Skanderborg Makes A Bigger Splash

JP Andersen didn’t have any trouble finding a silver lining as his 30,000-capacity Skanderborg Festival in Denmark sold out in record time, even if a Scandinavian monsoon put parts of the site under a couple of feet of water.

“They were sailing in rubber dinghies in the camping area and trying to swim in front of the stage,” he told Pollstar, delighted the punters stayed the course and turned the festival’s 27th anniversary into one of its biggest successes.

“They stayed and they showed they were determined to have a good time. What else could they do? Nobody drowned,” Andersen said, proud that Denmark’s “Most Beautiful” festival lived up to its ethos of being “based on enthusiasm.”

Food and drink sales beat last year’s record, which means the crowd necked more than 210,000 liters of draught beer, 150,000 bottles of Thor (Danish beer) and 8,000 bottles of vodka.

Skanderborg was founded in 1980 by 21 volunteers who made up “The Festival Club.” They put on a one-day festival with seven bands playing in front of 600 people.

The club has grown to 10,000 paying members, and the festival has grown into Denmark’s second-largest (behind Roskilde), with surplus funds being used to support the music and cultural life – including staging concerts and providing rehearsal facilities – throughout the Skanderborg area.

Jamiroquai, Beck, Motorhead, Gavin DeGraw, TV2, Kashmir, and Jeff Healey Band were among the mix of international acts and top Danish talent that made up this year’s bill.

The Darkness was forced to pull out of the August 9-13 bash because lead singer Justin Hawkins was ill. Nephew, one of the most successful national acts of the year, stepped in as a last-minute replacement.

Boy George, who was slotted to do a DJ set, was the only international act to get caught up in the airline chaos resulting from a full security alert in the U.K.

Maybe the New York judge who gave him a community service order for “wasting police time” wouldn’t have been impressed if the former Culture Club frontman used “stranded in Scandinavia” as an excuse for not turning up to start sweeping city streets August 14th.

Other acts on the bill included The The Presidents of the United States of America, Runrig, Toto, Outlandish, Bikstok Røgsystem, and Junior Senior.

– John Gammon