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Festivals in Copenhagen

Copenhagen is renowned for being northern Europe’s largest festival city. Numerous festivals are held during the year with themes ranging from pop and jazz to film, ballet, design and the visual arts. The Copenhagen festival scene is internationally recognised for its high cultural standards, and ability to attract major artists. The festival organisers are used to keeping an eye on the upcoming cultural scene and always present a wealth of new and exciting artists from Denmark and abroad.

Distortion Festival

The fest is simple: Distortion turns the lovely city of Copenhagen into party heaven. A week of massive daytime street parties, underground night club events and the grand two-day finale Distortion Ø at Refshaleøen and the Copenhagen harbour.

Official Website http://www.cphdistortion.dk/

Copenhagen Pride

Copenhagen Pride is Denmarks largest annual Human Rights festival, focused on LGBT issues, but involving the entire capital of Denmark, held every August in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Official Website http://copenhagenpride.dk

Copenhagen Jazz Festival

Every single summer since 1979 Copenhagen Jazz Festival has been taking over Copenhagen as one of Europe’s most important international music events based on eminent artistic quality and a sharp focus on new departures in both Danish and international jazz. Lasting 10 days, the festival envelops the Danish capital, offering af sumptuous musical feast to the 250.000 guests who join us year after year.

Official Website http://jazz.dk/cphjazz/forside/

Roskilde Festival

In the metropolis Roskilde Festiva,l you are challenged and moved in the encounter with music, art, free space and communities. In here, you are no longer a spectator. You can become a participant, a dreamer, a citizen and a co-creator. Here, you are part of creating the beginnings of something new

Official Website http://www.roskilde-festival.dk

Films

CPH:PIX Denmark’s feature film festival. CPH:PIX draws on the experienced teams from the city’s long-running film festivals, the NatFilm Festival and the Copenhagen International Film Festival, which are now merged into one. Focusing on new talent and artistic bravery, both in the festival’s film program and in its collaborations across artistic genres and cultural institutions, CPH:PIX sets a new standard for film festivals in Denmark. The festival takes place every year at April.

CPH:DOX (Copenhagen International Documentary Festival) has become one of Europe’s most important international documentary film festivals. It aims to break away from mainstream and present what’s new & innovative. The serious and political, weird and unexpected, provocative and artistic- all is welcomed at the festival. It is based on wide, international and cross cultural collaboration involving a range of activities such as seminars, directors’ sessions, lectures, debates, happenings, music- and club-events. CPH:DOX is held in Copenhagen every November.

Copenhagen is also known for the festival Mix Copenhagen (formely known as Copenhagen Gay & Lesbian Film Festival), which is the oldest film festival in town. For the last nineteen years, the festival has brought numerous homosexually themed short films, feature films and documentaries to the Copenhagen cinema audiences. The film festival has become a fixture in the cultural life of Copenhagen, attracting the gay & lesbian subculture of Copenhagen, but increasingly also a non-homosexual audience, as well as the city’s media, cultural institutions and businesses.

Music

Roskilde Festival is one of the biggest rock events in the world, is held on a huge field near the city of Roskilde, half an hour’s drive from Copenhagen City. The Festival has existed since 1971 but has not aged a bit. In fact, it just seems to become more and more popular. The 70,000 tickets available are usually sold out long before the programme is published. The festival is a huge party with guests from all around the world. Apart from the concerts, there are hundreds of stalls selling everything from jewellery and clothes to massage and tattoos. Roskilde Festival takes place every year around the end of June/beginning of July.

Copenhagen Distortion, a celebration of Copenhagen nightlife, is the biggest annual clubbing and nightlife event of the year – a massive party. In few years Distortion has developed from being a relatively small street festival to one of the biggest festivals in Copenhagen with around 80.000-100.000 people joining every day. It celebrates urban landscapes, mobility, improvisation, late-night chaos, nightlife clichés, fashion, hype, community networks, even cutting-edge marketing as much as it does music.

Copenhagen Jazz Festival takes place every july in the streets of Copenhagen. The city has a long tradition as a jazz metropolis and over the years, many of the great international jazz musicians have been based permanently in Copenhagen. During the Copenhagen Jazz Festival, jazz can be heard in every corner of the city featuring top international artists and local talent, traditional to experimental. The programme for the festival is normally published in May and can be obtained by visiting.

Vinter Jazz (Winter Jazz) was held for the first time in 2000 and generally takes place towards the end of January. They feature national and international artists, competitions, children’s programs and award ceremonies at jazz clubs throughout the city.

STRØM is Copenhagen’s electronic music festival and has become an annual event with concerts, open air events, DJs and music throughout the entire city. From night clubs to venues like Vega, Culture Box and Nadsat; to places like Trinitatis Kirke by the Round tower and Mikkel Bryggers Gade by the Grand movie theatre.

Imagine old camping-trailers converted into beautiful, individual artworks, organic barbeque and cocktails, skate ramps where hip-hop meets electro and is greeted by indie, rock and folk music. Trailerpark Festival is a three-day Copenhagen-based music and arts festival that began in 2007 and is organized by ArtRebels.

Every year in August the Royal Opera soloists, choir and orchestra present the coming season repertoire at an immensely popular open air Opera Concert at Rosenborg Eksercerplads, by Rosenborg Castle.

Gastronomy

Copenhagen Cooking is the annual Nordic Food Festival. The week-long festival of mouth watering gastronomic experiences from Denmark and the other Nordic countries invites everyone to take a bite of the city. At this festival you get a taste of what it’s all about. Whether you like gourmet food, traditional dishes or want to taste a little of everything there will be lots of things to try. Since 2005, Copenhagen Cooking has celebrated both Nordic and international cuisine and in 2011 the festival saw it’s highest number of visitors: 75.000. Copenhagen Cooking takes place in restaurants and public spaces across the centre of Copenhagen every August. It also has a winter edition in february as a part of the winterfestival Wondercool.

Dance-Theatre

Copenhagen is also proud to have a ballet festival, Copenhagen International Ballet that has existed since 1996. From the first to the third week of August, former principal dancer and festival founder, Alexander Kølpin, generally resides in the Arne Jacobsen building, Bellevue, in Klampenborg, just north of Copenhagen.

Copenhagen Summerdance takes place in unique surroundings – the inner courtyard of the Copenhagen City Police headquarters – Tim Rushton and Danish Dance Theatre each year in August offer a number of outdoor dance performances of high standard. Admission is free, and approx. 800 persons can be accommodated per evening.

Spring Dance at Carlsberg, that took place for the first time in 2010, open air dance performances in spring at Akademihaven,The Academy Garden. 

KIT (Copenhagen International Theatre) is behind international performances at various venues during the summer months.

Hamlet Summer, every summer the outdoor courtyard of Kronborg Castle in Elsinore hosts a homage to Shakespeare.

Other Events

Copenhagen Fashion Festival part of one of Europe’s largest fashion fairs Copenhagen Fashion Week that takes place at the same time and is primarily for the fashion industry yet offers a wide range of consumer related events: with CPH Vision at Øksnehallen, Gallerys at Forum and CIF at Bella Center. Fashion shows, parties, competitions, fashion lounges and much more.

Wondercool is Copenhagen’s new winter festival, which celebrates the fact that the Danish capital remains bursting with life and cultural energy, despite the cold winter months. At Wondercool you get the oportunity to explore different aspects in music, food, fashion, architecture, art and design. Wondercool takes place every february.

One of the most elegant and varied Copenhagen festivals is Golden Days, founded in 1993. The aim behind the Golden Days festival is to increase people’s knowledge of a particular historical period, through exhibitions, music, theatre, ballet, and literature.

For free classical performances, on Wednesday evenings, at several of the city’s historic churches and castles please check www.castleconcerts.dk