Metropolis is a meeting point for performance, art, city and landscapes – an art-based laboratory for the performative, site-specific, international art. Københavns Internationale Teater (KIT) is behind Metropolis as the latest of a large number of festivals and projects in Copenhagen created and initiated by KIT.

Metropolis Copenhagen presents a summer season with performances and interventions in urban space, while Metropolis Landscape is a national project with partners around he country. Metropolis also organises ongoing development activities for artists and professionals. 

Metropolis investigates, processes and interprets cities and landscapes, creating new connections between art, people and our surroundings.

We work to unravel the distance between art and reality by placing art in the midst of everyday life, and we see art as an essential community-developing element.

In the period 2024-28, the title of Metropolis’ activities is “From Metropolis to Ecopolis”, which means that we focus on art that investigates, communicates and experiments with nature, landscape and sustainability – both in form and content. We see art as an important laboratory where we can develop and test ideas that can influence our thinking and action patterns and create a new awareness in the context of the climate crisis.

In the archive you can find more information about previous seasons, festivals and laboratories.

See interview with the artistic direction, Katrien Verwilt and Trevor Davies:


Every summer between May and September, Metropolis presents performances and works by some of Europe’s most interesting, current and innovative artists. They create or adapt works for Copenhagen, which take us to new places, which make us experience familiar places as for the first time, and which make us discover new aspects and dimensions of our city.

The artists stage everyday life. They work on buildings, squares and roads. They work with local citizens. They invite us for explorations on the outskirts of the city. They test new formats and media – always with the city as subject, object and framework.

Metropolis has been held every two years since 2007 and yearly since 2017 with more than 200 location-based productions played in over 100 different locations in Copenhagen for more than 500,000 spectators.

CECI N’EST PAS… by Dries Verhoeven (Metropolis 2015) – photo: Maja Nydal Eriksen


Metropolis Landscape brings art and nature together to create experiences and new insights into the landscapes that surround us. Art will show new ways into nature, and nature will show new ways into art.

Landscapes are interpreted and conveyed by artists from performance, visual arts, music, architecture, activism, dance, film, literature… In 2021-23, Metropolis Landscape was held with support from the Nordea Foundation in collaboration with 12 municipalities and 40 partners across the country. Metropolis Landscape continues in collaboration with selected partners.

The Danish Arts Foundation’s Grant Committee for Performing Arts awarded Metropolis Landscape as one of only two performing arts projects in 2023:

“Metropolis Landscape has shown the courage to expand the performing arts by bringing nature and art together in new spaces… (and) putting some of the big issues such as the climate crisis and humans’ connection and anchoring to nature on the agenda, while at the same time inspiring the audience in their local areas.”

Ellen Kilsgaard Walking Landscapes Skagen

Walking Landscapes Skagen / Ellen Kilsgaard – photo: Maja Nydal Eriksen



Metropolis is one of the recognized European landmarks for people interested in living, site-specific performing arts. Metropolis launches learning projects to support and develop artists and professionals, and Metropolis contributes to creating greater knowledge and awareness of artistic and performative work in public space.

Metropolis Residencies
2018-2021 and again 2022-24, Metropolis has been selected as a national residency centre by the Danish Arts Foundation. Metropolis Residencies is our research programme for artists working in public space. Every summer, we invite a group of international and Danish artists to work intensely in Copenhagen to develop site-specific projects and practices.

Metropolis Laboratory / Performing Landscapes Lab
2007/8-20, every two years, we have organized the Metropolis Laboratory and the Nordic Urban Lab as a knowledge platform that deals with art in public space, site-specific theatre/performance and cultural urban development.

In 2023, we organized the Performing Landscapes Lab for the first time. Artists, professionals and other interested parties gather for presentations, workshops and mini-performances examining the question: What is the role and potential of art in a time of ecological crisis?

The Labs are fora for sharing knowledge as well as collaborating and developing projects across professional boundaries, habits and prejudices. The goal is that the arts and artists can enrich us with new visions for the future and that their work will eventually become an integral part of urban, landscape and societal development.

International networks and collaborative projects
Metropolis is a partner in the EU-supported platform for art in public space, In Situ, where we co-produce and collaborate with 20 theatres/festivals in Europe and create development opportunities for the site-specific art. In Situ has pioneered the promotion of knowledge, artistic productions and dissemination of site-based art. The EU’s cultural programmes have continuously supported the network.

Metropolis has been an inspiration for the EU Interreg-supported development project UrbCulturalPlanning 2019-21, which implements cultural urban development as a method for developing urban areas in a cities around the Baltic: Kiel, Gdansk, Vilnius, Riga, Pori and Nykøbing Falster. The project continues with new partners and new activities from 2024.

COLÉOMUR by Compagnie 9.81 on VM Bjerget (Metropolis 2009) – photo: Torben Huss


Information: “Performance artists cultivate nature…”
“Metropolis invites the audience into the dream of becoming one with nature and feeling its powers… What these outdoor walking performances have in common is that they make the audience look each other in the eye. That everyone walks together and carries out orders together and takes care of each other. The community is completely different from the more passive togetherness in a theatre space. While we feel nature, we also feel each other.”

“With this summer’s programme, Metropolis has really succeeded in bringing together the open spaces with guest performances that establish that people are connected and related to their surroundings.”

Politiken: “The art only gets better when you tramp around in it”
“Artistic laboratories like Metropolis get us lured out on walks through city and countryside with ear-phones and integrated performances and allow us to observe the city with fresh eyes… As part of their artistic projects in urban space since 2007, Metropolis has been a strong force in getting the performance walk embedded in this country… May the audience continue to wander in the theatre and walk around the performances. That kind of art only gets better the more you trample around it.”

Politiken: “This is not a festival – it is a boost”
“This is not art,” was Dries Verhoeven’s teasing opening salute in the glass box. As Metropolis unfolds, it is not only on the boundary between performing arts, installation, street theatre, concert and sound art, but also on the boundary between urban walking, playground and activist intervention. What matters is not what it is, but what it does to the city and its residents – and to the performing arts, being free to do anything out of just experimental playfulness. The season’s releasing and liberating break, with both hits and misses. Thus, over the years, Metropolis has also put extra emphasis on new forms and formats such as urban space theatre, walking performances, interactions and cross-disciplinary activities.”

Weekendavisen: “To see the city for just people”
“The city is the central figure of this festival for performance, installation art, new theatre and new circus – all things that a lot of people love to hate as the epitome of posh and incomprehensible art. Do you know a person like that, then it is precisely at the Metropolis festival that they must be exposed to and experience how these often controversial arts can move and enchant when used skillfully… Because, when Metropolis is at its best, it is excellent, and probably no other festival can move its audience to the same degree and make them ponder over the nature of the metropolitan community.”

Politiken: “7,000 concrete blocks pave the way”
“There is a tedious tendency to regard festivals as a non-committal beach holiday, a small international breath of fresh air which has nothing to do with institutionalized Danish theatre life. But it is not a matter of two separate worlds. They are part of the same movement: the development of the performing arts. Then one questions and wonders why the theatre people do not, like the audience in general, come flocking. The innovation department is not the most striking part of the theatre landscape at the moment… The big benefit of the Metropolis Biennale is that, since it began in 2007, it has consistently and ambitiously pushed the limits of what theatre can be – and not least of what the city is all about and who we are us people walking around in it.”

BODIES IN URBAN SPACES by Cie Willi Dorner (Metropolis 2011 & 2017) – photo: Maja Nydal Eriksen


Metropolis is organised by Københavns Internationale Teater (KIT), which has been the primary force behind international, cross-disciplinary performing arts in Denmark since 1980 with festivals, seminars, workshops and residencies. Københavns Internationale Teater has organized the legendary Fools festivals, Japan on Stage, The British are Coming, Dancin’ City, Images of Africa, Sommerscene, Dancin’ World, Ny Cirkus Festival, etc.

Read more about Københavns Internationale Teater here.

LA TRANSHUMANTE by Johann Le Guillerm (Metropolis 2017) – photo: Maja Nydal Eriksen


Changing Metropolis
Artists, architects, academics, etc., who participated in the Festival and Laboratory 2007-15, delve into topics raised through Metropolis. You find articles written by architects and city planners who work with cultural planning and temporariness; by artists who confront and expand possibilities and limitations in the city; by academics contextualizing urban artistic practices. You also find a variety of photos from Metropolis’ artistic encounters with Copenhagen.

Changing Metropolis I (2007-2008) – download here
Changing Metropolis II (2008-2011) – read here
Changing Metropolis III (2012-2015) – read here

LysLyd – i krydsfeltet mellem kunst, byudvikling og innovation – read here

Are you interested in buying a printed version of a Metropolis publication? Please send an email to

THE VOYAGES by Compagnie XY (Metropolis 2019) – photo: Samuel Buton

Metropolis is supported by The City of Copenhagen and The Danish Arts Foundation