Smukfest Smiles Through The Rain

The festival with the reputation for being Denmark’s “happy and beautiful fest” smiled through the rain Aug. 10-14, while beverage stores and bars turned over a record-breaking 50 million kroner ($9.6 million).

The 29,000-capacity Skanderborg Festival, commonly known as Smukfest or “happy fest,” sold out at the beginning of June and cemented its position of being the country’s biggest festival behind Roskilde.

Visitors to the beech tree forest site just south of Aarhus have a reputation for enjoying a few drinks and in 2008 figures showed a 30,000 crowd went through 36,000 gallons of beer.

“I don’t know how much they got through this year but I do know it must have been a huge amount,” said Skanderborg spokesman Poul Martin Bonde.

The downside for the organisers is that most of this year’s increased income will go toward site improvements made before this year’s event and to clearing a site that was muddied by almost constant rain.

Despite the weather, the festival still got a five-star review from national daily BT, which said it “challenges, moves and inspires” the audience.

The acts helping Skanderborg be challenging, moving and inspiring Aug. 10-14 included Ozzy Osbourne, Tom Jones, The National, Robyn, Skunk Anansie, De La Soul, Pendulum, Kaizers Orchestra, Michael Learns To Rock, and Trentemøller.