Riverboat Jazz Festival
Text: Josefine Older Steffensen | Photos © Riverboat Jazz Festival
The world of jazz in Denmark
S ilkeborg in Denmark transforms into a jazz hub in the last week of June, when thousands of people flock to the city to hear more than 160 jazz concerts spread out across stages in the city, on riverboats and in cafés, bars and restaurants. The Riverboat Jazz Festival has, since 1966, been giving its many visitors a taste of jazz, with old and young enjoying the many, mostly free, concerts.
The festival brings together the best of jazz, with acts travelling in from across the world, including Cuba, the US, Spain, Sweden and, of course, Denmark. There are smaller, intimate concerts in some of the city’s cafés, while some of the big stages gather hundreds of people. Over the course of the five days, more than 60,000 people will visit Silkeborg to listen to jazz.
“It’s an amazing festival in the sense that the whole city is really behind it. The city comes to life during the week, and at every corner there are things happening and people enjoying themselves. We’ve always focused on the fact that it should be a festival for everyone, with easy access for both young and old,” explains Trine Valentin, festival manager.
Out of around 160 concerts, 130 are free. The ones that are not, often sell out quickly, including the original riverboat jazz cruises that sail through Silkeborg. This year, there will also be a Jazzland, where children can enjoy some slightly more funky and interactive jazz and get a feel for the music genre.
“The festival is about getting people involved in jazz. Everything’s allowed in jazz, which is also what makes it amazing, so there will be something for everyone to enjoy at the festival. It’s really a time for just pure enjoyment of life,” says Valentin.
Riverboat Jazz Festival is one of the best places to explore more about the infamous genre of music, and where young and old, aficionado and newbie can stand side by side and have an amazing jazz experience.
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