Kopparberg Urban Forest
Dalston Bootstrap Company
Until Sun Aug 3
© David M. Benett
Time Out rating:
Not yet rated
Time Out says
Posted: Fri Jul 4 2014
I've never visited the pine forests above the town of Kopparberg in rural Sweden, but I'm not entirely convinced that a pop-up in a Dalston car park is a decent substitute. Take the 'escape the city' claims with a pinch of salt: the Kopparberg Urban Forest, which has taken root for five weekends of music, food and boozing, is way more 'urban' than 'forest'.
For one thing it's a lot more cramped and crowded than your average woodland. The population density is much more London nightspot than Swedish countryside. There was a hefty queue during our visit on opening night (arrive early and bring lots of cash), and enough people waiting for the portable loos that security were sending men up five flights of fire escape to the urinals on the roof of the Bootstrap Building: quite a climb, but a chance for some much-needed fresh air.
Here's where the KUF trumps your actual rural wooded area, though: unless you're into living off nuts and berries (and, to be fair, plenty of east Londoners are), dining options in a bona fide forest are fairly limited. In this particular sylvan getaway, however, you'll find three food stalls serving Swedish meatballs, fried chicken and spicy Caribbean wraps (all for about £6) and two bars: one for cocktails (in the £5-£7 region) and one for Swedish beer and about six different types of Kopparberg cider (around £4, and tasty enough if you've got a serious sweet tooth).
Dalstonites also win out over Kopparbergians when it comes to music. Kelis sang at the launch, and you can catch big acts like MØ (August 2) and NYPC (July 10) on the covered stage, which has a sort of rural ecclesiastical look presumably inspired by Kopparberg's famous wooden church. The lack of space means that what it lacks in bucolic forest charm it makes up for as an intimate space for dancing and drinking.
And after all, if that wasn't what you're looking for you would have booked a flight to Stockholm in the first place rather than hopped on an Overground train to Dalston Junction. Skål!