…March, April & May: PopFest Preview: Copenhagen PopFest


Now that Birmingham Popfest has wrapped up its weekend, which appears to have been a tremendous success, and with the Oddbox Weekender just days away, we bring to you yet another festival that looms on the horizon.

Copenhagen Popfest is being organized by three musicians and pop fans — Morten, Kasper, and Mikkel. There hasn’t been a festival in the city since 2010, which was clouded (quite literally) by the volcanic eruption on Iceland. As Mikkel tells us in our brief interview, it caused some problems. So, years later, the three of them got together and organized the popfest themselves, taking place on May 16th and 17th at Huset-KBH.

What can you expect to see? Some incredible indiepop bands from across Europe including Sweden, England, and Spain. Mikkel also gives some tips if you’d like to experience a bit of Copenhagen, too!

1. Can you give us a history of Copenhagen Popfest (dates, organizers involved, etc.)? How and why did you come to be involved? Why did you choose to set up this event?
There was an edition of Copenhagen Popfest held in 2010. A lot of great bands played, and a lot also unfortunately got canceled due to the volcanic eruption on Iceland that resulted in a flight ban over Europe.

 At the time, Kasper, Morten and I played in a band called Ampel that performed at the Popfest, and we really enjoyed the great mood that surrounded the entire thing. 

Since then, we kind of hoped that someone would set up a Popfest again here in Copenhagen. We have attended a few other popfests across Europe, and when we went to Popfest Berlin in October 2013, a loose talk about “what if we did it ourselves?” turned out in us shaking hands that we’d be the ones to make it happen.

 The reason we decided to set it up was that there were just so many great bands that we’d like to see play here in Copenhagen, but it seems that they never get booked to play here. And that is too bad!

So now — half a year later — we’re looking at a two-day popfest (16th and 17th of May) in a venue that fits 150 people and with way greater bands than we’d imagined possible.

2. What is the process of choosing bands like? Do you contact them or do they have to request to play? Are there any rules as to who can or cannot play?
Well… As we announced in January that we were doing a popfest in May, we had already made arrangements with 3 of the bands on the poster and decided that we wouldn’t fit more than 9 in on the main stage. But as soon as we broke the news, we were swarmed with requests to play from bands from everywhere, which was a very nice surprise. 

It took a lot of talking back and forth and a lot of listening to, but there really was only one rule to “make the cut” — We three had to like the band for them to be taken into consideration, and then it had to include elements of indie pop of course.

3. What has experience taught you when it comes to organizing Copenhagen Popfest?
It’s not as hard as it seems to set up a Popfest. We really wish that more people would do like we did. 
The result is very satisfying and you receive so many happy wishes and emails for doing so.

That. … And then not to think that a band “might not want to come and play anyway,” and therefore keep from contacting them. It takes nothing to ask them. The worst thing that could happen is that they’ll reply with a “thanks, but no thanks…”

4. When does organization start? Is there a timeline you follow? How soon after the festival ends do you begin to plan the next one? Or, if this is the first of such event, when will you start planning for next year?
This is the first time we arrange a popfest, and we’re not sure yet if there will be a 2015 edition. But so far we haven’t lost the drive, and we’d sure like to give it shot again some time.

5. Do you have any inside tips for festival goers?
If you are used to cycling, rent a bike for a few hours and experience Copenhagen like we do. It is really the easiest way to get around. If the weather is nice, try out the spiraling tower of Vor Frelsers Kirke (The Church of Our Savior) in Christianshavn. It’s quite like nothing you’ve tried before.

At the popfest: Best to be there on time and bring your best dancing shoes. Working 4-5 bands within the limited time frame means that we must follow the schedule pretty tight and start on time to end on time.

Besides all this advice, it is our experience that popfest attendees are quite capable of throwing great parties as long as you set the frame. They are all very nice to be around and enjoy everything that a given popfest has to offer. We’re sure Copenhagen Popfest will be satisfying to the attending crowd too… We’ll do our best.

6. What are some of the best and worst moments of any Popfest that you can remember?
The best moments are almost too many to mention, and I’ve already mentioned when Ampel played, but I do recall Roadside Poppies playing Copenhagen in 2010 quite vividly. They wore home made volcano hats and they played a cover of “Cross the Lines” with the only Pocketbook band member, Jonny, that was able to make it over here due to the ash cloud and the flight ban playing the drums. Great fun!

The worst moment? There was a time at last year’s Popfest in Berlin, where a friend of mine talked me into drinking absinth with him – The day after that wasn’t my finest hour….heh

Thanks, Mikkel!


For news and information on the line-up, tickets, and even helpful advice pertaining to getting around Copenhagen, visit the Copenhagen Popfest website.

Will we see you there?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s