Samsø - My Island

Festival – going 1st class

If you love to sprint onto the meadow to fight with the poles of your silver grey igloo tent then the Samlejr (Samsø’s festival camping area) is not for you. Here everything is ready for you. The tent has been erected, the table and bench sets are set up and if you want it even easier, you can buy a sleeping package consisting of an underlay and a sleeping bag. And yes, your luggage can even be transported from the Jutland ferry to the festival. No hassle, just enthusiasm!

Morning joy for the whole family
Grethe and Kalle from Roager near the city of Ribe attended their very first festival 28 years ago. At that time and for the following 25 years it was Smukfest (a festival in Jutland) which was the annual festival high point but three years ago they changed to Samsø. Samsø Festival is very similar to the first years at Skanderborg (the forerunner to Smukfest). The size and mood suit us better,explains Kalle, who with his 70 years is the family camp elder(president).

You see, Grethe and Kalle have brought a flock of friends and a large part of their family to Samsø Festival. We are ca. 24-28 people most of whom stay here in the Samlejr area. Henning and I arrive as early as Monday night to make sure we get adjacent tents. It works really well that we can simply come and set down our stuff without first having to find a spot and then pitch tents,says Kalle.

A typical day at the camp starts with a Fernet Branca “just to clear the stomach”, as Henning puts it. However, the youngest member, eight year old Laurids sticks to breakfast, which is also part of the Samlejr package. Every morning we can pick up a nice breakfast bag and the morning newspaper in the Valhalla bar, which is close to the camp. It’s a big hit with both children and adults,states Kalle.

16 new friends
The rolls and the chocolate milk have also found their way to another table in the camp, where Helle, Cana, Arthur and Simon are in the process of rubbing the sleep of yesterday’s festivities from their eyes. None of the four friends have been to Samsø Festival before but that hasnt prevented them from finding their place in the cosiness of it all – quite the contrary. Samlejr is a small camp within the larger campsite, you could say, and quite quickly you get to talk to neighbours and passers-bysays Cana, who has been prolific in terms of making new acquaintances during the festival.

A few weeks before the festival she invited 16 of her tens of thousands of followers on Instagram to follow her on “The Terrace” which she had booked for the opening concert with the band Michael Learns to Rock. I handed out the places on a first-come, first-served basis and then is was simply party-time with free bar, community singing, hugs and good conversations. It was truly an extraordinary experience,says Cana.

Later in the evening when the band D-A-D took to the stage, the group of friends also had a positive surprise. “We left the camp 15 minutes before the concert started, and it was absolutely fantastic not having to push and hurry to find a good place for a big rock concert,” says Simon.

Sibling Fun
Of course the music is a big part for most festival guests, including the two sisters Charlotte and Marianne, who live in Vejen and Aalborg respectively. There are a lot of good names on the programme and we plan to see most of the concerts. But we have come just as much for the sake of the hygge,Marianne points out.

The sisters are attending the Samsø Festival for the very first time and they only have praise for the Samlejr concept: Everything is managed perfectly from arriving at the ferry in Hou, where the ferry company personnel are ready to take care of your luggage, to having your designated, pitched tent in the camp pointed out to you,explains Charlotte.

Samlejr is a little removed from the big tent camp and it is indeed more peaceful here, which Marianne and Charlotte appreciate: Its nice and tidy here with helpful volunteers and plenty of space, so that you can also retreat and relax a little with a book or magazine,says Marianne.

For us, the festival is an alternative form of holiday, where we can combine music and party with trips around the island. We go to the beach, go shopping in Ballen and go out for a few lunches. It’s also a great way to meet other people because here conversation transcends job titles, education, age and geography. It’s nice to have both some space around you as well as space for everyone,concludes Charlotte.


  • Samsø Festival is always held in week 29.
  • Over the last few years tickets have been sold out.
  • The Samlejr site is an enclosed camp where tables and bench sets and electrical outlets are available.
  • In the package you will get a tunnel tent with two partitions that are opened up when you arrive. The tent is large enough for four people. The tent is purchased as property allowing you to take it with you on departure.
  • Every morning as of Wednesday to Saturday a breakfast package is included when purchasing a Samtent in the Samlejr.
  • The Sam-tent can be purchased with a 4-day, family or disability ticket.
  • See more at

Last updated: 09/02/2021 09:54