Everywhere you turn in Aarhus, the view seems fairly familiar: construction sights. In front of the theater, at the harbor or if you go up Randersvej. Aarhus is in a phase of preparation and it’s hard to hide from the signs and flyers that announce what’s soon to come.
By Anja Woelker.
In a few weeks, the final countdown will start for the last 365 days before the city celebrates its year of being the European Capital of Culture (ECOC) 2017.
According to Peter Vesterhaard, Head of Press & Events from Aarhus 2017, the city is yet benefitting from winning the title: “We already see record numbers of hotel guests, and museums such as Moesgaard and ARoS are breaking their own records on numbers of visitors.” He adds that they can survey an increasing number of visitors on their website and on social media to see what will happen in 2017. In January 2016 key events of 2017 will be presented at a press conference, as more than 1/3 of the program has already been published.
But what will happen until then? Are there ways to experience Aarhus 2017 right now?
One of the currently developing projects for example is called OFF 2017 which tries to support the ‘growth layer’ in Aarhus. Creative Business director Signe Lund Juhler says that those are all the young people that are engaged in the cultural life of the city, who are not regularly funded by large institutions. Projects can be readings in unique venues or an experience in a bunker where you can hear streaming sounds of meteors hitting our atmosphere. OFF 2017 provides artists with a certain framework to accomplish and develop ideas, as 18 of their projects have to be realized by summer 2016. Although there is no direct program for those, the creators are bound to promote their events themselves and OFF 2017 will post all that is happening on their own Facebook-page.
Aarhus 2017 has also an individual sub-page for events on their website where current activities are posted. But what one shouldn’t forget, as Aarhus 2017 is still in progress and little is ready (still a year to go!), is that the city is already a city of culture. Signe exemplifies that young artists in Aarhus have a “hunger for exchanging ideas.” So we can update ourselves online on what is developing, but instead of being fixated on 2017 we can move around Aarhus today and find exciting cultural opportunities every week.
Photos by Ry Fotos and Per Bille.