NorthSide festival, a young upstart on the Danish festival scene, kicked off on June 14th, with three days of high caliber performances. Situated in Aarhus, Denmark’s second biggest city, and home to a large student population, NorthSide hosted international artists including Phoenix, Alt-J, Biffy Clyro, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, the Flaming Lips, fun., Frightened Rabbit, Gogol Bordello, Deap Vally, Band Of Horses, Arctic Monkeys, and Portishead. Scandinavian bands were represented in full force, included Kaizers Orchestra, the Knife, The William Blakes, Kings Of Convenience, When Saints Go Machine, Mø, Trentemøller, Kashmir, and Fallulah.
Spots of rain and wind were never far away during the festival, with the cold weather not suiting Australian Nick Cave, remarking that it was “fucking freezing.” A massive downpour at the start of the Alt-J set had many running for makeshift shelter, but despite of this the mood stayed buoyant.
Danish acts such as When Saints Go Machine, Mø, the Eclectic Moniker and Trentemøller gave strong performances, attracting big crowds that hung on every note. Clive Deamer, live drummer for Portishead and Radiohead, dedicated Portishead’s performance to Scott Johnson, the Radiohead drum tech killed one year ago in a stage collapse in Toronto. Portishead’s festival-closing slot had the crowd entranced as darkness fell on NorthSide 2013.