Every year, early June and for 4 days, the streets of Copenhagen turn into crazy-fun parties attracting nearly 300 000 people.
'Distortion' is the name of this incredible and unique 4 day street festival. Everyday the party starts in a different neighbourhood of Copenhagen and takes in about 44 streets each day, and gathering 80 000 people each day. The characteristic Distortion atmosphere involves high-energy impulsive chaos with a strong "streetlife freedom" feel.
This year Distortion happened between 4-8 June 2014:
But how did it all start?
It all started when Frenchman Thomas Fleurquin (Danish mother) moved from Paris to Copenhagen in 1998. He fell in love with Copenhagen but felt that the city was under-rated with a lot of international potential. So, with San Shepherd he co-founded The Copenhagen Post, a famous English speaking newspaper and online magazine with Danish news.
About this experience Fleurquin said "I'd work 40 hours from Monday to Wednesday making the paper, drive to the printer Wednesday night to deliver the files, sleep in the van while they printed, then distribute them. Friday and Saturday night I'd work in a bar so I could earn some money."
"Distortion — A Celebration of Copenhagen Nightlife" was founded in September 1998 for a one-night party in the nightclub Mantra in Tivoli. Distortion started its international party hosting concept in 2004 with DJ Colette radio show on a boat and an after party. In 2005-2006, It slowly expanded to outdoor parties but gathered very few people in the first years. It's only in 2008 that Distortion grew into a more important event.
In that same year, 2008, Distortion's new tagline was "A Celebration of Streetlife & Nightlife"; out of 56 events, 14 of them were street parties and 3 of them were massive outdoor block parties on famous Copenhagen squares (Latin Quarters + Sankt Hans Torv + Enghave Plads). In 2011, Copenhagen Distortion became one of the largest street events in Europe with 80.000-100.000 people per day.
Gaystortion is part of Distortion and takes place in Vesterbro:
You can read an interview with Thomas Fleurquin here.