Copenhagen Distortion

Copenhagen Distortion
This article is about Distortion festival, in Copenhagen. For other uses, see Distortion (disambiguation).

Copenhagen Distortion is a middle-size festival for party/club culture, taking place in the streets of Copenhagen, Denmark, and in dozens of unusual locations around city, every year during the week of the first Saturday in June. The festival's cultural focus is on club culture, upfront dance music, street life, contemporary art (only when related to nightlife or public space), social art and Copenhagen's new independent media (print and web).



The name, the concept of mixing all genres and the tag-line "Distortion — A Celebration of Copenhagen Nightlife" were founded in September 1998 for a one-night party in Mantra, Tivoli, Copenhagen. Distortion became a 5-day mobile festival in June 2000, with seven parties in five days. Distortion started its international party hosting concept in 2004 with Colette hosting a radio show on a boat and an after-party [1]. By June 2008, Distortion had grown to one of the largest cultural celebrations in Copenhagen, attracting over 31,000 people to 56 events in 5 days. [2] In 2010 more than 80.000 people. In 2011 more than 100.000 people [3]

Distortion profile

A celebration of street-life and nightlife

Copenhagen Distortion is "a celebration of streetlife & nightlife" orchestrating 50+ events hosted by 50+ local and international icons of streetlife and nightlife (people, shops, clubs, galleries, labels, magazines…). The characteristic Distortion atmosphere involves high-energy impulsive chaos with a strong "streetlife freedom" feel. The music selection is sharp and upfront: names like Hot Chip, Simian Mobile Disco, Spank Rock feat. Amanda Blank and Sebastien Tellier were booked for Distortion events before they had become underground heroes of international scope (see notable names & dates below). The festival has always been a Copenhagen leader in the field of using urban space and unusual locations: In the years 2005-2006 the festival started to focus strongly on outdoor street parties. In 2008 Distortion changed its tagline "A Celebration of Copenhagen Nightlife" to "A Celebration of Streetlife & Nightlife": out of 56 events, 14 of them were street parties and 3 of them were massive outdoor block parties on famous Copenhagen squares (Latin Quarters + Sankt Hans Torv + Enghave Plads).[4]

Mobile festival

One of the unique aspects of the festival is its mobile nature. Distortion happens each day in a different neighbourhood (5 days = 5 areas), attracting 6,000–10,000(50,000-100,000 in the later years) people per day to events that often are mobile themselves: parades, boat parties, bus parties, street races, block parties… [5]

Music profile

DJ Lyne and Nitai firing up the party at Distortion 2011.
Copenhagen Distortion

They played at Distortion parties:

  • Hot Chip (UK/2005)
  • Simian Mobile Disco (UK/2004)
  • Chicks on Speed (DE/2008)
  • Spank Rock (US/2006)
  • Superpitcher (DE/2003)
  • TTC (F/2003+06)
  • Feadz (F/2003)
  • Diskokaine (AT/2007+08)
  • Shit Robot (US/2008)
  • WhoMadeWho (DK/2005+06+07+08+09+10)
  • D-I-R-T-Y Sound System (F/2004+05+06+07+08)
  • Mr. Catra (BRA/2004)
  • Alexander Robotnick (IT/2008)
  • Cosmo Vitelli (F/2006)
  • Gucci Sound System / Riton (UK, 2005)
  • Sebastien Tellier (F/2005)


Party Profile

They hosted parties at Distortion events:

  • Vice (Scandinavia/2005+06+07+08)
  • colette (Paris/2004)
  • The Royal Theatre (Turbinehallerne/2005)
  • Rio (Berlin/2008)
  • (Paris/2004+05+06+07)
  • EasyJetSet (Berlin/2008)
  • Electro GoGo / Mark Moore (London/2005)
  • Pig Magazine (Milan/2008)
  • BPitchCtrl (Berlin/2005)
  • Kitsuné (Paris/2005)
  • Optimo (Glasgow/2005)
  • Wet Yourself (London/2008)


  1. Distortion 2004 web archive
  2. Politiken (national daily newspaper), Monday 9.June 2008,
  3. The Copenhagen Report Blog
  4. Photo & Video blog

Other resources

  • Wonderful Copenhagen (official tourist information website) [6]
  • World Event Guide [7]
  • Submarine towing a party float to Distortion event beneath Knippelsbro bridge (video) [8]

External links

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