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The European Capital of Culture programme is opened in Aarhus

20.01.2017  19:34
HM Queen Margrethe II, Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen and Minister of Culture, Mette Bock will attend the official opening on Saturday January 21 of European Capital of Culture Aarhus 2017.
Starting at 19:00 the streets of Aarhus will be transformed into a swelling sea of warmth and light, as thousands of people walk in a sensory parade guaranteed to delight spectators.

Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II will officially open the long-awaited year. Along with 80 children from Engdal School in Brabrand, she will launch the huge parade of thousands of people on their walk through the city. They will carry illuminated ships decorated with written and illustrated expressions of their hopes and wishes for the future. The procession will accompany six giant Viking ships, 10 to 12 metres long, bearing inscriptions from the Jelling Stones and carrying symbols of the most precious Danish values: freedom, welfare and community. Visual narratives will be projected on the ships, using the sails as screens.

The CEO of Aarhus 2017, Rebecca Matthews: "We open our year as European Capital of Culture with a beautiful, enchanting and thoughtful event. Our senses will be filled with the sound of hundreds of singing voices and the sight of thousands of people standing together to create a common experience that will enter onto our hearts, history and minds forever. It will be an epic evening of grand entertainment and an atmosphere infused with poetry."

The parade will be a feast for all the senses, including reinterpretations of the ancient Danish folk song, 'Last night I dreamt a dream' sung by children from different nationalities, amazing fireworks as well as a seductive, melodic backdrop involving the singers Luna Ersahin and Eivør.

"I expect a magnificent, heart-rending show, because I know that those involved are working creatively and passionately. I am looking forward to performing some of my own songs with new string and choir arrangements, but most of all I am thrilled to be singing – along with the lovely Luna – a completely new song that I've written for the occasion. It is a real honour to be making my contribution and being part of such a beautiful ceremony" says performer Eivør.

The luminous procession will move through the city, past Aarhus City Hall, Aarhus Station, the Bus Station and the staircase at Dokk1, culminating at the harbour with a grand musical event where a choir of 900 voices form the background for the Viking boats that will gather there, and the epic narratives projected onto the iconic Aarhus silos.

The whole event will be brought to an electrifying crescendo by Dj Static and his mind-blowing new show: "It is a great honour to be part of this event which is said to be one of the largest Aarhus has ever put on. It's pretty damn wild that the Capital of Culture opening ceremony will be closed by a DJ Static set,” says DJ Static, "Very brave of the organizers! They could have chosen to put a more popular artist with a wider appeal. It shows that Aarhus is moving on and that the city wants progress and innovation. I hope that people will have a great experience, and I hope that we can surprise everyone by combining a DJ like me with a major sound and light show, lights, haze and fireworks. I mix a lot of different styles together and re-think both known and unknown numbers. It'll be great!"

The opening event is sponsored by the Herman Salling Foundation's Fund, and BESTSELLER has contributed to creating the magnificent finale with Dj Static.
“In BESTSELLER, we are proud to be supporting Aarhus 2017 and all the amazing initiatives that will take place throughout the region this coming year. We are excited to kick off our involvement with the DJ event at the official opening, and we are looking very much forward to August, where we will be an integral part of the huge UNLEASH project bringing close to 1,000 international sustainability talents to Denmark to discuss and look for solutions to the UN’s official Sustainable Development Goals. Getting our employees, the Aarhus region and the entire world involved in the sustainability agenda, and the cultural scene as such, is of great significance to us, and we hope that our Aarhus 2017 support will help pave the way for this,” says BESTSELLER Communication Manager Jesper Stubkier.

A magical weekend
The weekend will be opened by children from across the region on Friday, January 20, with the Land of Wishes project, a magical journey into the country of childhood dreams. On the morning of Saturday, January 21, you will be able to see cyclists on beautifully decorated bikes in luminous processions throughout the Central Denmark Region, under the title of DAWN Ride. The mood of anticipation will grow throughout the day in Aarhus city, preparing ready for the great event in the evening.

"From the beginning, Herman Salling's Foundation has supported with pride, joy and great expectations the implementation of the fantastic programme of European Capital of Culture Aarhus 2017, which will leave its mark on Aarhus and the entire Central Denmark Region in the coming year. The Board of the Foundation has also chosen to substantially back up Capital of Culture year's major popular opening event. We on the Board are convinced that the ambitious programme for 2017 and the fantastic opening event involving thousands of citizens of Aarhus and the rest of our Region, will ensure that Aarhus as European Capital of Culture will really hit the headlines, not only in Denmark, but far beyond the country borders", says Karin Salling, Vice President of Herman Salling's foundation.

For all info and programme visit Aarhus 2017 website

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