If Berlin remains the go-to destination for good music and even better clubbing, Copenhagen and Stockholm‘s flourishing scenes are increasingly attracting visitors, too. The former is now packed with hip bars, clubs, and music venues, especially in the industrial-turned-trendy Meatpacking District. But there’s good music outside of the party scene, too. Here we’ve selected a mix of trendy and traditional to present you with Copenhagen’s best music venues.
The VEGA complex was designed by renowned Danish architect Vilhelm Lauritzen as a meeting place for the growing labor movement, until becoming the beloved venue it is today in 1996. One of Denmark’s most popular clubs and considered by some to have one of Europe’s finest sound systems, VEGA comprises a stylish wooden-paneled bar and two concert venues. The larger one (capacity of 1,550) has welcomed the likes of Kylie Minogue and Foals, while the smaller one, more intimate with its capacity of 500 people, is perfect for lesser-known, more experimental artists such as Julia Holter or Crippled Black Phoenix.
Bio is Danish for “Cinema,” which is fitting for this venue housed in an old cinema. It might have kept the name, but there hasn’t been any movie here since 1997. With a capacity of about 1,000 people, it’s one of the city’s largest venues, popular for its eclectic events of all genres, with a focus on rock, metal, and blues. As a venue, it’s particularly great because the view and acoustics are good no matter where visitors are standing or seating, thanks to the raised stage and balcony. Amager Bio has hosted rock favorites like Steven Wilson, as well as acts like Prince.
Located in the multicultural Nørrebro, a neighborhood with some of Copenhagen‘s best nightlife, Rust is well-known as a popular club spread over three floors that also embraces live music every Friday and Saturday evening. While not really the place to go to for a particular concert, it’s the ideal setting for discoveries, especially for those interested in the local scene. There is no predominant genre apart from “indie” — expect the typical small band performing at their local venue.
Although Loppen (Danish for “flea,” strangely enough) only has space for 400 guests, it has hosted indie favorites like Animal Collective and The National. It doesn’t just keep to one genre, however, with concerts featuring such varied genres as neo-folk, singer-songwriter, death metal, punk, hip hop, and alternative rock. Despite its bare-bones interior, Loppen’s small size ensures an intimate atmosphere, and its location right in the middle of controversial self-proclaimed autonomous neighborhood Freetown Christiana is a big plus.
The Koncerthuset might seem like an obvious choice, but this list wouldn’t be complete without it. This building by prize-winning French architect Jean Nouvel holds concerts in its four halls, famous for their world-class acoustics. There’s a lot of classical music, of course, including some renowned performers like Lang Lang, but also a variety of genres with bands like Nick Cave and Moderat. The exterior is also extremely impressive: a huge cube, whose blue walls are in fact transparent panels light is projected onto, allowing the color to be modified at will. At night, images are projected onto these walls.
The aptly named Jazzhouse is the place to go for jazz in Copenhagen, but it also welcomes acts from other genres, like experimental pop artist Youth Lagoon, who stopped by in October 2015. It had to close after a flood in 2011, but opened its fully renovated interior in August 2012. Surprisingly, for a jazz venue, it’s a bit of a mixture between a traditional concert hall and a club, meaning that after a certain hour, the dancing starts. The club and its amazing cocktail bar, on the first floor, stay open all night on Fridays and Saturdays.