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First-year success for Haven festival

Haven, curated with members of the National, was almost at a capacity for its debut year, bringing music, beer and art to Copenhagen's post-industrial docks

By Jon Chapple on 14 Sep 2017

Haven 2017, Refshaleøen, Copenhagen, Denmark, Beatbox

Haven was staged on the site of a former shipyard on the island of Refshaleøen

Beatbox Entertainment has spoken of the success of the inaugural Haven festival, its first event in Copenhagen, after selling close to 20,000 tickets in its debut year.

Despite losing headliner Chance the Rapper to “scheduling conflicts” with three months to go, the 20,000-cap. festival – held, in a departure from Beatbox’s greenfield events Tinderbox and NorthSide, on the site of former shipyard on 11–12 August – fell just short of selling out, with around 150 tickets left, spokesman Sigurd Hartkorn Plaetner tells IQ.

“In a narcissistic way it was a little bit frustrating [not to sell out],” jokes Hartkorn Plaetner. “But it’s better than if we did sell out and lots of people didn’t come.”

Haven 2017 headliners included Bon Iver, Iggy Pop and Beach House, as well as the National, whose members Aaron and Bryce Dessner co-curated the event alongside chef Claus Meyer and Mikkellers brewery founder Mikkel Borg Bjergsø.

“It’s not really a festival. It’s a two-day experiment”

Hartkorn Plaetner says all the collaborators were “super involved in building up the whole festival”. Musically, he says, the booking philosophy was to focus on quality, rather than quantity – “We could have said, ‘We want 50 acts, a bit of world music, a bit of African music, et cetera’,” he explains, “but we decided we would rather have have 20 really, really strong acts” – with visual arts and a strong F&B line-up also key to the festival’s success.

“It’s about taking various disciplines and making them something you can experience together,” he continues. “At traditional festivals you drink beer to get drunk between concerts; at Haven, the shows were as much something you see between the beer experiences!

“The way I like to think about it is that it’s not really a festival. It’s really a two-day experiment – but you can’t say to your friends, ‘Hey, do you want to get tickets for a two-day experiment…?'”

Haven Festival will return in 2018.


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