Harbour culture festival at sea

Harbour culture festival at sea
Essay | Written by: Rasmus Møller Madsen | Translated by: Laura Malahovska | Wednesday, June 6, 2018

It has become a tradition that my siblings, our common friends and I, sail our ship to Odense during the Harbour Culture Festival (Havnekulturfestival). This year's trip in through the canal was quite a ride through the narrow inlet which ended in 20 minutes of circling in front of Odin's Bridge, while dancing salsa to an awesome MØ remix. We docked at the Byens Ø, sent snaps and group text messages, and the evening tired around quickly. The boat filled up with lots of happy people in no time. With about a ton of guests on board, the sonar was reading 0.4m and the Danish flag was licking the tips of the murky harbour water. But the captain is not worried, nor is the crew. Thousand robbery stories, kisses and hugs later we all fall asleep, arm in arm, wrapped in wooly blankets and kapok pillows.

When we wake up in the morning, the festival has already begun. It smells of barbecue and samosas. A steady stream of paddle-boarders, canoes and yellow water-bikes pass by during our morning status meeting, while we fix a broken guitar string, eat cheese bread and smear factor 30 on each other's backs. The harbour master also drops by for a chat, a cup of coffee and a MobilePay. He is not so busy, because even though there is a harbour festival, the docks are not close to being fully booked. Someone went out and found a festival program and we were surprised at how much there was to experience. And then the days go by. Too fast. Concerts, skateboards, scrapes and bumps guarantees a boat filled with snores every night. It is quite amazing to have a small base in the midst of the harbour, just as permanent residents of the big flat buildings all over the harbour, but something special happens when boarding the boat. All food and drink was shared, new people greeted and stories exchanged of what has been unavoidably missed around the harbour.

We raise our glass to the Harbour Culture Festival. And now back on the rough sea, rocking gently and reading a little more by Troels Kløvedal, this summer's cheesy guilty pleasure.

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