A belated note on this years Copenhagen Distortion Festival

by: Tim Anderson (timothyanderson2005@gmail.com)

The Nørrebro street party that knew no end...

Though I missed most of the Distortion Festival (summerhouse trip...), I made it out to a pretty cool Distortion evening in Nørrebro on the second evening. Thank goodness I did.

It turned into a true street party, a real
happening (as Isabel from Eyes Wide Shut put it perfectly - Isabel, whom I just last week had the pleasure of meeting and hanging out on Thursday at Distortion, writes some great stuff over at her blog and takes fantastic pictures that tend to put mine to shame). She has some great pics from Thursday on her blog, quite unlike crappy ones I managed on my phone...

the sound of street music...

So I'll add my own two cents kroner. It's stuff like the collective planned events and semi-planned happenings that make the Distortion Festival the one-of-a-kind event that is is, and this sort of stuff is also precisely what make Copenhagen such a great place to live, because it is precisely this that sets the city a lifetime apart from most other more staid and conservative places. It's this esoteric ability that enough people in Denmark seem to understand, about what makes a great vibe and how to create it - and they are actually permitted to do so. It makes all the difference. I've written about it before (for example here).

On Thursday the Distortion street party in Nørrebro was supposed to end at midnight. However the Copenhagen police, in a remarkable show of sensitivity (that they don't always show in other situations when it is surely called for), opted to simply close the street to traffic, where it all was happening, after a while. And the shop responsible for the music (who did a fantastic job all night) decided to keep it pumping way past the time it was supposed to end, which was midnight, and so the street party went on to around 3AM. They also opted to keep on selling beer...

There was also the Official Distortion Party Bus, well worth a mention here. Whoever the f&*king genius was who found the busdriver for that one (pictured below), give them a good hardy pat on the back (and maybe a raise and a key to the city). Too f*%king perfect.

So on we hopped, not knowing where it would take us (which proved to be just around the corner to the next party - but it was just so much more fun then walking ever would have been, anyway). Onboard, music blared, people danced, and beer was drank. I can assure you that if such a thing ever was to occur in my home and native land of Canada, the bus would have been immediately impounded and the organizers arrested (yes, another answer snippet from the often posed question 'why did you choose to live in Denmark instead of Canada?'). But this is Denmark, a more sensible place, at least in relation to these sorts of issues.

I've seen it happen again and again over the years in Copenhagen. It's actually possible to create a public, or semi-public, event with
spirit by actually allowing it to take on a life of it's own as it's happening - which is true in so relatively few places in the world. Because all too often, when something cool starts happening, it is forced to end prematurely for one silly reason or another.

See, because
spirit is not a tangible thing, those who don't get it should never be in charge of staging events - and they definitely shouldn't be in charge of regulating them. Fortunately, such people have been kept well away from the Distortion Festival in Copenhagen.

A happy Distortion street partier indulging in the unofficial food of the Distortion Festival - the schwarma.

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