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Guide: Festivals in and around Copenhagen

Syd for solen festival in Søndermarken. Photo: PR

As soon as the sun is out, Copenhagen comes alive. Staying in the city over the summer gives us many opportunities, such as celebrating at some of the various festivals. Already this week on 31 May Distortion begins, launching the festival season on a grand scale. The festival takes place in different parts of Copenhagen. For example, on Thursday the streets of Vesterbro will be filled with music. No matter if you have a summer internship, summer school, or are on a study break, here is an overview of where to be in and around Copenhagen over the next few months:

Guide |   02. Jun 2023

portrait of woman

Anna Löhr



Syd for Solen

June begins with Syd for Solen, which takes place from 7–9 June in the Frederiksberg park Søndermarken. Right around the corner from CBS in the midst of the city, the festival offers an easy one-day festival experience in a relaxed atmosphere. CBS alumni Emma Hestbæk, promoter at the festival’s agency ‘smash!bang!pow!’, explains that there are “three independent days, with completely different line-ups so there is a day of curated music for everyone”. For instance, on Friday, the line-up presents heavy acts such as Peggy Gou and Aphex Twin, and local names such as Julie Pavon and Ussel. These are balanced by indie  bands such as Benny Sings, Confidence Man and August Høyen.

The full programme can be found here:

Compared to Roskilde, the crowd is usually slightly older. By bridging day and night, the festival brings an alternative to a long, exhausting party night. And even if the weather turns bad, Emma Hestbæk recounts that the party goes on: “Last year, the heavens opened on us and the craziest 15-minute rainstorm began in the middle of Parcel’s very first show in Denmark. But despite being soaking wet, the entire festival had an amazing dance party.” Emma Hestbæk’s advice for the summer festival days: “Bring your bathing suit every day and jump in the water!”


Iconic Orange Stage at Roskilde. Photo: Shutterstock


Of course, at the end of June, there is Roskilde Festival, the king of Danish festivals and the largest music and arts festival in Northern Europe, expecting a crowd of around 135,000 people. The festival is a must-do for many Danes, with an audience ranging from high-school graduates to our parents’ generation – and grandparents’. Festivalgoers camp next to speakers, shower cold and eat tinned tuna while drinking and listening to great music. Stretching a week, the festival offers the chance to hear both international names, this year such as Kendrick Lamar, Loyle Carner, Caroline Polanzeck, Denzel Curry, and Jockstrap, as well as Danish artists such as Ukendt Kunstner and newcomers like Afskum.

See the full programme here:

Usually, Roskilde sells out well before the event, but if you do not have a ticket yet, keep a close eye on ticket resales in the weeks leading up to the festival, or try signing up for volunteering. All profits generated by the festival go to charity.



Copenhagen Jazz Festival

On a slightly smaller scale, from 2–11 July, Copenhagen Jazz Festival will take place at venues in the city. With its dynamic nature, the festival is perfect for enjoying some music spontaneously after work. Jazz artists, including Gregory Porter and Bremer McCoy, will be featured. The festival also offers many free concerts, and gives you the chance to discover smaller, lesser-known artists.

See Copenhagen Jazz Festival programme

Kune Festival

If you usually find yourself at electronic night clubs such as Module in the city centre, Baggen at Kødbyen or Hangaren out on Reffen on a Friday night, you might be interested in Kune Festival. The festival, on 19–23 July, is just thirty minutes from Copenhagen (by boat) on the small Youth Island, a sea fort formerly known as Middelgrundsfortet. To immerse yourself in electronic music, you can camp on site or visit for just a day. The festival features local artists, such as Schacke, who you will recognise from nights out clubbing.

Check out Kune Festival’s Soundcloud page to get an impression of what to expect

To minimise costs, you can sign up for volunteering



If you are already missing Distortion, don’t despair – Odays brings new life to Reffen from 3–5 August. Reffen (short for Refshaleøen), an old harbour island just north of Christianshavn has been transformed into a platform for cultural events. Going to Reffen for a festival can become an all-day event. Before visiting Odays, why not grab something to eat at the street food stands, or check out Copenhagen Contemporary, an international art centre. With relatively cheap tickets of around DKK 500 per day, the festival, which is only a year old, has still curated a lineup of well-known artists such as Erika de Cashier, Kokoroko, Nia Archives and Jada.

See the full Odays programme


Ending Copenhagen’s festival season, Strøm gives space to music events all over the city. The main dates to keep in mind are three days, the 13, 20 and 27 August. A free event at DGI Byen with disco, house and vogue music will kick off the festival. On 20 August, a metro line leading from Vestamager into the city will be taken over by several DJs. Hopping on and off, you can listen and dance to trance music. As the university starts again, deep electronic music, produced by CTM and Sofie Birch, will be heard coming from the existing sound wells, underground loudspeakers, under your feet as you pass in front of CBS at Solbjerg Plads.

Find more information on Strøm


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