A week of emerging dance music and orchestrated chaos
In the daytime, sound systems turn the streets of Copenhagen into a orchestrated party chaos. At night, the best venues and clubs present a festival for modern dancey music. On the Saturday, an island in the heart of the Copenhagen harbor turns with centrifugal power into the biggest event of the festival. We called the event Final Party. Hail the 16th edition of Distortion!
Every day 16.00-22.00h, Distortion gathers between 22.222 and 111.111 people partying, breakdancing, cooking, getting naked, singing and crawling in the streets: we call it STREET PARTY. It’s free and takes place 5 days in a row in 5 different Copenhagen neighbourhoods (the main street events are Wednesday+Thursday+Friday, respectively in Cph City+Nørrebro+Vesterbro).
By night 22.00-06.00h, we call it NIGHT PARTY & FINAL PARTY. The Festival all-access TurPas is cheap, the bar is also cheap - and the Distortion dancing man on the logo wall is a guarantee for: absolute party madness + the newest dance music + succulent partnerships with Europa’s maestros of contemporary party culture (from Melt! to Vice via Wet Yourself, Das Kompakt and Le Dirty Sound System).
In short: Distortion is like a backyard get-together with 200 friends, followed by a privately held warehouse party with funky DJs - only it’s become a gigantic carnival of modern big-city culture.
In the beginning
We have been a small “just-for-fun” celebration, for an open clique of Copenhagen party-culture-antifashion-art-disco nerds, since 1998. Between 2003 and 2007, we grew without really growing up. In 2008, we started to pretend we were a serious festival: we opened a company (Nus/Nus ApS), we made a budget (yey!), got an office (nobody would call it that, but we did) and a beautiful trashy black 1982 stretch-limousine.
Since we went semi-pro in 2008, things have gone really, really fast. “WOW!” is the typical response we have been getting from people like the world’s hardest editors in the party-business (the heads of Modular Records, Fabric London, Vice London, Vice Berlin, Conny Berlin, Kompakt, Melt! - as well as thousands of people who aren’t big-dick hipster-world-superstars.). In 2011 we entered the event superleague with over 130.000 individual guests… “Hello, mainstream, how you doin’?”
Why we are so special
Apologies to dickheads, music professionals, gangsters, esteemed members of the press (mmpfff!), horny teenagers and Italian ginos: there is no vip area. One of Distortion’s strict special rules is that anyone must feel welcome everywhere. We have restricted areas for staff, artists and volunteers, but there is zero drinking/dancing there. NOTE: “Secret/private” parties may happen - but they will always be open to anyone who shows up without a knife.
But even more special than the no-vip rule, is the way the festival is 100% mobile. It’s a rule that the festival must be moving all the time. The street parties move from one neighbourhood to the next each day during the Distortion week - and we always have plenty of bus parties, boat parties, parades every day + crazy new locations every year.
We didn’t know it originally, so really the Distortion success is just luck, but here is the big secret: the mobile party concept is perfect to make everyone lose control, including the authorities and ourselves. (parties are all about losing control, if you were in doubt).
We’re very proud of been part of introducing new talents to a big Scandinavien audience in the streets of Copenhagen and in venues, rad locations and our Final Party festival site throught the years. Below are some highlights from the past.
DJ Hell (DE), Sissy Nobby (live, US), Davide Squillace (IT), DJ Funk (US), Sound Pellegrino Thermal Team (FR), Helm (Live, UK), Lust For Youth (Live, SE), M.O.P. (live, US), Saigon (live, US), Matthew Styles (UK), Dinky (CL), Andrew Weatherall (UK), Trentemøller (DK), Tim Sweeney (US), Kidd (live, DK), Klumben (live, DK), Eloq (DK), EagerStunn Sound (DK), James Ferraro (live, US), Niagara (live, PT), DJ Nervoso & DJ Marfox (PT), Mike Skinner (UK), DJ A. Vee (US), DJ Stashbox (US), Michael Mayer (DE), Reinhard Voigt (live, DE), Tobias Thomas (DE), L.A. Vampires (live, US), Magic Touch (Live, US), Maria Minerva (live, UK), Ital (live, US), Nguzunguzu (live, US), Matias Aguayo (live, CL), Pachanga Boys (DE), Trojan Sound System (live, UK), Awesome Tapes From Africa (US), DJ Fitz (IRE), Extra Action Marching Band (live, US), Tristesse Comtemporaine (live, FR), Laing (live, DE), Yelle DJ set (FR), Den Sorte Skole feat. Dark Matters (Live, DK), Benny Banks (live, UK), Zebra Katz (live, US), Albertslund Terror Korps (live, DK)
Acid Washed (FR), Matias Aguayo (ARG), Stretch Armstrong (US), Crookers (IT), Kenton Slash Demon (DK), Iceage (DK), Brian DeGraw of Gang Gang Dance (US), Laurel Halo (US), Hey Today! (DE), Felix of Hot Chip (UK), Mathew Jonson (CA), Kenny Larkin (US), Michael Mayer (DE), Metrik & MC Coppa (UK), Nisennenmondai (live, JP), Prins Thomas (NO), Sany Pittbull (BR), Schlachthofbronx (DE), Superpitcher (DE), Tim Sweeney (US), Seth Troxler (US), DJ Umb (UK), Uproot Andy (US), Skatebård (NO), We Are The World (US), Josh Wink (US), Terje Bakke (NO), Theo Parrish (US), Austra (CAN)
Night Party Hosts: Melt! (Berlin), Oslo Live (NO), Nasty Mondays (ES), Fool’s Gold (US), Dogmeat/Iceage (DK)
Madlib (US), Kode 9 (UK), Mock & Toof (DE), Simian Mobile Disco (UK), J-Rocc (US), Buraka Som Systema (PT), Booka Shade (DE), Jamie Vex’d (UK), Tikiman (DE), Schaltchofbronx (DE), GusGus (IS), Justus Koehnke (DE), Michael Mayer (DE), Superpitcher (DE), Tobias Thomas (DE), Oh No Ono (DK), Jamie Jones (UK), Breakage (UK), Hugo Capablanca (DE), MMM (DE), Len Faki (DE)
Night Party Hosts: Red Bull Music Academy Radio (UK), Kompakt Total (Köln), Roskilde Festival (DK), Mono (Berlin), Tartelet (DK)
SuperMayer (Köln), Glass Candy (UK), Tim Sweeney (US), DJ-Vadim (RUS), Monotonix (ISR), Wildbirds & Peacedrums (SE), Brandt-Brauer-Frick (DE), Mikkel Hess (DK), Carl Craig (US), Zip (DE)
Night Party Hosts: Salon Renate (Berlin), Wet Yourself (London), Small (IT), C-O-Pop (DE), Viva Radio (US)
Nöze (F), Shit Robot (NYC), Oh Land (DK), Alexander Robotnick (IT), Mia (Berlin), Kris Menace (DE), Djuma Sound System (DK), Chicks On Speed (DE)
Night Party Hosts: Trentemøller (DK), Rio (Berlin), EasyJetSet (Berlin), Le ParisParis (Paris), Roskilde Festival (DK), AiAiAi (DK), Wet Yourself (London), Pig Magazine (Milano)
RadioClit (UK/SE), TTC (F), Shir Khan (DE), Pocket Knife (US), Cousin Cole (US), Diskokaine + Wolfy&Jim (Vienna), P.Toile (DE), Kasper Björke (DK), TomBoy (DK)
Night Party Hosts: Nuits Sonores (F), discobelle.net (SE), Vice, Copenhagen Cathedral (DK)
Spank Rock (US), Lindstrøm (N), Joakim (F), WhoMadeWho (DK), Erobique (DE), Gebruder Teichmann (DE), MixMasterMorris (space)
Night Party Hosts: Vice Magazine (CAN), Guarana Power (DK), Crunchy Frog (DK), Iceland Airwaves (IS), Culture Box (DK), Mads Nørgaard (DK), Mads Vegas & Henrik Vibskov (DK)
Pilooski (F), Lindstrøm (NO), Prins Thomas (NO), Mark Moore (UK), Arnaud Rebotini (F), Sascha Funke (DE), Kiki (DE), Headman (UK), WhoMadeWho (DK), Mu (JP). At other events hosted by Distortion in 2005: Hot Chip (UK), Sebastien Tellier (F), Diplo (US), M.I.A. (UK)
Night Party Hosts: Christiania (DK), Optimo (Glasgow), Electro GoGo (London), Solid Water (Paris), Ingen Frygt (IS/DK), La Johnson (Paris), Kitsuné (Paris), BPitchCtrl (DE), WhomadeWho (DK), Vega (DK), Escho (DK)
Simian Mobile Disco (F), Joakim (F), Martini Brothers (DE), Oskar Melzer (DE), Dirty Sound System (F)
Night Party Hosts: d-i-r-t-y.com (F), colette (Paris), F.U.N. (Berlin), Superflex (DK), V-1 Gallery (DK), Colonel (F/DK), dunst (DK)
Superpitcher (DE), Feadz (F), TTC (F)
Night Party Hosts: Ambassade de France (F) & Goethe Institut (DE), FOS (DK)
This page only lists international artists & hosts.
In the period 1998-2002, Distortion was 100% local.