The Aarhus calendar is packed with red-letter days, from the winter through to autumn via spring and summer. The Danes know what they are doing when it comes to a party, let it be known. These are the happiest people on the planet after all, or so the studies seem to say, and nothing displays cheer quite like a glorious annual festival.
The Festival of Centuries (Mar)
Right up our alley, this one. The Festival of Centuries is all about knowledge, showcasing a thrilling mixture of art, food and culture with a different thematic spotlight every year. The 2020 festival will focus on the here and now, the world we live in today, what is right, wrong and just fine. We’ll see you there.
Huckster Market (May)
Yes, that’s right; a Huckster Market. More than 200 traders bring their wares and ideas to Aarhus every year, so bring plenty of money and an open mind. You might walk away with a revolutionary blender, a picture-perfect collection of Yugoslavian ska punk records, the blueprints for a flying machine or something completely different.
You can keep your international music extravaganzas, we’ll happily throw our weight behind those that celebrate up and coming bands on the domestic circuit. SPOT is just about as comprehensive as such festivals can be, as it also includes workshops and lectures focused on helping young musicians navigate the choppy waters of the music industry. Sigur Rós got their start here, which tells you a lot.
NorthSide Festival (Jun)
A major music festival on the Scandinavian circuit, NorthSide has been a highlight since its first edition back in 2010. It started as a domestic affair but has grown into an international party, with Elbow, Interpol and The National among previous performers. Primus played in 2017 too, which gets a lot of love from us.
The annual Pride festival in Aarhus traditionally takes place on the first Saturday of June, starting with the parade itself. The route tends to follow the tried and tested Latin Quarter to military barracks path, with a major party taking place at the latter once all the walking is done.
Moesgård Viking Moot (Jul)
We don’t want to admit it to our inner beast, but we’re somewhat on the fence about the vikings. They were a bit savage, weren’t they? We’re definitely not on the fence when it comes to historical reenactments, and the Moesgård Viking Moot is a replay of those times. The weeklong festival usually includes a massive market and plenty of battle reenactments, with none of the death and twice as much taste. The Moesgåd Museum plays host to it all.
Aarhus Jazz Festival (Jul)
Jazz. You either love it or you hate it, right? Not us, we’re solidly on the fence, happy to embrace the virtuosos when the mood takes and just as happy to pass when it isn’t there. It is always there for the annual Aarhus Jazz Festival though, a summertime celebration of music’s most Marmite genre.
Street Food Festival (Aug)
Don’t even bother to fight against the street food revolution, you’ll only get left behind. Aarhus is right up to date when it comes to easy but glorious street snacking, best exemplified by the Street Food Festival that takes place every August. Tasty, and then some.
Aarhus Festuge (Aug/Sep)
A celebration of all things art and culture, Aarhus Festuge is the highlight on the city’s creative calendar. The festival has blossomed into one of the biggest arts festivals in Scandinavia, a celebration of light and colour that brings quality to the surface. It takes place over 10 days at the end of August and beginning of September.
Aarhus is a magical place to be at the most wonderful time of the year, as the temperatures plummet and the city is covered in a thick blanket of the white stuff. The Tivoli Friheden holds a particularly joyful Christmas market, although the entire city really does get into the festive spirit. Keep those eyes open for a Nisse — you never know where one might turn up.
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