Copenhagen Distortion

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This article is about Distortion festival, in Copenhagen. For other uses, see Distortion (disambiguation).
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. 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 it ends in the Final Party area, with 10-15 stages per day in the Copenhagen harbor. In 2013, the festival's tagline became "A week of Emerging Dance Music and Orchestrated Chaos".


The name, the concept of mixing all genres, the idea of ultra-mobility and the tag-line "Distortion — A Celebration of Copenhagen Nightlife" were 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, hosting a one-day festival in one neighborhood each day, for 5 days. Since the beginning, Distortion has been a hosting project, inviting local icons of street life and club culture to host their own event / reception / show during the week, and 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 20-40 street parties in one Copenhagen district: Nørrebro on the Wednesday, Vesterbro on the Thursday, the Harbor on the Friday, chill-out in a park on the Sunday. 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 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).

Final Party[edit]

The Distortion week peaks at the Final Party, a massive rave with 12-15 stages on Refshaleøen, a former industrial shipyard in the heart of the Copenhagen harbor. According to the Distortion website: "Final Party combines the chaos of the street parties and the musical scope of the Distortion Club". This is also where icons of international club culture host events: Vice Magazine, RedBullMusicAcademy, Resident Advisor, Fact Magazine, Fabric-London, Salon Renate, Ed Bangers, Trouw - Amsterdam, Keller - Berlin... (see notable names & dates below).

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]