Please note: Some of the events below are in-person. Please make sure to follow the country’s current COVID-19 guidelines (find them here), as they may change between the time this calendar is published and when an event takes place. Always maintain social distance, wash your hands, and wear a mask when possible.
Copenhagen’s COVID-19 restrictions are lifting slowly, with some running until until further notice and include a ban on indoor gatherings of more than 10 people and outdoor gatherings of more than 50 people. It is now possible to eat at restaurants outdoors, and indoors with a “corona pass” (proof of a negative test within the last 72 hours, or a vaccination card). Events may be cancelled with short notice, so make sure to check the event link before attending anything.
Are you ready for Copenhagen’s best events this month? May in Copenhagen is always a treat but this year it’s extra special: after five months of lockdown, the city has finally opened up again. Restaurants and museums welcome visitors and sunny days invite for picnics under the open sky. Grab your bike, your loved ones, and a bottle of wine and enjoy the beginning of the warmer season.
From flea markets to film festivals to exhibition openings, there’s plenty to choose from to make the most of this new sense of freedom.
Here are the Copenhagen events you’ll want to know about this month:
Saturday 1st May
1st May is International Workers’ Day. Celebrate labor activism and solidarity from your own sofa with online events, as big gatherings such as the one they typically hold in Fælledparken are cancelled this year. Instead, we recommend reading up on the history of International Workers’ Day and consider brushing up on your politics.
Haven 20 is opening its garden for the summer and you are invited. In the spirit of International Workers’ Day, the focus of the event lies on alternative assemblies against profit optimization, loneliness, and conformity. From 12 pm.
ÅBEN Pop Up Opening Weekend: DJ Session with Emil Krøger
Celebrate the first weekend of the ÅBEN Pop Up in the Meatpacking District with cold beers and funky music. DJ Emil Krøger will take over the DJ-stand from 4 to 8 pm serving you memories from last summer. ÅBEN Pop Up is a craft beer bar by the Danish microbrewery ÅBEN so the selection of beer is stellar – choose between 12 beers on tap. Cheers!
Saturday 8th May
This year, the electronic music festival Relevance Festival is moving online. Tune in to experience a great lineup of artists performing on their streaming channels. The fun begins at 5 pm and is completely free. Invite some close friends and get ready for a good time!
Thursday 6th May
La Fonction Espace Vert by KADK Online Lecture
In his online lecture “La Fonction Espace Vert,” Tom Avermaete explores how new forms of public space emerged in the context of post-war housing estates in France. A focus is architect Jacques Sgard’s idea that the modern city should not only cater to the functions dwelling, work, recreation, and transport, but that it also encompasses a fifth function: the green space. Tom Avermaete is Full Professor for the History and Theory of Urban Design at ETH Zürich, Switzerland. The lecture is presented by the research project Spaces of Danish Welfare as part of the international conference Spaces of Welfare. It will be hosted on Zoom from 10:30 am to 12 pm.
Sunday 10th May
Conscious Sweater Film Club Presents: Udita (Arise) at Husets Biograf
Conscious Sweater Film Club aims to raise awareness for the lack of sustainability in fashion. Learn more about and discuss related issues with like-minded people at this screening of Udita. The film focuses on the struggles of the garment workers in the global fashion supply chain and gives them a platform to tell their own stories. The screening will double as the launch event for Conscious Sweater: a worldwide map of conscious fashion shops. Doors open at 6:30 and the event starts at 7:30 pm. Admission costs 70 DKK.
Wednesday 12th May
The Copenhagen Life Science Summit brings together students, recent graduates, and professionals to discover and discuss the latest development in life science. Join for interesting talks by leading industry experts from startups as well as multinational companies. The summit takes place online and takes from 3 to 6 pm. Please register in advance.
Written on Water with artist talk at Cinemateket
Let Pontus Lidberg take you on a sensual and philosophical journey that explores the boundaries between fiction and reality. His film debut “Written on Water” tells the story of choreographer Alicia who falls in love with Giovanni, the main dancer in her performance about desire, “Sirene.” Besides the screening, there will be an artist talk with Pontus Lidberg in which he introduces the audience to his creative process while working on the film. The talk will the held in English. The event starts at 7 pm.
Thursday 13th May
Resonate #3: Grøn + Alto Aria + Johan Carøe at Huset KBH
The series “Resonate” combines exploratory live music with visuals, inviting participants into an immersive experience of physical, sensory, and emotional resonance. Learn more about the line-up for edition 3 on Huset KBH’s website. Admission costs 120 DKK and doors open at 8 pm.
Friday 14th May
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown & Spanish tapas at Cinemateket
Take an imaginary trip to 1980s Madrid with this Pedro Almodóvar classic, accompanied by Spanish tapas. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown follows actress Pepa, who, dumped by her married lover, attempts suicide by eating gazpacho laced with sleeping pills. But she is interrupted by a potpourri of chaotic individuals: a girlfriend who is dating a terrorist, her former lover’s profoundly bewildered son, and a woman whose bed is on fire. Tickets for the screening and dinner with Tinto de Verano cost 225 DKK, tickets for only the screening cost 80 DKK. The event starts at 9:30 pm and is part of the event series Spanish Cinema Weeks.
Thursday 20th – Saturday 22nd May
Talk Town provides a democratic platform to discuss feminism and gender equality. It understands itself as a “conversation town” providing space for discourse in numerous ways, from panel discussions over walks to dinners. Learn more and find the program on the festival website.
Saturday 22nd May
Simon Littauer at Byhaven Pumpehuset
Simon Littauer is well known in the Danish music landscape, where he has worked on studio productions for an incredible number of Danish musicians and played live with names such as MØ, Kwamie Liv, Asteroid Galaxy Tour, and Reptile Youth. On this early summer evening, he’s coming to Byhaven Pumpehuset. A true believer in improvisation, Simon is performing entirely live on a modular synthesizer. Get ready for some great improvised techno from 3 pm.
Tobias Rahim at Store Vega
Over the last years, Tobias Rahim has established himself in the Danish music scene with his mix of pop rhythms and vulnerable lyrics. In Danish, he sings about topics like love, sex, and how the color of ones skin can impact life and happiness in Denmark. Tickets cost 255 DKK and doors open at 7 pm.
Sunday 23rd May
Danish on a Sunday: The Hunt at Cinemateket
In The Hunt (Jagten), popular Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen plays Lucas who, recently divorced, is slowly patching together his life when a lie turns everything upside down. Soon he finds himself in the center of hysteria, and fighting a lonely fight for his life and dignity. The film will be screened with English subtitles and begins at 2:15 pm.
Friday 28th May
Vernissage “Modern ruins of the Peloponnese” at Brønshøj Vandtårn
“Modern ruins of the Peloponnese“ explores the phenomenon of newly or half-built houses on the Greek peninsula of Peloponnese that have been abandoned by their owners, often due to economic hardships. The exhibition relates these modern ruins to those of ancient Greece which, in contrast, are generally perceived as symbols of power and decadence. Rather than providing concrete answers, it poses the question whether the used resources have simply been lost, or whether there are opportunities for future use? Join the opening for a browse and a glass of Greek wine provided by Nørrebro-based wine store Oinofilia. From 4-8 pm, entry is free.
Saturday 29th – Sunday 30th May
Go treasure hunting and find a bargain. From furniture to clothes to toys, there’s something for everyone. From 10 am to 4 pm.
Sunday 30th May
On the last Sunday in May, Rådhuspladsen transforms into a massive flea market. Go on treasure hunt or put up your own stall via markedsbooking.dk. From 9 am to 3 pm.
Ongoing in May
Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival, CPH:DOX, is one of the biggest documentary film festivals in the world. The festival doesn’t just show documentaries, it also anchors them in a social context, aiming at facilitating dialogue and transformation. This year’s edition has a hybrid format – the first part of the event, from 21st April to 5th May, takes place online with the possibility to stream over 100 documentaries. From 6th to 12th May, a selection of films are screened to live audiences in Copenhagen. Learn more on the website!
book a time slot in advance.
Paul Gauguin – Why are you angry? at Glyptoteket
The special exhibition, “Paul Gauguin – Why Are You Angry?” revisits one of the most mythologised figures in French art, concentrating particularly on the works he created in Tahiti. Get a glimpse into the wold of Paul Gauguin in this exhibition featuring the museum’s collection along with historical material. The exhibition is on display until 16th May. Please note that Glyptoteket asks you to
Spanish Cinema Weeks at Cinemateket
Let Cinemateket take you on a cinematic tour to Spain. From a bullfighting adventure in 1920s Seville, via a civil war drama from Salamanca, to social realism from Vigo in the 2000s, there will be a variety of films to choose from. The Spanish Cinema Weeks are presented in collaboration with the Spanish Embassy in Copenhagen. From 14th to 29th May.
MFA Degree Show Afgang at Kunsthal Charlottenborg
Get a glimpse into the future of Copenhagen’s art scene when the graduates from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts School of Visual Arts are taking over Kunsthal Charlottenborg. The exhibition celebrates 28 artists who are finishing their 6-year education and provides an insights into their working process. Afgang 2021 is curated by Copenhagen-based exhibition space Vermilion Sands. The exhibition will be on display until 23rd May.
Christian Vium – Ikerasak at Fotografisk Center
The exhibition “Ikerasak: Everyday stories from a Greenlandic settlement” invites the audience on an emotional and personal journey to the small fishing and hunting settlement Ikerasak in northwestern Greenland. It is part of the three-year research project “Reframing Danish Colonial History“ and sheds light on a community that is often overlooked. In autumn 2019, anthropologist and photographer Christian Vium visited Ikerasak. Together with the residents, he analysed and interpreted historical photographs and film material from the area. The exhibition combines this material with private photographs of the residents as well as new co-created material. It will be on display until 30th May.
Nivi Poulsen – Tarniga angerlarpoq / My soul returns home at Greenlandic House Copenhagen
With “Tarniga angerlarpoq / My soul returns home,” the Greenlandic House Copenhagen puts the spotlight on Nivi Poulsen and her evocative paintings. The exhibition explores the artist’s identity and her love for her Greenlandic roots. Nivi’s artistic career began in 1995 when a life-threatening illness made her turn towards painting as a source of comfort and means for self-expression. The exhibition will be on display until 28th May.
Geta Brătescu – Freedom of Forms at Kunstforeningen GL Strand
GL Strand is presenting a retrospective exhibition of the Romanian artist Geta Brătescu. Born in inter-war Romania, Geta spent the majority of her life in Bucharest. Under the communist government, she was forced to drop out of her studies in 1949 but twenty years later, a change in the political climate made it possible for her to resume them. “Freedom of Forms” focuses on her oeuvre after this time, when she turned towards a performative and abstract language. Geta is considered one of eastern Europe’s most inspiring avant garde artists and was the first female artist to be exhibiting in the Romanian national pavilion at the Venice Biennale. The exhibition will be on display until 6th June.
The Imaginary Collection presented by von Bartha at 2112
Family-run gallery von Bartha was initially founded in 1970 but it’s not stuck in the past. With its series of temporary exhibitions, “The Imaginary Collection,” the gallery challenges the conventional exhibition model: Each edition is curated by independent collectors and presented in unique spaces. For the fourth edition, owner of the Danish art advisory and agency 2112, Caroline Bøge, created her own “imaginary collection” of 35 artworks from the gallery’s archive. Swing by 2112 to dive into Bøge’s universe, admission is free. For more information and opening hours, please check out the gallery’s website. The exhibition will be on display from 5th May until 26th June.
ÅBEN Pop Up in the Meatpacking District
For the second time, ÅBEN is hosting a Popup in Copenhagen’s popular Meatpacking District. Swing by for beer yoga, quiz nights, flea markets, DJ sets, and much more throughout summer.
Kirchner and Nolde up for discussion at Statens Museum for Kunst
In its major spring exhibition, Statens Museum for Kunst puts the spotlight on two giants within modern art. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Emil Nolde became famous for their innovative use of strong colours and bold brushstrokes, often inspired by people, ways of life, and cultures from Africa and Oceania. Now their interpretations of these elements are put up for discussion. What picture did the two powerful artists paint of African or Oceanic cultures? Can art be separated from the abuses of colonial power? And do Kirchner and Nolde still matter to our present-day debates on racism? Rather than on answers, the exhibition focuses on asking questions and invites you to join the discussion. It is on display from 1st August.
Laure Prouvost – Our elastic arm hold in tight through the claouds at Kunsthal Charlottenborg
Kunsthal Charlottenborg is reopening its doors with Turner prize winning artist Laure Prouvost, who represented France at the 58th International Art Biennial in Venice. It’s the artist’s first solo exhibition in Scandinavia. Laure Prouvost is especially known for her installations that blur the line between fiction and reality. Her works are often immersive and explore the ambiguities of language. The exhibition will be on display until 8th August.
Auguste Rodin – Displacements at Glyptoteket
Auguste Rodin is highly regarded for his sculptures. What might be less known is the role that his fascination with antiquities played for his sculptural experiments. With “Displacements,” Glyptoteket sheds light on the way the artist incorporated his collection of antiquities into his working process. The exhibition is a collaboration with the Musée Rodin in Paris and the result of a research project at Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek and Aarhus University, conducted by the curator/PhD student Christine Horwitz Tommerup. It will be on display until 15th August. Please note that Glyptoteket asks you to book a time slot in advance.
Anne Imhof – Sex at Statens Museum for Kunst
Experience acclaimed German artist Anne Imhof in the x-room, SMK’s venue for contemporary art. In this exhibition, Imhof displays a three-and-a-half-hour long film that combines mediated footage from her performance at Tate Modern in 2019 with a new sound score. It is the fourth chapter of her serial work “Sex“ and will be on display until 29th August.
>Mother at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
With “Mother,” Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is examining motherhood and the figure of the mother from a cultural, historical, philosophical, psychological, and artistic perspective. Bringing together works by some of the greatest artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, the story is unfolded over time leading up to the present day. The exhibition will be on display until 29th August.
SPACE10 Exhibition: Climate Layers
From 25th May through October, you can see an exhibition in collaboration with RNDR, Lenschow & Pihlmann, and Tableau at SPACE10 in Kødbyen. The exhibition imagines how to visualize data on how climate stressors (e.g. cyclones, droughts, etc) are affecting the planet. Stop by Tuesday – Friday from 9 am – 4 pm; due to Coronavirus restrictions, there are only 30 people allowed in at a time and you must bring a “corona pass” (i.e. a vaccination card or proof of a negative test within the last 72 hours).
Looking for the best restaurants, cafes, and bars (including rooftop bars!) where you can enjoy a meal or drink outside? Check these out as the weather warms up.
If you’re a business or organisation that would like us to add your event to next month’s calendar, please contact us at hello [@] scandinaviastandard [dot] com. Thank you!
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Header image: Flora Danica Zoom exhibition