Friday, May 17, 2013

Christiania: More than just a stoner's paradise

Everyone knows that Christiania is the place to go when you're in search of an herbal high. It is impossible to miss the chunks of dark brown hash on the tables lining Pusher Street. Unfortunately, the highly visible cannabis market often blinds non-smokers to the cool and free activities the larger hippie community offers. 

This weekend will be the 40th anniversary of Loppen, a music venue featuring popular rock, punk, and hip hop bands from all over the world. In addition to free music from popular Danish artists (some of whom are remarkably talented), low priced treats will be available including homemade hotdogs, pickles, and pulled pork sandwiches. The info page also lists cake which I assume will be free since it is a birthday party

Not to be outdone by Loppen, Nemoland will also be hosting a number of free concerts starting this Sunday. The series will kick off with a performance by two artists I want to be my new Bff's, Linkoban and Lucy Love. 

Chinese born and Danish bred, Linkoban is pure awesome sauce. Her style can be best described as dub-pop, the lovely child of dubstep and pop. Her first big hit, Like This, is a never-fail crowd pleaser and brings everyone to their feet. I love her.

As we can see, Linkoban is awesome. And we have the equally fantastic Lucy Love to thank for introducing the world to her protege. 

Lucy Love is more grime than pop, and her courage and willingness to experiment with music as well as appearance makes her a wonderful live performer.  

You can check out the full schedule here. Another performance I highly recommend is WhoMadeWho. The drummer alone, Tomas Barfod, is enough to make me drop everything and run to Christiania. He is walking sex. But he and the rest of the band are more than just (really tasty) eye candy. One of my friends described their performances as parties and he was totally right. The group actually have fun with their fans and their infectious energy simply cannot be beat. 

I had the immense pleasure of seeing this performance live at Roskilde and there aren't enough words in my vast vocabulary to describe how wonderful they are. 

So there you have it, several delicious reasons to venture to the wilderness that is Christiania, even if you don't smoke or drink. And these are just a few treats of many. The community also contains several restaurants, including two affordable vegetarian places and one rather upscale establishment. There's also a free sauna (edit: since this was written, the sauna has been closed to non-residents), movie theater, and I believe a planetarium (but don't quote me on the last one). 

The hippies founded Christiania with the belief that it should be open to everyone. And forty-one years later, their dream is still going strong. To those on a limited budget, this place was made for you.

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