Northside Happy On Second Row

Selling out its 30,000 capacity a month in advance leaves Northside Festival in pole position to challenge Roskilde as Denmark’s biggest, but apparently it has no ambition to grow any larger.

The Northside site at Århus has the potential to find room for the 50,000 or so that Roskilde regularly attracts, but Brian Nielsen from Skandinavian – local partner to German-based festival producer FKP Scorpio – says any more substantial growth would likely damage the event. Northside has had four years of very rapid growth since starting with 4,500 punters in 2010.

There were 14,000 in 2011, 18,500 in 2012, and last year it sold out its 25,000 capacity. This year’s 30,000-capacity sellout puts it among the second tier of Danish festivals such as Skanderborg and Jelling, which is scheduled for May 28-31.

Nielsen says this year the site was expanded by more than was needed to accommodate the 5,000-capacity increase, and it’s now time for the festival to focus on the comfort of its visitors and being ecologically sustainable.

Getting 30,000 people through the gate has meant increasing the entertainment budget by around 40 percent to euro 2.4 million ($3.3 million) to bring in such acts as Arcade FireRöyksoppThe NationalQueens Of The Stone AgeThe PixiesRobyn, and Lana Del Rey.

Hiking the ticket price from $200 to $239 barely covers the extra entertainment spending. Northside Festival is June 13-15.