Copenhagen Distortion

Copenhagen Distortion is a celebration of "Copenhagen Street Life and New Dance Music". With an estimated 100,000 guests per day, it is one of the largest annual gatherings in Europe. The Distortion week starts with 20-40 street parties in the Nørrebro and Vesterbro districts - with an "anything goes" music profile - and the week ends with the Distortion Ø festival with 6-10 stages on an industrial island in the Copenhagen harbour - with focus on new dance music: hiphop, trap, world, house, experimental and techno.

Copenhagen Distortion
Date(s)Week of first Saturday in June
Location(s)Copenhagen, Denmark
Years active1998-present
Budget16,000,000 DKK (2018)[2]
Organised byThe Distortion Foundation / Fonden Distortion København


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. 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 & music 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 often invites local and international shops, labels, nightclubs, promoters, magazines to host their own party through the week, over the years this has included: Vice Magazine, Fabric - London, Resident Advisor, Adidas, Ed Bangers, Kompakt, Trouw - Amsterdam, Fact Magazine, Red Bull Music Academy... .

Distortion Street, Distortion Club, Distortion Ø

Street Parties

In the daytime, from 16.00-22.00, Distortion orchestrates 20-40 street parties, each day in one Copenhagen district: Nørrebro on the Wednesday, Vesterbro on the Thursday. The Street parties are hosted by local sound system: shops, nightclubs, residents, galleries, labels, magazines, bars. Distortion is famous around the world for its intense party energy and turning the entire city 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

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. played at Distortion Club events years before they became music heroes of international scope. Admission with single tickets or Distortion Pass.

Distortion Ø

Distortion Ø is the main event of the Distortion week, previously known as The Final Party. With 14.000-15.000 guests over two days, it is the largest event in Northern Europe for new electronic music (hiphop, grime, bass, house, electronic pop, experimental and techno). The labyrinth-like site is located on a former industrial island in the Copenhagen harbour. The 6-10 dance floors are both outdoors & indoors, in small forests and in containers with the legendary "techno-tunnel". The backdrops are spectacular combining the Copenhagen skyline and the industrial harbour zone. Admission via Distortion Ø ticket or Distortion Pass.

Distortion Camping

Distortion Camping is located on the island Refshaleøen, 200 meters from the Distortion Ø site and a few minutes from public transportation (bus and boat). Distortion Camping includes the Distortion chill-out area, right across from the Little Mermaid - and offers great views of both sunset and sunrise by the waterfront.

See also


  1. "Distortion at VisitDenmark". VisitDenmark. Retrieved 2015-06-06.
  2. Brudvig, Mette. "Nedslående regnskab: Distortion bliver ikke det samme næste år" (in Danish). Archived from the original on 8 June 2013. 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.

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