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The world’s leading promoters & the 55 top markets they operate in.
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Denmark continues to be a strong and stable market for many international acts, with a live scene that has gone from strength to strength despite the myriad challenges presented over the last couple of years.
“I think this year was a lot better than 2022,” says Xenia Grigat, senior promoter at smash!bang!pow! The FKP-Scorpio backed, Copenhagen-based company recently celebrated its second edition of the three-day Syd for Solen festival, which was headlined by Bon Iver, Aphex Twin, Iggy Pop, and The War on Drugs. “We more than doubled the ticket sales from last year’s debut, so it’s definitely going in the right direction.”
“We more than doubled the ticket sales from last year’s debut, so it’s definitely going in the right direction.”
Grigat also handles the music programming for Syd for Solen, carefully curating the lineups so that an act like South Korean DJ Peggy Gou will be able to play on the same day as Aphex Twin. In addition to their festival, smash!bang!pow! also look after domestic acts such as singer/songwriter eee gee, who is rapidly gaining a global following. “Eee gee is starting to break through in the UK, which is awesome to see,” says Grigat. “The local scene is stronger than ever, and I don’t know if this is a by-product of the pandemic, but if you look at the charts, they’re dominated by Danish artists. There’s a high demand for festivals that will showcase these acts.”
DTD Group is Denmark’s largest independent promoter and is also behind two of the country’s biggest festivals in NorthSide and Tinderbox (located in Aarhus and Odense, respectively). More recently, the company has confirmed the acquisition of the one-day Fyrværkeri Festival (commonly shortened to Fyrfest) — a 20,000-capacity showcase known for hosting local artists.
Citing the Roskilde Festival as an example, DTD Group is very cognisant of the massive advantages of pairing Danish talent with their more renowned international counterparts. “It’s definitely the right way of promoting up-and-coming domestic acts,” says CEO Brian Nielsen. “A week-long festival like Roskilde would focus their first three or four days on emerging artists. For our festivals, we’d present the local or international newcomers on smaller stages, which would be a good stepping stone for them as they’ll play to a capacity crowd that’s bigger than a club show. It’s a good opportunity all around.”
Citing the Roskilde Festival as an example, DTD Group is very cognisant of the massive advantages of pairing Danish talent with their more renowned international counterparts.
Another major company celebrating a successful 2023 is All Things Live, having promoted shows by Sam Smith, Pusha T, Blackpink, and comedians Jo Koy and Jim Jefferies. “Our biggest triumph was Rammstein at Odense, where we booked two sold-out shows and sold 90,000 tickets this past summer,” says CEO Pernille Møller Pedersen, also hailing the rising popularity of comedy events throughout the country and confirming the booking of Michael McIntyre and Iliza Shlesinger later this year. “Both international and domestic comedians are doing very well at the moment. The demand for quality live entertainment will always be there.”
Live Nation Denmark also continues to be a huge player in the country’s live entertainment market, with shows from the likes of Wizkid, Larry June, Diana Ross, Madonna, and BABYMETAL on the horizon. Much like their indie competitors, the diversity of their scheduled shows reflects greatly on the Danish market’s willingness to embrace any and all music genres, despite the country’s long-standing love of pop and rock.
DEAG-owned CSB Island Entertainment holds worldwide rights to productions including The Show – A Tribute to Abba, Queen Machine Symphonic, and Disco Tango Eurovision Show and supplied major international artists and bands for up to 100 festivals and open-airs in Denmark this summer, ranging from 5,000 in capacity up to 20-30,000-cap festivals.
“That is more festivals and open-airs than ever, and at the same time, our collaboration with indoor concert halls has increased and increased.”
“That is more festivals and open-airs than ever, and at the same time, our collaboration with indoor concert halls has increased and increased,” says Carsten Svoldgaard, who says the main challenge in Denmark is not one of consumer demand but of securing a sufficient supply of talent to satisfy it all.
“We are so busy with both festivals and indoor concerts that we simply lack artists for the Scandinavian venues,” says Svoldgaard. “In Denmark alone, there are over 200 festivals and open-airs in the summer, and we have artists at most of these, but we simply need more. It may sound like a positive problem that it’s all just running smoothly but, of course, we want to do as many concerts as possible – therefore, we could use many more international bands and artists.”