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New Danish festival: Music, art and talks in castle setting

Heartland Festival, the latest entry on Denmark’s long list of summer festivals, will debut this weekend on the island of Funen.

New Danish festival: Music, art and talks in castle setting
The festival certainly has an attractive setting. Photo: Heartland Festival
The Heartland Festival is hoping to carve out a niche in the busy festival month of June by combining a short but unique music line-up with world-renowned artists, high-level talks and a focus on Danish cuisine. 
 
And the whole thing will be done in the fairytale setting of the well-known tourist beacon Egeskov Castle. 
 
“Our ambition with Heartland is to challenge exciting perception of what a festival experience can be by offering playful formats, multiple art scenes, instant fun and long-lasting substance. With a strong line-up of artists, a beautiful renaissance castle and new ways of experiencing music, arts, literature and food, I cannot wait to present the new Heartland Festival to the world,” festival director Ulrik Ørum-Petersen said. 
 
Immersive experiences 
Unlike the majority of festivals on the calendar, Heartland guns for a more holistic festival experience that involves immersion in the central elements of music, art, food and conversations. 
 
To this end, some of the names on the music billing include Mark Ronson, The Flaming Lips, Michael Kiwanuka, Mikael Simpson, Kvamie Liv and Sun Kil Moon. 
 
Talks from Brian Eno, performance artist Marina Abramovic and Danish ‘starchitect’ Bjarke Ingels will also take place during the two-day event. 
 
On the food front, Heartland have planned a culinary programme that is designed to stand out from other festivals, featuring, amongst others, top chefs such as Per Hallundbaek.  
 
Danish focus with international roots
With a predicted attendance of 6,000, Heartland is not an event targeting the average festival-goer, aiming instead for a more culturally aware audience.
 
“Heartland Festival is an entirely new festival approach, that does not resemble any of the other festivals that we know in Denmark, but that has had success in other countries such as England and Holland,” Ørum Petersen said. 
 
Practicalities
 
When: Friday, June 10th – Saturday, June 11th
 
Where: Egeskov Castle, Kværndrup, Southern Funen
 
Price: 955 kroner for both days, 655 kroner for one 
 
Accommodation: Guests can camp in their own tent or choose a pre-pitched option. Local hotels, bed and breakfasts and holiday homes are also available (at a separate cost). 
 
Key Names: Mark Ronson, Michael Kiwanuka, Blaue Blume, The Flaming Lips, Mikael Simpson, Anne Linnet, Whomadewho, Brian Eno, Bjarke Ingels, Marina Abramovic.
 
Transport: Trains to Kværndrup Station run from Odense’s central station. Free shuttle buses to and from Kværndrup. 
 
More information is available on the festival's website

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FESTIVAL

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.

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