NorthSide: Radiohead to play first Danish gig in eight years

The 2017 music festival season is already heating up thanks to Tuesday’s announcement that Radiohead will headline the NorthSide festival in Aarhus.

NorthSide: Radiohead to play first Danish gig in eight years
Thom Yorke and the rest of Radiohead have not played in Denmark since the 2008 Roskilde Festival (pictured). Photo: Sara Johannessen / SCANPIX
The Oxfordshire band has not played a show on Danish soil in eight years so the booking is seen as a major coup by the festival, which having started in 2010 is still largely seen as a ‘little brother’ to the more established Roskilde Festival. 
“We are proud and honoured that Radiohead has agreed to play NorthSide in the summer. They are the perfect band as a headliner for our poster and today’s announcement is the culmination of several years of hard work,” festival spokesman John Fogde said in a press release. 
He added that the booking was “a dream come true” for the Aarhus team. 
Radiohead have sold more than 30 million albums worldwide and have topped numerous polls and critics’ lists as one of the best bands of the 1990s and 2000s. Their ninth album, ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’, was released to great fanfare and a warm critical reception earlier this year. 
In other festival news, the Copenhagen heavy metal festival Copenhell recently announced that System of a Down will headline its 2017 incarnation. The Armenian-American band will perform their first ever Danish festival show and first concert in Denmark in nearly 12 years. 
With the two big-name announcements from its competitors, all eyes will be on the Roskilde Festival when it rolls out its first batch of names on Thursday.  

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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.