copenhagen and the Nordic region. Whether you are a connoisseur, favour country cooking, like a little bit of everything, or are just a hungry student there are extraordinary culinary experiences waiting for you.

Check out the menu and more right here.

Stay in the know about news and events happening in Copenhagen by signing up for the University Post’s weekly newsletter here.