Distortion Festival – Vesterbro

Day II of the 20th edition of Copenhagen’s Distortion Festival, as seen from my hood, Vesterbro.

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Distortion Vesterbro Allan Kortbaek

People of Distortion, The International Edition

Distortion Festival 2016, Copenhagen, Denmark. We had fun on the streets of Nørrebro, Vesterbro and on the party island of Refshaleøen. Did you?

Here are some of the international contingent that wandered the streets for four catharctic days of merrymaking, plus a video that sums up the kind of party we had in my borough, Vesterbro.



3 Michailis Greece

Mischa, Greece: ”Distortion is pure catharsis

4 Julianne USA

Julianne, U.S.A: ”Distortion speaks for itself – it is one of the best non-corporate festivals in the world.”

11 Borja Spain

Borja, Spain: “Distortion represents Copenhagen: It is incredibly open minded”

10 Edu Spain

Edu, Spain: ”The atmosphere here is contagious.”

9 Rueben Portugal

Ruben, Portugal: ”Look around you man! What’s not to like?”

8 David Sweden

David, Sweden: ”Distortion is a great place to meet people!”

6 Paulo Portugal

Paulo, Portugal: ”This is my 4th year now – I love electronic music and Distortion has a great line up.”

12 Irene Spain

Irene, Spain: “Distortion makes me dance and scream!”

5 Malthe Germany

Malte, Germany: ”There’s a great sense of togetherness here.”

2 Edoardo Italy

Edoardo, Italy: ”This is the best party in the world.”

7 Leire Spain .jpg

Leire, Spain: ”There is nowhere in the world like this place!”

1 Aleksandra Poland

Aleksandra, Poland: ”I just love it here!”

3 Lil Germany

Lil, Germany: “This is the best electronic music festival in Denmark”

4 Ramon Spain

Ramon, Spain: “I’m taking notes so I can bring Distortion to Spain.”

2 Siya Germany

Siya, Germany: ” Why am I here? The question is why not?”

1 Peter Poland jpg

Peter, Poland: “Pancake turntablism 2.0.”

Denmark’s ten must-see concerts in June

The following weeks will offer more than enough entertainment as the closely contested general election kicks into top gear, but there is plenty to do in June for the non-political junkies out there.

We’ll have more on the concert festivals as they approach, but for now here are our ten don’t-miss concerts for June.

Distortion Festival
Various locations in Copenhagen • June 3-7

Billed as “a week of emerging dance music and orchestrated chaos” Distortion has grown from strength to strength over the years. Now one of Europe’s most renowned street festivals, Distortion features a street party in Nørrebro on June 3 and in Vesterbro the following day before the chaos migrates to the fashionably grunge confines of Refshaleøen for two more days of mayhem featuring a solid lineup of up and coming acts alongside evergreen establishments such as Fritz Kalknbrenner, Kenton Slash Demon and Eloq.

Lille Vega • June 4 at 9pm

This will get messy. Hailed as moshpit kings for the last two decades, Hatebreed will be celebrating their 20th anniversary at Vega at the start of June. With numerous performances on Danish soil under their belt, these metalcore stalwarts look to add yet another memorable concert to their impressive local repertoire.

Marilyn Manson
Store Vega • June 8 at 8pm

He may be more than a few years past his prime and not quite as scary as he once was, but Marilyn Manson’s 2015 album The Pale Emperor shows that the shock rocker still has a few tricks up his sleeve. The man formerly known as Brian Warner will bring his “The Hell Not Hallelujah Tour” to Vega for what will surely be a hard romp through his catalogue of goth-inspired metal.

NorthSide Festival
Aarhus • June 12-14

Northside Festival is the music festival amongst music festivals. Retailing at a cool 1378 kroner, the Jutland festival, located in downtown Aarhus is cheaper than both Tinderbox and Roskilde. It’s lineup is also less commercial, with quality acts like Anthony & The Johnsons, Alt J, Ben Howard, the Black Keys, Earl Sweatshirt, Wu-Tang Clan, Grace Jones and Placebo gracing its stages. Unlike Roskidle, Northside doesn’t feature designated camping areas due to its city centre location.

Refshaleøen • June 18-20

Copenhell is exactly what it sounds like; two days of decibel-defying hell in Copenhagen held in the industrial surroundings of Refshaleøen heavily dedicated to metal; heavy metal. Hellishly unique experiences such as a scene where one can grab a mallet and smash away of heaps of junk metal are some of the attractions on offer at Copenhell. This year’s lineup has bands such as Slipknot, Red Fang, Cannibal Corpse, Exodus and Kreator, making Copenhell a heaven for metalheads.

Tyondai Braxton
Pumpehuset • June 10 at 8pm

Tyondai Braxton’s music would be more at home at an art exhibition at The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art than it would at Pumpehuset so this choice is, admittedly, curious. To their credit, Pumpehuset have billed a true pioneer within the field of experimental music whose work sounds what life on a galaxy far far away in an unforeseeable future might sound like. His music is either too nerdy to be understood or the craftsmanship of a genius – figure it out for yourself.

Black Daniels
Rust • June 12 at 1am

M.C Black Daniels is one of Denmark’s veritable ambassadors within the drum ‘n’ bass genre; a niche that often doesn’t get the representation it deserves in music circles. Having shared stages with the likes of England’s High Contrast (one of the few commercial successes within the genre), Daniels may not have that much material of his own but there is no disputing his lyrical wizardry as an emcee.

Vince Staples
Lille Vega • June 20 at 9pm

Several years after carving a name for himself with a series of recordings for the established Odd Future crew, Long Beach rapper Vince Staples has evolved to become one of the most exciting names in rap music today. His upbringing, run-ins with authorities and past near-misses are frequently the subject of his lyrics, many of which take a poetic stab at some of the inequalities of life.

Tinderbox Festival
Odense • June 26-28

The latest heavyweight addition to Denmark’s impressive festival repertoire, Tinderbox, initially received a hostile reception from music journalists and the industry at large, given its bold decision to stage the event just before Roskilde Festival. Retailing for a cool 500 kroner less than Roskilde, Tinderbox have lined up a very impressive artist roster considering that it’s their first-ever installation. The Prodigy, Faithless, Above & Beyond, Calvin Harris, Modest Mouse (shown in the video below), Robbie Williams, Faith No More and James Blake  are but a few of the names on a billing that features heavyweight electronic artists and established commercial acts.

Roskilde Festival
June 27 – July 4

Even though we’re cheating a bit (the main lineup of music acts doesn’t start until July 1), our coverage wouldn’t be complete without mention of the Roskilde Festival – one of the largest festivals in Europe and a staple on the local Danish festival scene. Some of the bigger names on this year’s billing include Paul McCartney, Pharell Williams and Muse. Beyond the music, there’s an interactive art and culture scene and of course, the world famous camping experience that makes Roskilde a gem amongst gems.

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Allan Mutuku-Kortbæk (allanm46@gmail.com)