Metalheads plunge into the depths of Copenhell

From Thursday through Sunday, Copenhagen will become hell on earth when the massive heavy metal festival Copenhell once again opens its ports.

Metalheads plunge into the depths of Copenhell
Devil horns up, it's Copenhell time! Photo: Peter Troest/
Each summer since 2010, Copenhell turns what used to be an important industrial site in the Copenhagen harbour into a sanctuary for metal heads from across Scandinavia.
The Refshaleøen location has played host to everything from the hugely expensive Eurovision to the hyper-chaotic and hugely popular street festival Distortion, but it is at Copenhell that the former shipping yard gives way to the most complete festival experience. 
This year’s Copenhell line-up boasts an astounding 42 different acts ready to wreak havoc upon the grounds. The ultimate headliners are funk-metal pioneers Primus, rock-opera newcomers Ghost and arguably one of the biggest live acts in the world in form of the extravagant Slipknot from Des Moines, Iowa. 
Boasting three larger stages, Copenhell organizers have arranged their concerts with as little overlapping as possible, therefore festival-goers have the chance to see virtually all bands during the course of the three days. An additional fourth stage, Copenhate, has now been added to the grounds and will give upcoming Danish metal bands may test their skills.
The Helviti stage will play host to the biggest-name bands, which in addition to the three aforementioned headliners includes Body Count, Rise Against and French heavyweights Gojira. 
The Hades stage meanwhile will be graced by bands such as American death metal veterans Cannibal Corpse, Bay Area thrashers Exodus, Finnish folk metal outfit Ensiferum and Swedish death meatless Bloodbath. 
A couple of odd-one-outs have also made it to the final roster in form of punk-rockers Rise Against and glam rock band The Darkness, whose flamboyance and cheek will sure raise some eyebrows of the conservative metalhead.
Although the concert experience takes centre stage, Copenhell also appeals to the somewhat playful, albeit destructive nature of metal music in form of ‘Smadreland’ (literally translated as ‘Destruction Land’). Here, attendees can compete against one another in a battle of destruction, not of their fellow man but rather on a supply of old vehicles, stereos, and television sets. Safety goggles are of course supplied.  
Apart from the endless opportunity to headbang the day away, plenty of social lubrication is found in the countless bars and stalls. Available are everything from crisp pilsners and Jäger shots to the somewhat intimidating Absindsyg, an absinthe created by Danish brewing masters Mikkeler, which allegedly contains real wolfs’ blood in its ingredients. The hugely popular Biergarten also features live DJs and plenty of cold brew while those who want to turn up the temperature can channel their inner Finn at a sauna complete with a fire pit. 
The gates of Copenhell open on Thursday at 4pm and the festivities close out on Saturday at 3am after a final show of Danish joke-metallers Red Warszawa. One-day tickets for both Thursday and Friday are sold out but a limited number of Saturday tickets and full three-day passes were still available at the time of writing. Check the festival’s website for ticket info. 

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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.