TUCKED INTO A SIDE STREET RIGHT OFF NØRREBRO'S FAMOUS LAKES, SPILLESTEDET STENGADE IS A LOW-KEY, NO-FRILLS VENUE THAT HAS A LONG HISTORY OF SHOWCASING LOCAL ROCK MUSIC.
It's since branched out to highlight a few more genres, but always maintains robust programming full of metal, post-punk and indie – all with a strong emphasis on Danish music culture. This venue also cycles through a bunch of weekly music nights, including Play-It, a jam night (Tuesdays from September to June) and Rocket Club, concerts featuring up-and-coming bands (every third Saturday). Stengade also comes with a saucy little dose of notoriety: after years of bad management led to its closure, a crew of activists revived it.
The venue is now an artist-run collective, booked and manned by volunteers with zero tolerance for racism, homophobia or discrimination of any kind. Manager Jim Q Holm says, “I think it's always been part of the DNA at Stengade. Since the venue opened back in the 70s, there has always been an activist mind-set.” Holm had been coming to Stengade since the 80s before joining the board in 2014. “Through the years, I've experienced Stengade as a warm-hearted place, where racism and other sad behaviours have simply not been able to thrive,” he explains. The bottom line is that this venue goes out of its way to make everyone feel comfortable. And when you’re exploring a new city for the first time, perhaps that’s the most important thing of all.