A Spectacular Kickoff: The First Day of NIBE Festival 2024

Under the radiant Danish summer sun, the first day of the NIBE Festival unfolded, setting the stage for one of the most eagerly anticipated music events of the year. As Wednesday dawned, the festival grounds came alive with a vibrant mix of performances from both local and international artists. This initial day of the four-day extravaganza offered a rich experience filled with music, art, and camaraderie, attracting music enthusiasts from all corners of the country. Attendees were treated to unforgettable concerts, surprising encounters, and a unique atmosphere that only a festival of this calibre can provide.


Tessa is seemingly trying to be the Danish version of Cardi B or Doja Cat. Her sound, although with a distinct Scandinavian touch, is overall the same brand of pop mixed with R&B and hip-hop. Despite being heard from significantly less in the last few years, she has managed to build her own brand, making bold and unfiltered songs mostly about female empowerment, faking orgasms, and self-aggrandizement. The music is mainly centred around heavy beats and catchy hooks, which resonate mostly with a younger audience.

Photo’s (c) Morten Holmsgaard Kristensen

James Blunt

This being my first time visiting Nibe Festival, I was surprised at how much atmosphere the surrounding trees helped create for the largest stage. For a soulful artist like James Blunt, accompanied by a similarly themed light show, that kind of vibe was perfect. The place was full, and the crowd had been waiting, so he wasted no time warming up before he began interacting with the people there. What can you say? The guy has charm. He even learned a few Danish phrases, which he pronounced fairly well too.

The music was fine, but there’s a reason James Blunt doesn’t have a regular band, although he was tactful enough to introduce the rest of the people on stage. His distinctive voice is what made him so incredibly famous some years ago, and he hasn’t lost that at all, except for maybe a few of the very high notes, but hey, we all get older. The music itself, a blend of soft pop-rock with some folk influence, seemed to resonate well with people, even those who were probably too young to have heard of him before. There truly was an age variety in the crowd, from toddlers to seniors. Good thing the people in front weren’t either, because James Blunt isn’t scared of a little crowd surfing.

Blunt played all the hits from the past, including “Goodbye My Lover” and “You’re Beautiful,” and finished strong with three encores. After being called back on stage by the crowd, he performed the song to his father, “Monsters,” joking that maybe he shouldn’t sing that to people who have been drinking all day, considering how depressing it is. This was followed by the much happier song “Bonfire Heart” and finally ‘1973.’

People were cheering, singing along, and laughing at the weirdness of hearing such a soft-spoken man jokingly utter the words, ‘What the f*** are you doing?’ when he had the crowd get down so they could jump up all together, and one guy just kind of stood there.

Carpark North

There aren’t a lot of Danish bands that start as early and last as long as Carpark North. Having played since the late 90s when they formed their band in school, they’re still a fairly young bunch of guys, and the energy on stage shows it. Their sound is a weird but delightful mix of rock, pop, and electronic elements. Heavy on the synth, lots of keyboard and sampling, auto-tune, and distorted voices. They’ve been likened to bands like Depeche Mode, Muse, and Awolnation, but they definitely have their own sound and a very loyal fanbase to this day.

Being heavy on the electronics, the stage show is energetic and hard-hitting, and the light show on five giant cubes in the background helps sell the theme even more. They opened the show with one of their bigger hits, ‘Human,’ and people went wild. The dreary Danish weather didn’t deter anyone from having a blast, and you could see noticeably more students in the crowd than at James Blunt. With their sometimes quite noisy and hard sound, and a mix of Danish and English lyrics, they probably won’t appeal to the senior crowd as much, but that doesn’t mean the place isn’t full. The people there sang along to almost every song until they played a preview of their next single, which will be released in the fall. I honestly quite liked the new track. They have a talent for sampling songs with simple rhythmic melodies and mixing them with the anthemic and atmospheric sound of rock.

About halfway through, they played their flagship song, “Transparent and Glasslike,” and lead singer Lau Højen can still hit every note and still has a way of complementing the music with an emotionally raw and powerful vocal. They ended the show with another hit, “Save Me From Myself,” and you could see people in the crowd dancing and singing along.

Malte Ebert

Malte Ebert, formerly known under the moniker ‘Gulddreng,’ meaning something akin to ‘golden boy,’ is mostly known for his catchy pop songs and very charismatic personality on stage. He’s a guy who knows how much of his popularity comes from charming the crowd, and he’s very adept at it, even though his musical style has changed quite a bit. Having let the old stage name go and focusing on a more earnest and emotional sound, he still knows how to work a crowd.

I don’t know if people actually associate the name with his former persona, but nonetheless, no one was disappointed by the performance, and the vibe fit perfectly for the crowd that was there.

Photo’s (c) Morten Holmsgaard Kristensen

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