About The Festival

Home/About The Festival

Tønder Festival, in its fifth decade as the major folk music festival in Denmark, is in a league all of its own.

Tønder Festival embraces both innovation and tradition. The Tønder Festival stages are alive with young people creating music that stretches from folk to roots, indie rock, alternative country and singer-songwriter styles. Tønder Festival is famous for presenting new international names who are on their way up. And Tønder Festival is also where you can meet stars and veterans on the international and the Danish folk and roots scenes.

Quality is sine qua non for Tønder Festival – a festival with its finger on the pulse of the music scene, presented in cultural surroundings to delight both audience and musicians. Tønder Festival is in also better shape than ever, thanks to the dedication of thousands of volunteers and strong local support.

(Photo: Madeleine Glindorf, 2017)

• Tønder Festival – one of Northern Europe’s major folk and roots music festivals – has existed since 1974.

• Tønder Festival takes place annually, on the last weekend in August.

• At Tønder Festival, the focus is on “handmade music” – music with roots in folk, roots rock, country, blues, cajun, world and more.

• At Tønder Festival you can hear internationale top names, rising newcomers on the indie scene, songwriter legends and authentic folk music.

• Tønder Festival is famous for presenting new musicians, the future stars on the international scene. Here, you meet musicians you don’t find anywhere else.

• Tønder Festival is also known for its own special atmosphere, where musicians and audience mingle, and you can attend massive concerts and spontaneous, intimate sessions.

• Tønder Festival site is close to the Tønder town centre, and has ten stages ranging from the huge Open Air Stage to the tiny Session Tent.

• The atmosphere at Tønder Festival is unique, friendly and warm, offering, besides the music, art, events, artist talks, food stalls, restaurants, bars and much more.

• In connection with Tønder Festival, the 4+ Project offers a wide variety of ways to experience the local region in the days before the festival.

• Tønder Festival is run by the Tønder Festival Foundation and the Tønder Festival Association.

• The Tønder Festival office has five full-time employees engaged in administration and booking, an executive group of almost 150 and a volunteer team numbering around 2400 people.

• Friends of Tønder Festival (Tønder Festivals Venner Aps) run the music venue Hagge’s Musik Pub.

• Tønder Festival is proud to have H. K. H. Prinsesse Marie as our patron since 2009.


  • Tønder Festival runs on the final whole weekend of August every year.
  • The first Tønder Festival took place in 1975. However, the year before there had been two folk events, one in June, one in September.
  • Tønder Festival is run by the Tønder Festival Foundation and the Tønder Festival Association.
  • The Festival Office has 4 full-time employees who deal with administration and music booking.
  • The Festival production group is led by a team of around 150 people. The total volunteer force numbers approximately 2000.
  • In 2012, Tønder Festival introduced a new format: activities were concentrated on one site and wristbands sold instead of individual concert tickets.
  • Friends of Tønder Festival is the company that runs the Hagge’s Music Pub venue, where folk and roots concerts are put on all the year round.
  • An investigation into the importance of Tønder Festival for the cultural and economic life of the town of Tønder and its surrounding area carried out in 2008 by the Copenhagen Business School revealed that Tønder Festival annually brings in business to the tune of 69 million kroner. (app. £7 million.)
  • Since 2009, Tønder Festival has been proud to have H.R.H. Princess Marie as Royal patron.
  • The Tønder Festival management changed in 2014. Carsten Panduro, festival director and artistic director for 40 years, retired. Today, Maria Theessink is artistic director and Kirstine Uhrbrand is chief administrator.