Black Keys to headline NorthSide Festival

The Aarhus festival said that it has booked the one band that has been requested more than any other over the past three years: American rock duo The Black Keys.

Black Keys to headline NorthSide Festival
The Black Keys will make their first ever Danish festival appearance. Photo: Mike Blake/Scanpix
Who’s ‘Happy’ now, Roskilde? 
A day after the venerable Roskilde Festival announced its first 2015 headliner in the form of Mr ‘Happy’ himself, Pharrell Williams, Roskilde’s main rival NorthSide fired back with one of the biggest names in rock music. 
The Aarhus-based NorthSide announced The Black Keys and a handful of other bands for its June 12-14 festival. 
“We have worked hard in recent months to get the first acts ready for NorthSide, and obviously we have looked closely at the acts on the wish lists of our guests. Without a doubt, the most requested act for NorthSide the last three years has been The Black Keys, and therefore we are now insanely proud to be able to present the American duo to our audience along with four other great acts,” organisers said in a statement. 
The Ohio-formed Black Keys released their first album in 2002 but didn’t hit their big breakthrough until the 2010 album Brothers, which garnered them three Grammy Awards. Calling them “one of the world’s biggest rock bands”, NorthSide said that the band’s appearance would be the first Danish festival show in their 12-year career. 
Also announced on Friday were the New York rock band Interpol, Danish sensation MØ, American signer-songwriter John Grant and Swedish indie folk singer José González. 
The newest name on the Danish festival scene, Tinderbox, has promised to announce its first names by mid-November. 

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Denmark’s summer music festival hopes fade

The possibility of large-scale music festivals taking place in Denmark this summer has been described as “unrealistic” following the publication of expert recommendations for coronavirus-safe events.

Denmark’s summer music festival hopes fade
The Roskilde Festival during the glorious summer of 2018. Photo: Sofie Mathiassen/Ritzau Scanpix

Music events such as the Roskilde Festival, the largest of its kind in northern Europe, would not be able to take place as normal and must be without overnight guests under the recommendations, submitted in report form by an expert advisory group to the government on Friday.

The group, appointed as part of the national reopening plan, was tasked with looking at how festivals and other large events can take place this summer.

The recommendations will provide the basis political discussions which will form an agreement over large events which will be integrated into the reopening plan.

READ ALSO: Denmark enters new phase of reopening plan: Here’s what changed on April 21st

Seven various scenarios, including one for outdoors, standing events, were considered by the expert group in forming its recommendations. Two phases have been set down for eased restrictions on large events, which are currently banned due to the public assembly limit.

In the final phase of the restrictions towards the end of the summer, a maximum of 10,000 people would be permitted to attend an event. All attendees would be required to present a valid corona passport, and audiences would be split into sections of 2,000.

Although that could provide a framework for some events to take place, Roskilde Festival, which normally has a total of around 130,000 guests and volunteers including sprawling camping areas, appears to be impossible in anything resembling its usual format.

The festival was also cancelled in 2020.

Roskilde Festival CEO Signe Lopdrup, who was part of the expert group, said the festival was unlikely to go ahead should it be required to follow the recommendations.

“Based on the recommendations, we find it very difficult to believe it is realistic to organise festivals in Denmark before the end of the summer,” Lopdrup said in a written comment to broadcaster DR.

The restrictions would mean “that it is not possible to go ahead with the Roskilde Festival. That’s completely unbearable. But that’s where we’ve ended,” she added.

The news is potentially less bleak for other types of event with fewer participants, with cultural and sporting events as well as conferences also included in the recommendations submitted by the group.

Parliament has previously approved a compensation scheme for major events forced to cancel due to coronavirus measures this summer.