What will be on in 2020?
2020 hasn’t been totally cancelled. While there won’t be the surfeit of large events we had been hoping for, there will still be plenty to get your teeth into.
Summer at Parken, Louisiana
Until 16 August
Many Danes will not be travelling this summer; meanwhile, some of Copenhagen’s events have been cancelled. The Louisiana art museum seeks to mitigate this and entice both Copenhagen’s cultural elite, families with children and tourists to this well-known temple of modern art north of Copenhagen. Under the heading of Summer in the Park, the museum has shifted a number of activities outdoors to the museum’s extensive gardens, which fall away towards the Øresund Sound. There will be live events, literature, theatre, music and more. Information about the museum’s programme is constantly updated.
Of course, you can also slip inside to see the museum’s permanent collections and/or the current exhibition that features Danish sculpture’s grand old man, Per Kirkeby.
The museum has introduced timeslots for arrivals to prevent queues forming at the entrance, and to ensure a sensible visitor density during the day.
See more at www.louisiana.dk
Hamlet Live, Kronborg
Until 31 August
Traditionally, scenes from Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet are performed at Kronborg, the castle in which Shakespeare set the action of the play – though without ever having set foot in that part of the world himself.
You can experience scenes and dialogue from the play, plus, of course, the well-known line “To be or not to be…”. But the actors also undertake educational activities throughout the day during which visitors are able to feel as though they are taking part in the life of the mighty Renaissance castle.
The scenes from Hamlet, which are performed in a variety of locations throughout the castle, are in English, but a knowledge of English is not a prerequisite for understanding the castle’s drama. Tickets cost 145 kroner and can be booked in advance.
Tal R at the Glyptotek
Until 17 January 2020
The Glyptoteket museum opposite Tivoli is famous for its unique collection of art, which spans the range from antiquity to French painters like Monet, Cézanne and especially Paul Gauguin. Now you can supplement the experience with some contemporary inspiration as the museum presents a series of ambitious exhibitions featuring the artists of today. In 2020, the focus will be on the Danish artist Tal R, who is one of the most highly
recognized artists of his generation both in Denmark and overseas. His exhibition Humans and Animals consists of new sculptures. His starting point is the classical sculptures, which can be seen in the permanent collection, but he transforms them in his own work by taking his inspiration from what surrounds him: ordinary bodies, shapes and figures.
A-Ha – Royal Arena
Saturday, 21 November 2020
At the time of writing, it appears that concerts will be able to restart during the autumn of 2020, following the corona shutdown. What will be the first loud bang to waken Copenhagen from its Sleeping Beauty-like slumber? That will naturally depend on your age and your taste in music, but anyone who remembers the 1980s will certainly find something to sing along with when the Norwegian band A-Ha visits Copenhagen on their Hunting High and Low tour, which began last year. The tour marks the 35th year of the release of their debut album Hunting High And Low, which they will perform in full during the first segment of their concert. Moreover, the popularity of this Norwegian band should not be underestimated, whether among other musicians or their global audience. For quite a few years they held the record for the largest ever paying audience when they played in front of 198,000 people at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro in 1991.
David Shrigley at Copenhagen Contemporary
The remainder of 2020
Copenhagen Contemporary, which as its name suggests is a centre for the art being produced today, opened in 2016 on Papirøen (“the Paper Island”) – but in 2018 it moved to its current location on Refshaleøen. It provides the viewer with a somewhat different experience compared with the old galleries in the centre of the city, and it can be combined with a visit to the food market, which is located just around the corner during the summer season. During the remainder of 2020 you can experience the works of the Scottish graphic/fine artist David Shrigley, including a brand-new and quite enormous work created especially for this Copenhagen art gallery. In his works, the artist, who is probably best known for his humorous drawings, takes as his subject the trivia of everyday existence or the absurdities of social life, and creates political, poetic art that is worth keeping an eye out for. That also makes it very much worth checking out, even though it will involve a bike ride to Refshaleøen.
Culture Night (“Kulturnatten”)
The whole of Copenhagen, Thursday, 8 October
Many of the fixed anniversaries have slipped out of the Copenhagen cultural calendar during 2020, but it currently looks as if Culture Night is going to remain. And although some Copenhageners and cultural snobs probably look askance at Culture Night, this popular cultural event has been flourishing for 27 years. More than 250 museums, theatres, libraries, churches, ministries, parks and plazas across the entire city welcome the public during Copenhagen’s largest annual one-day event – and the many exciting events demonstrate the breadth of the city’s embrace as it displays the many facets of its cultural life.
The Magic Flute at the Opera House
August 2020 to June 2021
Which Copenhagen theatre auditorium should you experience? Some people would say the old stage of the Royal Theatre on Kongens Nytorv. Others will prefer to visit the Det Ny Teater (“The New Theatre”) and see a musical. But the most exclusive international atmosphere can be found in the Opera House at Holmen, directly across from Amalienborg palace. One of 2020’s offerings there is Barrie Kosky’s production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, in which Mozart’s most popular opera is presented in the context of an expressionistic 1920s silent-film aesthetic. The show’s freewheeling universe is complemented by hand-drawn video animations: Nosferatu meets Monty Python animation, meets Viennese classical opera. This staging of The Magic Flute has been delighting a wide audience since its premiere at the Komische Oper in Berlin – and thanks to a unique collaboration between CPH Opera Festival and the Royal Danish Opera, you can now experience it in Copenhagen. It is sung in Danish, but it should be a great visual and musical experience regardless.
For tickets etc.:
Mikkeller Beer Celebration Copenhagen 2020
Many of the spring events in Copenhagen were cancelled. Others were merely postponed till the autumn. One of the postponed events is Mikkeller Beer Celebration Copenhagen 2020. This is the seventh time that Denmark’s most famous microbrewery – known to some as the Beer Noma – is inviting friends to gather from all over the world with a lot of beer and a little food. Expect to meet the beer hipsters’ tough elite and a number of the world’s leading microbreweries. But don’t expect to see the US brewery Evil Twin, run by Mikkeller founder’s twin brother, Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø. The two beer twins are locked together in a fierce rivalry and haven’t been on speaking terms for several years.
Halloween and Christmas in Tivoli
9 October – 1 November; 13 November – 3 January 2021
Not so many years ago, Tivoli would always open on 1 May and close again in September. But it is not entirely surprising that with its many thousand square metres in the heart of Copenhagen, it has discovered the commercial sense of opening during the rest of the year, using a number of different pretexts.
Over time, the events have also become part of Copenhagen’s annual rhythm, and for many families with children, the traditional autumn holiday in October is associated with a trip to Tivoli, which gets decorated with pumpkins and cobwebs for Halloween – a thoroughly American tradition which was totally unfamiliar to Danish children just a single generation ago.
It’s rather delightful when Christmas begins with pixies, Santa Claus, ornaments and – quite literally – chestnuts roasting on an open fire
Copenhagen Light Festival
8-28 February 2021
Hopefully everything will improve in 2021? In any event, the year will be crammed with events like the start of the Tour de France and the European Football Championship. January and February in Copenhagen can seem very dark, so it is natural enough that the year should start with the Copenhagen Light Festival. This annual festival of illumination takes place in Copenhagen during three weeks in February, and showcases both Danish and international artists and designers. In the course of this time, architectural lighting, art, design, and installations will contribute a diversity of aesthetics and expression to the winter season in a wide variety of Copenhagen’s spaces and places.