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Outdoor summer fun

Summer holidays are around the corner! This means many more outdoor activities to go to and meet the locals.

Photographs: Unsplash

Text: Jane Elgård Petersen

It’s a great way to meet your colleagues in an informal, fun way than you would have imagined possible. Meeting the Danes in more private, social surroundings will be a great experience as you will understand each other better when knowing more about each other professionally and personally.

As in many other countries, barbecue parties are an excellent opportunity to meet colleagues and their partners. The Danes do not necessarily need a specific occasion to meet to barbeque. The one reason is that you can never trust the Danish weather - so accept the invitations whenever possible, as this will often come spontaneously as garden parties will always be best enjoyed on a lovely sunny day or evening.

During the summer, there might also be other options to meet the locals and internationals in a social setting. Try to attend one or more of the festivals around Denmark. Here is a list of some of the most well-known festivals.

Fun festival facts

Many of the festivals are known for being dependent on volunteers. At Roskilde Festival, there are close to 100,000 people, and approximately 30% are volunteers. As an expat, it might be a fun idea to volunteer in Denmark, meet the Danes in a social setting, enjoy fantastic music, and make new friends. It is also a great chance to practise your Danish, even though some people might be a bit drunk at the festival – which would probably make it more funny.

During the last few years, non-alcoholic beer has become increasingly popular at some festivals and in general. Today the range of non-alcoholic beers and wines is on the increase.

Ticket prices have also risen over the last few years. Back in 1971, the day ticket price for Roskilde Festival was DKK 30 - today, the price is DKK 2,250.

With the high bottle recycling (pant) level in Denmark, it is a profitable business to gather all these bottles left over from the festivals. Yearly the amount of recycling amounts to around DKK 11,000,000.

Some of the well-known festivals host many international artists. International artists flock to more prominent festivals like Roskilde Festival, Aarhus Festival week, the carnival in Aalborg, and Smuk Festival.

Roskilde has hosted an annual rock festival, presenting well-known names and attracting audiences of up to 70,000 since 1971. Profits of EUR 12 million have been handed over to humanitarian causes worldwide.

Aalborg hosts a street carnival every spring. With 30,000 active participants, it’s the largest in northern Europe.

The Aarhus Festival Week, held annually in late summer, has become one of northern Europe’s largest and most reputable arts and cultural festivals. Founded in 1964, the first festival was held a year later. The Danish Queen, HRM Margrethe, is its protector and the city’s chief mayor, the executive chairperson. Traditionally, each year the festival adopts a theme like Womania and In Motion, focusing on women and movements in art, respectively.

The festival week has become an arts magnet for Danes and foreign visitors.

Slightly smaller festivals, but just as much fun:

22-24 June: Tinderbox - Tusindårsskoven, Odense

22-24 June: Kløften Festival - Haderslev

29 June - 2 July: Skagen Jazz Festival

19-22 July: Samsø Festival

30 July - 6 August: Smukfest - Skanderborg (south of Aarhus)

24-27 August: Tønder Festival (folk music)

1-2 September: Midtfyns Festival - Ringe

As you can see, the festival period is quite long, from May until the beginning of September.

If you are interested in music, and learning more about what the Danes are doing during the summer, do yourselves a favour and visit one of the festivals. I hope I have given you some inspiration for summer activities to meet the locals and visit other parts of our beautiful country.

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