Noise, Love and Anarchy: Aarhus’ International Supernoise Festival
“It has been an experience in insanity to organize this festival,” said Jcak, one of the organizers of the International Supernoise Festival. The second annual festival took place from February 1-7 in the Latin Quarter of Aarhus. One hundred different acts from 20 countries performed. An independent label of sorts known as Den Jyske Harsh Noise Mafia (DJHNM) has been putting on noise events since 2012, but this year’s Supernoise Festival is the biggest event they ever organized.
Luna is one of the arrangers and artists who helped the organizing team put on the festival. According to Luna, the festival had a lot more attendees this time along with more performers.
“It was taking place more than just the weekend so there was room for a lot more artists, especially international artists” she said. “This one was a lot more organized, due to it being a week long so we had to have it more organized.”
For Luna, festivals like Supernoise play a significant role as they provide a different perspective of the music scene in Aarhus, where there aren’t a lot of noise shows taking place.
“It’s nice to give this variation to the music scene and culture because it’s not always seen as music or an art form, but it is, and I hope that people took their time to go watch this event, even for just a couple of hours,” said Luna. She hopes that the festival helped open eyes and show how inspirational and artistic other forms of music culture can be that you don’t see every day.
Sometimes, getting a platform to express your art is difficult, but it is a great source of expression when you do, and Supernoise has been that platform.
“When you understand it, noise becomes a language, and I don’t want to define it as a musical genre as such,” said Jcak. “I think noise is more about expanding the understanding of what music and sound can be. I consider it being much more chaotic, where the performative, the visual elements and the situation plays a huge part and where nothing is oppressed.”
Throughout the festival, organizers Jcak and Emma had a group of volunteers like Luna helping them. The sound crew in particular were responsible for keeping order in all of the chaos and controlling the schedule for the artists, who had around 20 minutes per set. SkraldeCaféen were also a big help for the organizers during the festival, setting up a kitchen at the venue and providing food for everyone. This festival was mainly a get-together of sorts for friends and family and well-wishers of all the performers. While none of the artists were paid, the money from the festival will be spent on their travel expenses.
“Being marginalised by mainstream media, the international noise scene acts like family,” Jcak and Emma explained. “For this reason as well, most of the artists who played at Supernoise are already friends of ours or friends of friends. We don’t accept oppressive attitudes – in both festivals we have rejected only two artists for being uncool,” they say, referring to sexist attitudes as what was uncool.
According to Jcak and Emma, there is a favourable audience for noise events in Aarhus and people are open and interested in experimental art forms. Even when people aren’t aware of what to expect, they show up anyway.
“Right now we need a little break and then we will see what happens, but hopefully there will be another festival, and if not we will surely make a shitload of noise again. Noise and love for anarchy,” said Jack and Emma. “We don’t know when or if there is going to be another Supernoise Festival, but if so, it will properly be a month long with 1000 artists.”
-Zahra Salah Uddin