By Kyran Berlin and Teresa Schachtl | March 14, 2022
Copenhagen’s town square was packed with thousands of concertgoers waving blue and yellow flags on Saturday for “Sammen for Ukraine” (Together for Ukraine), a concert organized by Danish broadcast companies TV2 and DR to collect money for people affected by the conflict in Ukraine.
On Copenhagen’s Rådhuspladsen stage, 17 Danish musicians including Christofer, Anne Linnet and Jonah Blacksmith filled the evening with entertainment to raise awareness. The event was hosted by Johannes Langkilde and Natasja Crone, and featured firsthand accounts of Ukrainian residents and refugees shown between performances.
The event was simultaneously broadcast to venues in Aarhus, Odense, Aalborg and Esbjerg, the four biggest cities in Denmark after Copenhagen, and encouraged donations nationwide. The buildings around the Rådhuspladsen, such as the city hall and the Tivoli entertainment park, were all brightly lit in the colors of the Ukrainian flag.
TV2 stated that at the end of the concert Sammen for Ukraine had raised 165,118,184 kroner (22,194,978.97 EUR) for 18 humanitarian organizations including the Red Cross and Unicef. Danish individuals, companies and the Danish royal family made donations in ‘overwhelming backing’ of the event, said TV2.
Between the music segments the organizers displayed videos of Ukrainians fleeing the conflict and correspondents working in Poland, Moldova and Ukraine as well as footage of the war and reactions of Danish politicians.
“A lot of my friends are fighting today and I hope they are not going to die. I am lost.” Maria, a 24-year-old Ukranian woman fleeing from Kyiv said in one such clip.
One image that audibly touched the audience in Denmark was a video of an Ukrainian woman struggling to contain tears while sweeping glass from a broken window and singing the Ukrainian national anthem. This video clip faded into the performance of the national anthem by Taya Lukashova, a Ukrainian opera student who later stated via Instagram how incredibly touched she was by the outcome of the event.
However, some people criticized statements made by Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen such as “Der er nu krig i Europe” (There is now war in Europe).
During the event, Denmark broadcasted the picture of a welcoming and open country while it has been known for its hard lines on asylum and migration and sending back refugees to Syria and Afghanistan.
A bill passed in 2021 was criticized by organizations such as the UNHCR for sending asylum seekers to developing countries to proceed with the asylum process there. Ukrainian refugees, on the other hand, would not be in the asylum system but immediately granted residency permits.
Hundreds gathered to watch the live broadcast of the Live Aid concert from the Musikhuset (Music House) park in Aarhus, Denmark’s second-largest city outside of Copenhagen. The outdoor venue’s trees were bathed in blue and yellow light to match the nearby tower of Aarhus’ city hall, lit in solidarity with Ukraine.
Some concertgoers donned blue and yellow scarves and jackets as they watched the livestream from Copenhagen, which was projected onto a large screen in the park’s center next to a display of the Ukrainian flag that spanned the building.
Entrance to the event was free to the public and a booth was set up to accept cash and mobile pay donations from the concertgoers.
See the Aarhus gallery below.
For more news on musicians supporting Ukraine, read:
Target audience: UK readers reading through a package of articles about Scandinavian demonstrations for Ukraine in The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/international