Tønder Festival 2013


Again the official opening this year took place on the big open air stage on Thursday afternoon. Two concerts followed there, "Red Molly”, USA, and the “Spooky Men´s Chorale” from Australia. In the begin of the evening, as every year in the Kulturhuseet:”Den første Aften”, hosted by Niels Hausgaard. A nice contrast then on the big stage with a punk approach to folk music, "Flogging Molly" The evening ended up with traditional Irish and Scottish Folk, the "Niamh Ní Charra Band" and the "Ross Ainslie & Jarlath Henderson Band"  

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On Sunday afternoon first we had two nice, very different, bands. The "Great Malarky" played Gipsy Punk, wild, rough and impetuously. The second concert in the "Spejltent" was played by "Kristian Leth & Dreamer's Circus" one of the musical highlights of this years festival. The traditional "Final Concert" was given by Adam Cohen and the wonderful portuguese Fado singer Mariza. All artists then came together for the official end of the festival, singing together with the audiance "Will the Circle be unbroken".

The inofficial end of the festival was celebrated by "The Red Stick Ramblers" and "Meshiya Lake and the Little Big Horn" in a big New Orleans Jazz and Cajun Party.  

Follow this Link for the Sunday Concerts ...

Cajun Music and Dance

Cajun Music is not only a row of tones, it is a lifestyle: Music, dancing and … cooking belong together and make the life complete. Even if this lifestyle could not be brought on the stages of the festival completely, the atmosphere could be felt when the "Red Stick Ramblers/Revelers" played and the people were dancing. One of the rare, pure moments appeared in the musicians bar, when the musicians in front of the door played unplugged and the people danced. In this moment Cajun sounded like played from an old disk.

Follow this Link for the Cajun section ...


The Friday afternoon started with the "Whilaways" in the Spejltent, the most beautiful venue of the festival. In Tent 1 we heard "Carolina Chocolate Drops" and again the phantastic "Pokey LaFarge". At the P 4 Stage a Cajun Dance workshop took place. Danish people regularly are great dancers and so the instructors, Corey Porche and Allyson Haymark found attentive pupils. This workshop obviously was a success, every evening the Cajun Bands played the dance floor was crowded with people trying the new steps.

In the Visemøllen a very special project started, "Folkspot", where six bands over two days showed the different developments Danish folk took during the past years. Nice to hear and absolutely interesting. One Highlight was "Nordens Tone" bringing together Nordic folk songs with elements of Jazz.  

Follow this Link for Friday ...


On Monday most of the visitors have left the festival, the camping site is nearly empty, workers begin to dismantle tents and stages. Many people are very busy and the "Curry Crew" cooks the Curry for the evening, for the legendary Volunteers Party.

With the Volunteers Party the festival organisators and the musicians express their thanks to the volunteers, who did again a great job, without them this Festival could not take place. And many musicians gave another concert. As there were: Red Molly, Brian O´Neill, Ron Kavana, Niamh Ni Charra, Hudson Taylor, Duncan Chisholm, Guy Davies, The Red Stick Ramblers, Meshiya Lake an the Little Big Horn and Pokey LaFarge..  

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Tønder Dance

Dance and Music belong together, no question. Each festival the Danish visitors apperar to be great dancers, taking every chance to move their feet. So in several workshops, on and in front of many stages dancing activities were seen. There were "Svøbsk" with traditional Danish dance and of course the Danish Audience dancing at many places. Shane McAvinchey, dancer and teacher from Ireland, danced with the Niamh Ní Charra Band showing movements the eyes could hardly follow.

Meshiya Lake had two dancers with her band, Amy Johnson, well known from last years festival and Peter Loggins, swing dancer and teacher, who is worldwide active for shows, festivals and workshops. But he is not only a perfect dancer, he plays trombone with his own band in New Orleans. And he is a jazz historian as can be seen on his blog: the Jassdancer  

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The Saturday is the main day of the festival and so some of the musical highlights took place then. The afternoon began with Scottish, Irish and English music: Duncan Chisholm, Dervish and Kate Rusby in Tent 1. In the Visemøllen the second part of the "Folkspot" with Fromseier & Hockings, Tradish and Svøbsk could be heard.

But of course most of the people were waiting for the top act of the day, the "Avett Brothers" on the Open Air Stage. It was a brilliant concert, beautiful music, nice to hear and a perfect show on stage. It was an absolutely professional performance, nice to be seen, when a string of Seth Avett´s guitar broke. Within ten seconds he played on with a new guitar.  

Follow this Link for Saturday ...

Danish Folk

Danish folk, even if it sounds Irish or Scottish, sounds different. The "Folkspot-Project" was to show, in which different directions Danish Folk has developed in the past years. In the Visemøllen six bands appeared, representing very different approaches to Danisch folk. "Trias" was near to the Irish fiddling tradition, so were "Fromseier & Hockings. Tradisch led the audience on a tour through different European countries, showing how Irish folk would sound combined with, for example, Balcan sounds. Asynje played songs coming directly from the vikings time, rough and wild and Svøbsk provided the alternative playing traditional Danish dance music, a sound that must have reached the feet of the audience immidiately.

A very ambitious approach was shown by "Nordens Tone". A Jazz Trio, Pojken Flensborg (piano), Torben Bjørnskov (bass) and Hans Mydtskov (sax) played traditional folk songs from all nordic countries. Of course they needed a singer for this project and they found a perfect one. Jullie Hjetland sang so beautiful and the great art of the band was, to bring together the beautiful melodies of the songs with the jazz characteristics. Impressive the duos of Jullie with the sax of Hans Mydtskov.  

Follow this Link for "Danish Folk" ...