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Copenhell Festival

The survival guide to Copenhell Festival

All you heavy metal nerds should just go to hell! Copenhell Festival that is. 

It’s one of Europe’s best heavy metal music festivals and takes place right in the heart of Copenhagen. 

The tunes are loud, the beer is abundant, the energy is high, and you can unleash with some of the world’s greatest hard rock and heavy metal bands, as well as the latest talent bursting out of the Nordic music underworld.

Last year was Copenhell’s 10th birthday but 2020 is going to be even bigger and better. 

From June 17 – 20, the island of Refshaleøen will transform into hell on earth for anyone daring enough to enter. Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Korn will be there. 

Enough said? Nope, we’re not done yet. 

Check out our guide below for a look at what Copenhell is all about, who’s headlining, and all the nitty gritty details you need to survive the coolest music festival in the north.

Photo: Copenhell Festival

What the hell is the Copenhell Festival anyway?

It’s an experience. One you won’t forget and that will have you marking the calendar for the next year. And the year after that. 

It’s the chance to mosh, head-bang, party and lose yourself amongst like-minded music fans.

There are many who might dress the part with beards, tattoos and piercings, but they’re renowned for their camaraderie, picking each other up in the mosh, leading drunk revellers back to the shuttle and sometimes even piggy-backing their tiny metal youngsters around the festival. 

And then others who don’t fit the usual mould but know their Megadeth from their Metallica better than anyone else, and could annihilate you in a wall of a death.  

Everyone is just happy to be there and to be accepted by everyone around them. Who knew hell could be the happiest and friendliest place on Earth? 

Copenhell: heavy metal, beer and the chance to break stuff

There have historically been three stages in on the action, but in 2020 a fourth stage will be unveiled, promising even more musical genius in the Copenhell program.

But concerts aren’t all there is on offer. 

While final details for 2020 aren’t finalised yet, previous years have had the famous Biergarten tent where you can get your drink on and enjoy heavy metal karaoke. This place goes wild and is almost as fun as seeing your favourite bands play live on the stage. 

Then there’s the kickass Viking village with a huge selection of food and drinks to choose from (yes, even vegetarians and vegans will find something to suit the taste buds). 

And nobody should forget Smadreland, a zone that looks like something straight out of Mad Max, where you can let loose and smash cars. No, not metaphorically. Like, actually destroy real-life cars. 

Don’t worry, what happens at Copenhell, stays at Copenhell — unless your mates post it all over Instagram. 

Plus, Copenhell is just a cool place to walk around and check out the wild setup. The demonic theme is everywhere and just adds to a super fun vibe. 

The huge wolf mural by artist Victor Ash has become a bit of an icon for the festival in recent years and it’s pretty cool seeing it up close.

Copenhell Festival
Photo: Copenhell Festival

When did all this madness start?

The head-banging fun times have been going strong since 2010 when Copenhell opened its doors to hell for the very first time. Deftones played that year, as well as Megadeth and Napalm Death among others. 

Back then it was just a two-day affair that welcomed roughly 4,000 people, and it’s gained momentum ever since. 

Fast-forward to its anniversary last year, which ran for four days and drew a sell-out crowd of 28,000 metal fans and you can see that Copenhell has become more than just a series of concerts. 

It’s mayhem of the best kind for the festival veterans who return again and again to party with their tribe. 

And for young people who love the genre, it’s become somewhat of a coming-of-age thing.

Copenhell Festival
Photo: Copenhell Festival

Who’s in the Copenhell line-up for 2020?

There are some huge names of course, and probably some you haven’t even heard of. But one thing is for sure — if they’re playing at one of Europe’s best heavy metal festivals, they’re the kind of band you’re going to want to know.

Check them out below:

  • Iron Maiden
  • KISS
  • Judas Priest
  • Korn
  • Disturbed
  • Mercyful Fate
  • Emperor
  • Jinjer
  • Of Mice & Men
  • Gloryhammer
  • Destruction
  • Benediction
  • Xenoblight
  • Vreid
  • Crypt Sermon
  • ORM
  • High Command
  • Gojira
  • Mastodon
  • Meshuggah
  • Devin Townsend
  • D-A-D
  • Bad Religion
  • Agnostic Front
  • Dog Eat Dog
  • Death to All
  • Sacred Reich
  • Redwood Hill
  • Nyredolk
  • Chelsea Grin
  • Soen
  • Withering Surface
  • The Raven Age
  • Søren Andersen
  • Svartsot
  • Ghost Iris
  • Thundermother
  • Ivy Crown
  • LIFESICK
  • Nerved

Visit the Copenhell website for a closer look at the bands that are playing, or to see if there have been any changes. It’s probably also a good idea to find out which of the four days they’re playing so you’re not left disappointed.

Copenhell Festival
Photo: Copenhell Festival

Where is the Copenhell Festival held?

Address: Refshalevej 185, 1432 Copenhagen K

This open-air festival is held in the docklands on the island of Refshaleøen, which is an old shipyard not far from the centre of Copenhagen. The industrial setting feels as raw and untamed as the heavy metal music it hosts, making it the perfect venue. 

There’s a lot of concrete and not a lot in the way of seating near the stages, so be prepared for a physical day. If you’re looking for a place to relax, previous years have had a grassy hill where people can chill.

How do we get to Copenhell?

Since it’s in Copenhagen, it’s a pretty easy place to get to via public transport or bike. 

Bicycle

If you’re feeling energised, it’s a super easy bike-ride from Copenhagen’s city centre, and only takes roughly 10 minutes. 

There are usually some handy signs as you get closer to the festival site, leading the way, and bicycle parking near the entrance. This might seem strange for people outside of Scandinavia, but bike-riding to music festivals is actually pretty common here.

Bus and ferry

There are usually buses that come from places like Christiania, and there’s also the harbour bus that goes up and down the waterway that stops at Refshaleøen. It’s a good idea to check the bus timetables out closer to the festival date. 

Fun fact: Previous years have had a special 666 Copenhell bus you can catch to the festival. Are the numbers intentional? You better believe it!

Car and motorbike

If you’re driving a car or motorbike, be aware this isn’t recommended, and it might be hard finding a park. Still, some people do it. If so, keep an eye on the Copenhell website and social media to find out about the parking options when the festival gets closer. 

They usually have a free shuttle that operates from any parking zones.

Keep an eye on the official Copenhell website for updates on transport and parking.

Copenhell Festival
Photo: Copenhell Festival

What are Copenhell’s camping options like?

There are a couple of camp sites available: Sønder Hoved and Kløverparken.

Tents are obviously welcome, so too are camper trailers and caravans. 

You can bring your own tent, or if you want to pack light, you can opt for a more expensive camping ticket option and have the tent provided. It’ll be set up for you when you arrive, and you even get to keep it once the festival is over. 

There are also more luxurious tent options available, like the tent-houses with actual beds, somewhere to charge your phone and a safety box for your stuff.   

In previous years, shuttle buses have been available to transport people between the camp sites and the festival. 

Check out the video below for a look at the official festival map from last year that shows the Copenhell camping sites.

What if I don’t feel like camping?

Like we said, it’s an easy commute from the centre of Copenhagen to the festival. So, you can always stay in a hotel or hostel in the city. If you don’t want the heavy metal partying to end, you could even leverage the good vibes and continue on at one of Copenhagen’s many live music bars.

Are Copenhell 2020 tickets already available?

Yes, and they’re selling out quick!

Visit the official website for Copenhell tickets — there are a few different ticketing options available. Always be careful you use their official website for any purchases so you don’t get scammed. 

Is there a VIP ticket with special privileges?

Yes, but if you want to really fit in, it’s called a R.I.P ticket. It is CopenHELL after all.

These tickets give you exclusive access to the R.I.P area where you can relax with food and drinks. You might even see a famous face in there, as members of the bands sometimes go in there too.

It’ll also score you a goodie bag.

Copenhell Festival
Photo: Copenhell Festival

Can I bring my kids?

Rock and heavy metal lovers of all ages are welcome. Including children. 

The best part? Kids under the age of two are free, woo-hoo! There are specific children’s tickets available for anyone aged 2 – 12. 

So, if you’re afraid to ask your significant other if you can go to the concert, just offer to take the little ones with you…then everybody wins. 

Festival organisers recommend you bring hearing protectors for children’s sensitive ears, stay away from the Biergarten tent, wild mosh pits and excessively drunk people, and leave the festival site by 8pm. 

Basically, show your kids how to head-bang but be a responsible adult.

Copenhell Festival
Photo: Copenhell Festival

How do I volunteer at Copenhell?

It’s a pretty cool experience being a part of the huge operation that is a music festival. There are loads of volunteer jobs available, from ticketing and organising the campground to building infrastructure and working on stage, and more. 

You can check out the full range of roles here

Most importantly, volunteering at Copenhell gives you access to the full four days of the festival. 

You can sign up here.

What if I can’t make it to Copenhell in 2020?

Chuck on your headphones and soothe your woes with some good old-fashioned heavy metal. There’s always next year because Copenhell Festival isn’t going away anytime soon!

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