I am writing this article while suffering violent festival withdrawal, looking back to another great edition of NorthSide Festival. Once again, it was a veritable pleasure to spend 3 days in Ådalen, 3 days that went by way too quickly. NorthSide is one of my favourite Danish festivals and the 2016 edition was highly positive. It is not easy to summarize 3 days of such intensity, but here are some of my highlights and a few comments about my NorthSide 2016 experience:
1. Fulfilled Expectations
NorthSide 2016 was for me the perfect occasion to finally cross some old favourites of my bucket list, who I inexplicably enough never had seen live before: Sigur Rós, Damien Rice, The Chemical Brothers and Deftones. All of them met my expectations, with a special mention for the first two because of their incredible ability to fill the musical space by taking their otherwise rather quiet music to a next level, hence offering an extra value to the concert experience.
2. Great Danes
There were quite a few (rather) new Danish names programmed at NorthSide 2016 and they did not disappoint. Alex Vargas did a great job opening the festival on the Blue scene. Velvet Volume had their entire home town at their feet and phlake could have easily played on one of the big scenes. More established artists like The Minds of 99 also delivered, while Av Av Av threw one of the biggest parties of the festival. I really cannot wait for their first full-length album to finally come out!
3. Happy Surprise
Another thing I like about NorthSide is the fact that there are only few simultaneous concerts, giving you the opportunity to discover new acts you did not know before. Even though it happened only once for me this year – which was a bit of a deception – it was nonetheless a great surprise for me to discover Puscifer. Next to a flawless musical performance, they also delivered a giant show with, among others, a ring and dancers disguised in Mexican wrestlers.
4. Smoothness and great food
Next to the music I appreciate NorthSide because things work smoothly: no queue at the bar, the food stands or the toilets. These are by the way also incredibly clean for a festival, thank God! Oh, and since I am talking about great non-music elements, did I mention the Lêlê food booth? Amazing food and probably the best quality-quantity-price ratio, even if I unfortunately could not try all the food booths.
5. Why but why?
The only major negative side I experienced during this edition of NorthSide was the timing, even though I realize that it is easier said than done; but still, electronic fans had to face a difficult choice two days in a row, having to sacrifice respectively The Chemical Brothers or Den Sorte Skole on Friday and Av Av Av or Jamie XX on Saturday. Beach House, who were prominently scheduled on Saturday evening could easily have switched places with, say, Caribou in order to have the “right” atmosphere spread at the right time – party on Saturday evening, chill on Sunday afternoon. Sigur Rós should have been scheduled slightly later so that the audience could have fully appreciated their light show, which would probably have helped to keep them quiet during the concert.
6. One personal wish for next year
As happy as I was when I discovered how much more electronic bands the festival had invited for the 2016 edition, I would have enjoyed to see some more boldness in the choice of the names and would have appreciated to spot some less established names on the list. But hey, don’t get me wrong, we are more than ever on the right way!
In short, NorthSide 2016 was once again a success, despite the fact that it was not sold out. Thank you for another great edition and I already cannot wait to see you again next year, NorthSide!
Find some impressions of the festival below or via the hashtag #GbDxNS16 HERE.
Photos by Jasmin König (12) and Véronique Albasini (4)