After living in the allegedly happiest country in the world, I’ll forever associate Denmark with rødgrød med fløde, living in a camping area for a year, and above all its thriving music scene. A scene nourished by numerous outstanding venues and festivals. In recent years it seemed to have experienced an enormous boost, sprouting stars like Mø, Phlake, Alex Vargas, and Scarlet Pleasure.
For a country this small, its music scene is profoundly large and diverse. And the Danes themselves play a crucial role in promoting their domestic musicians to a wider, international audience. They’re known for their style in fashion and furniture and their great taste doesn’t end when it comes to music.
[ Angel Zoo - Phlake (2016) ]
There is a certain sense of societal appreciation for music and art that is outstanding when you compare it to other European countries. The dedication and whole-heartedness with which the Danes support their national artists might explain their striking global success. Venues like Gimle, a rather large non-profit venue in Roskilde, undeniably play an important role when it comes to promoting newcomers and giving them a stage to launch off.
Such small venues are absolutely crucial for showcasing newcomers. Sadly, however, they often don’t have the capacity to expose them to well-deserved greater audiences. These limitations tend to predetermine the degree of success artists will experience.
[ Shackled Up - Alex Vargas (2016) ]
A festival like the renowned Roskilde Festival - always eager to promote domestic artists - definitely accelerates international success. Roskilde’s "Rising Stage" features promising artists that – like in the case of pop-band Phlake – might even be the headliner of the following year. They opened the infamous Orange Stage in 2016, following the footsteps of Muse, Arcade Fire, and the Rolling Stones, just to name a few.
But not only international success is worth the pursuit. The domestic Danish music market is huge, stretching over a wide range of unique genres.
[ Deja Vu - Scarlet Pleasure (2017) ]
One thing is for sure, the Danish music scene offers you a remarkable range of live music that can be enjoyed by just hanging out in classy yet laid-back jazz bars (so Scandinavian…) or simply by partying to new music at Distortion or Copenhell in the streets of Copenhagen.
When it comes to music, Made in Denmark seems to be a quality seal that we can rely on, guaranteeing good music and a predestined sprinkle of Scandinavian chic.
[ Fail Forever (!K7) - When Saints Go Machine (2010) ]