Cello concert under the bridge with GoBoat

Cello concert under the bridge with GoBoat

Being the smart and perceptive reader that you are, it will not have escaped you that I am a fan of all things water, boat, and nautical. Not that I have any idea how to sail, but I love being close to water, on the water, even in the water (as long as it’s a pool and not the salty ocean!). So when my friend asked if I wanted to go to a “concert by boat”, of course I was in!

Hosted by the boat rental company GoBoat in Copenhagen, the idea is as unique as it’s genius: You sail out on a boat, take a little tour through Copenhagen’s beautiful canals, and then meet up to listen to some live music in an unusual, intimate setting – which is played, you guessed it, on a boat! The concert we attended was a cello duo called Gørvild/ Lautrup, and was the first classical music concert in the series.

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Now, it’s no secret that the weather in Denmark hasn’t exactly been July-like at all. In fact, it feels more like September these days! This week, we’ve also experienced some nasty rain almost every day – crazy downpours, followed by blue sky and sunshine. But the concert was taking place, so we just packed a couple of umbrellas and warm sweaters and braced the conditions.

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GoBoat’s rental boats are all powered by electric motors, which are charged with solar power generated by the panels on the roof of the pavilion, thus providing a sustainable, eco-friendly alternative to the standard diesel motors that most small boats have. They are not super fast (maximum speed is 6.5 km/h or 3.5 knots), but they are super quiet and there are speed limits in most of the harbor anyways. Plus, most of their boats are outfitted with tables that you can sit around, so they are great for a relaxed picnic tour through the canals.

We, a group of seven girls, arrived at the GoBoat pavilion on Islands Brygge, where the team provided us with beers, wine, blankets, and umbrellas and showed us to our boat. We settled in and cracked open the first round of beers while we waited to depart.

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Of course, I sported my new nautical sweater, which I got on sale just the day before!

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We then got a brief introduction on how to navigate the boat and the motor, and then we were all set!

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And after bit of a rusty start (ahem, we almost hit another boat and then did hit the pier…), we followed the other four or five other boats along the beautiful canals of Gammel Strand and Christianshavn. I just can’t get enough of them!

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After about 45 minutes, we arrived back at Langebro, where the concert was going to take place. The two cellists were already waiting for us on a boat, tied up safely under the bridge, and the other boats formed a half circle around them, tied to each other. After a few introductory remarks, the concert started.

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The cellists did a great job, taking us on a musical tour from Venice to Argentina, playing classics from Vivaldi, chamber music, and an arrangement from the Thirties, before finishing up with a fun rendition of Hans Zimmer’s “Wheel of Fortune” from the Pirates of the Caribbean score. The bridge not only provided cover from potential rain, but also made for some pretty nice acoustics.

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Other boats and kayaks going by stopped to see what was going on and stayed for a couple of minutes to enjoy the music as well.

The weather was relatively stable – apart from a little bit of rain in the beginning, it remained dry, but mostly cloudy. Unfortunately, it was also quite windy, which meant it was a lot colder than I had expected. I should have brought a warmer coat!

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If you’re interested in attending a concert on the water, there are a couple more coming up in August and the start of September. You can find the tickets here. Tickets are DKK 199 per person, including one cold Brooklyn Brewery beer. Such a great experience!

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