Copenhagen Distortion

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Copenhagen Distortion
Distortion logo.png
Date(s) Week of first Saturday in June
Frequency Annual
Location(s) Copenhagen, Denmark
Years active 1998-present
Attendance ~300.000[1]
Budget 10,000,000 DKK (2013)[2]
Organised by The Distortion Foundation / Fonden Distortion København

Copenhagen Distortion is a celebration of Copenhagen street life and international club culture, "A week of Emerging Dance Music and Orchestrated Chaos". With an estimated 100,000 guests per day, it is one of the largest annual gatherings in Europe. Distortion is a mobile festival: the week starts in the streets of Copenhagen - in the Nørrebro and Vesterbro district - and with the Distortion Ø festival, with 8-10 stages per day by the Copenhagen harbor.


The idea of ultra-mobility and the tag-line "Distortion — A Celebration of Copenhagen Nightlife" was born in September 1998 for a one-night party in the nightclub Mantra in Tivoli, Copenhagen, established by Thomas Fleurquin.[3] Distortion became a 5-day mobile festival in June 2000. Since the beginning, Distortion has invited local hosts from the club culture scene in Copenhagen, and different local street hosts presenting all sorts of urban culture. Everyone hosted their own party. The Distortion team would bind them all together in a wild party route. International hosts started in 2004 with colette (concept store in Paris) hosting a radio show on a boat and curating a dancefloor at the Final Party [1]. Since then, some of the world's leading brands of international club culture have hosted Distortion parties: Vice Magazine, Fabric - London, Resident Advisor, Adidas, Ed Bangers, Kompakt, Trouw - Amsterdam, Fact Magazine, Red Bull Music Academy... In the period 1998-2007, Distortion was a small, chaotic, not-fully-legal 5-day party crawl through Copenhagen, mainly for the local underground art scene and club culture professionals. In 2007, after gathering 2.000 guests at a single street party for the first time, Distortion decided to go professional and entered a collaboration with the Copenhagen City Council and the Copenhagen Police: Nus/Nus - the Distortion Secretariat was established.[4] In 2011, according to the Copenhagen Police, Distortion had 80.000-100.000 visitors per day, becoming one of the largest annual gatherings in Europe.[5] In 2012, Distortion established Fonden Distortion København (the Distortion Foundation).

Distortion profile[edit]

Street Parties[edit]

In the daytime, from 16.00-22.00, Distortion orchestrates 40-50 street parties in one Copenhagen district: Nørrebro on the Wednesday, Vesterbro on the Thursday, attracting more than 100.000 people each day, and completely shutting down traffic in the city area. The Street parties are hosted by local sound system: shops, nightclubs, residents, galleries, labels, magazines, bars. Distortion is famous for its intense street-chaos vibe and turning the streets into a giant nightclub, but there are also events for children, pop-up street restaurants and a stage for international classical music. The streets of Copenhagen are literally jam-packed, and transformed by the thousands of guests dancing and loving life and music together. The Street Parties are partly financed by the Gadearmbånd ("Street-Wristband"), a voluntary donation (100kr / €13) to support the production and cleaning of the street parties.

Distortion Club[edit]

At night, Distortion hosts an international festival for modern club music. Distortion Club takes place in nightclubs, regular venues and one-off locations like swimming pools, under bridges, in museums, the Royal Theatre, warehouses etc... Names like Hot Chip, Simian Mobile Disco, Spank Rock, Sebastien Tellier, Diplo & M.i.a. were booked for Distortion Club events years before they became music heroes of international scope (see notable names & dates below). Guests can participate with a Distortion Week Pass.

Distortion Ø[edit]

Distortion Ø is the main event of the Distortion week. The beast that is Distortion morphes again on 3rd and 4th days of the festival, becoming an intense, centralized party-utopia on the festival site Distortion Ø. It all goes down at the labyrinth-like festival site by the Copenhagen harbour where guests lose themselves in pure musical bliss. The site is brimming with outdoor dance floors, and thoroughly decked out with sound and light installations, creating Scandinavia's biggest electronic music event. The line-up always presents new international dance music too, and at Distortion, guests can expect to hear grime, trap, hip hop, house, techno, tech-house, r'n'b and electronic pop. People need to have a Distortion Ø wristband or a Distortion Week Pass.

Distortion Camping[edit]

Distortion Camping is located on Refshaleøen, 200 meters from the Distortion Ø festival site and super close to public transportation. Distortion Camping includes the popular chill-out area known for its beautiful location right by the waterfront. The Camping area has a direct view of the sunset, and you can even get a sneak peek of the Little Mermaid statue right across the Copenhagen canal.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Distortion at VisitDenmark". VisitDenmark. Retrieved 2015-06-06. 
  2. ^ Brudvig, Mette. "Nedslående regnskab: Distortion bliver ikke det samme næste år" (in Danish). Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  3. ^ Kirkbak, Jesper; Lasse Ladefoged; Kathrine Kellemann; Jonas Pröschold (June 1, 2012). "Distortions historie: Fra Tivoli til Tistorion" (in Danish). Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  4. ^ Andersen, Louise (2008-06-09). "31.000 deltog i Distortions festkaravane" (in Danish). Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  5. ^ Lautrup, Claes (2011-06-02). "100.000 til larmende fredelig Distortion-åbning" (in Danish). Berlingske. Retrieved 2013-06-01. 

External links[edit]