Springtime is here and SPOT, universally regarded as the season's prime launch-pad festival, is nearly upon us again. Set in Aarhus, it pulls both Danes and international tourists' attentions from Copenhagen to Denmark's second city, which has been named joint European Capital of Culture for 2017.
A city for fancy footwork as well as cycling, Aarhus's charm lies not only in its stunning views and cultural leanings but also in the music scene it continuously supports and the annual celebration of fresh sounds it has been hosting under the auspices of SPOT since 1994. Fun fact: it is also where The 405's current favourite Danish pop-hero, Asbjørn, hails from!
Artists such as The Raveonettes, Mew, MØ and Efterklang all launched their international careers at SPOT and, undoubtedly, the festival's promotional platform for Nordic music will be a pivotal springboard for acts we can expect to see making it big over the next 12 months or so. Alongside musicians making their debut at SPOT, some more established outfits will also be taking to the stage as part of the festival.
There are many, many names on this year's line-up, which The 405 is particularly excited to watch during the jam-packed weekend. Take Finland's Alma, for instance - to hear 'Dye My Hair' done live would be a massive moment. Performances by Norway's Nils Bech and Sigrid promise to be over-populated hot tickets as is Denmark's Saint Best's show. Another Danish act not to be missed is Blondage - the new name for electro duo, Rangleklods. We loved Esben and Pernille under their former nom de plume and we love everything we've heard so far from their Blondage reincarnation.
Other highlights include Welsh-Danish singer-songwriter, Drew, German-based folky Dane, Lasse Matthiessen, as well as VERA - aka producer William Asingh - who has worked with MØ, Soleima and Liss. We are promised that this latter gig will boast androgynous vocals, smooth saxophone and flamenco guitar mixed with electronic beats. Copenhagen-based threesome, IRAH, are also on our must-watch list as is Konni Kass from the Faroe Islands, who will be returning to SPOT again this May, after a critically-acclaimed appearance last year.
On the pop front, the Aarhus extravaganza will also host performances from the aforementioned Soleima and Norwegian up-and-comer, Amanda Delara.
It is, quite simply, going to be impossible to be bored during the weekend event.
Spot Festival is on between 4 and 7 of May in Aarhus, Denmark. For ticket information visit the festival's website here.