Aarhus Festuge: What not to miss at this year’s festival


Aarhus Festuge arrives tomorrow, filling the city with art, music and gastronomy for the festival’s 52nd year. As European Capital of Culture for 2017, it’s bound to be one of the festival’s best years yet.

by Elizabeth Waind, photos by Martin Dam Kristensen

Every summer the city is taken over by Aarhus Festuge, with tons of events featuring local, national and international artists. Aarhus’ theatres, music venues, cafes and outdoor spaces will be filled with art, music and food for 10 days of summer fun between August 25th and September 3rd.

The theme for this year’s festival is ‘Bridging’. According to Executive Director Rikke Øxner, “One of Aarhus Festival’s most important tasks is to establish new connections, and by building bridges we will be able to stage spaces and settings for good meetings, burgeoning communities, new city life and novel experiences.” Whereas in previous years the festival’s theme has only run for one year, this time it will run across three festivals until 2019, allowing the organisers to truly make the most of it.

For a little taste of what’s going on throughout the festival, here are our top highlights from the programme:

Ujazz | Voxhall & Atlas, September 2nd, 14:00 – 01:15
Artists from a variety of different musical genres will take their music apart and piece it back together to create unique jazz arrangements as part of this year’s Ujazz event. With support from the Danish Songwriters Guild, the Danish Arts Foundation and Fonden Voxhall, 12 artists will create what Aarhus Festuge describes as “unreliable, unpredictable and uneasy listening.” If music of any kind is your passion, but particularly jazz, then this isn’t one to miss (tickets 295 DKK for adults and 250 DKK for students).


Witness artists go out of their comfort zone to create music in an unfamiliar genre at Ujazz

The Turquoise Tent | Musikhusparken, August 25th – September 3rd
Based in the park in front of Musikhuset, The Turquoise Tent will be buzzing with music events throughout the duration of the festival. The tent will be the base for the festival’s Roots & Hybrid music, music which “has roots in a people or a place but at the same time implies some degree of modernity.” Expect a huge variety of different artists from around the world, playing music with soul like you’ve never heard before (entrance is free).

Food tasting at street level | Vester Allé, August 28th – 30th, 17:00 – 22:00
If you’ve ever wished you could try all of Aarhus’ best restaurants at once, now’s your chance. At ‘Food tasting at street level’ seven of the city’s restaurants will bring their food to the street at reduced prices especially for you to try out. Reservations aren’t possible, so just turn up on the day for a gastronomic experience to remember (100 DKK for a dish and a drink).

Cosmos – Open air theatre | Kvindemuseet, August 26th – September 2nd, 15:30 – 17:00
‘Cosmos’ is a diverse performance featuring theatre, dance, comedy, big dolls, masquerade and live music. Happening every day between August 26th and September 2nd, a parade through the city at 15:30 will precede the outdoor performance –a ‘tribute to Mother Earth’– at 16:30. An entertaining and provocative show is expected.

Vice Versa | TAPE and other venues, August 26th – 27th
If you’re a fan of alternative music and want to discover the newest artists on the Aarhus scene, Vice Versa is the festival for you. Presented in collaboration with Flux Festival, the event will feature hip-hip, audio installations, “and everything in-between”, so prepare yourself for innovative, unexpected and totally new sounds (tickets 100 DKK for one day or 150 DKK for the weekend).


Experience the best new music on the Aarhus alternative scene at Vice Versa

The People’s Feast | Tangkrogen, September 1st and 2nd, 17:45 – 21:00
Part of the annual Food Festival in Tangkrogen and hailed as ‘the biggest dinner party in the history of Denmark’, ‘The People’s Feast’ will see several thousand people sit together at one 500 metre long table to enjoy a meal. The idea behind the feast is “to gather people and create conversations around food.” About 10 different kitchen stations run by local restaurants and food projects will create “food with a vision” to entice conversation and get people thinking about the present and the future of food (dinner 150-995 DKK, depending on the kitchen).

She Shapes the City – Podcast | Rådhusparken, August 26th and September 2nd, 15:00 – 19:00
She Shapes the City is a multimedia project aiming to celebrate the role of women in making change in their local communities. Reaching across two continents, the project first started in Nairobi and launched this year in Aarhus. On August 26th and September 2nd you can hear from women featured in the Aarhus project, including a landscape architect, a composer and an entrepreneur, all making big changes with their work (free entrance). To find out more about the project, click here.

All This Coming and Going | Pier 3, Aarhus Ø, August 30th – September 2nd
Aarhus’ Teatret Gruppe 38 teams up with the Swiss Trickster-p and the Tasmanian Terrapin Puppet Theater during the festival to inaugurate the harbour in its new state and tell the story of what was and what is to come. Tales from life and death, on and by the ocean; how the sea gives and takes, how the tide comes and goes. The performance will reflect on the power of the ocean and will run August 30th to September 2nd between 21.00-24.00. Tickets can be purchased every half hour until 23:00. Grab a beer and watch this magnificent collaboration by the waterfront (tickets 60 DKK).

For more information and the full programme for this year’s Aarhus Festuge, check out the official website here.

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