Distortion, the country’s largest street festival, has changed its name as part of an attempt to distance itself from the huge crowds that have created chaos in districts such as Nørrebro and Vesterbro over the past decade.
A little over 10 years ago, the one-day meeting at the street parties in the beginning of June in the two Copenhagen districts increased from 10,000 to 100,000 over the course of two years, and ever since, Distortion has been under pressure to regulate the noise and pollution they produce.
From 2022 to 2024, the street festival segment in Distortion will therefore be known as Distortion X – and it sounds as if the free admission part of the festival is becoming much smaller.
“There will still be a free city party on the street during the Distortion week – but there we will avoid the name Distortion and the associated 150 percent uninhibited atmosphere. Not because it has to be boring, but because people over the age of 30 need to be able to endure being there, explained Distortion organizer and founder Thomas Flerquin, who is 48.
“Then we will stick to intense music experiences on the street, inside a few demarcated music zones under the heading Distortion X … because when you behave like an animal, you are put in a cage – that’s just the way it is.”
Protests falling on deaf ears
Some will argue that it has been on the cards for a while. In recent years, there have been signs that the organizers have grown tired of the mostly teenagers who, despite their best efforts, very rarely contribute anything to the festival’s bottom line.
Several paid entry zones have been steadily introduced and efforts have been intensified to enable voluntary donations.
Each year, organizers encourage partygoers to watch their behavior, but to no avail.
Distortion has not been held since 2019 due to the pandemic. Its small summer festival, Karrusel, takes place on Refshaleøen at Disco Skoven from 26-28. August
The first ever Distortion was held to raise awareness of In & Out, a Copenhagen Post supplement launched by Fleurquin in 1998. Distortion became a five-day festival in 2000, and Fleurquin edited In & Out until 2008.
Source: The Nordic Page