Northside Slots Into Place

Denmark’s Northside Festival looks to be further proof that German promoter Folkert Koopmans has a knack for identifying a gap in the market, rather than aggressively invading neighbouring territories. 

Photo: Julie Stenstrom
The Pixies play Northside festival in Denmark June 13-15. 

His 35,000-capacity event in Århus sold out in advance, without having any negative effect on attendances at the other nearby events taking place around the same time.

Within a day of Northside closing, Roskilde – Denmark’s biggest festival – announced it had shifted all its 80,000 tickets for June 29 to July 6. In 2005 Koopmans’ FKP Scorpio ruffled Swiss promoters’ feathers by starting Greenfield Festival at Interlaken, although subsequently not even those who protested its arrival have been able to show that it has hurt their numbers.

The gap in the Danish market likely happened in 2004, when Midtfyns Festival – then second to Roskilde in the Danish pecking order — went bust.

In a way, it’s as if the Danish market took until 2010, when Koopmans started Northside, for a similar-sized festival to replace it.

“There’s no bad vibe at all over here”, said Northside talent booker John Fogde, describing the festival’s seemless entry into the Danish outdoor market. Northside’s also said it doesn’t want to grow bigger because it’s now found that gap in the market that Koopman’s identified, although this year the booking of Arcade FirePixiesRöyksoppQueens Of The Stone Age, and The National suggested it’s also determined to keep its slot.

Brian Nielsen from Skandinavian – local partner to German-based festival producer FKP Scorpio – says any more substantial growth would likely damage the event.

The other acts helping Northside slot in June 13-15 included White LiesFranz FerdinandLana Del ReyRobyn, and Rudimental.