BIG’s mirrored The Orb will be rolled out in Denmark for the 2022 NorthSide festival

Mirror, Mirror On The Ball

BIG’s mirrored The Orb will be rolled out in Denmark for the 2022 NorthSide festival

BIG’s festival-hopping The Orb will return for next summer's NorthSide festival in Aarhus, Denmark. (Courtesy BIG)

After entrancing the blissed-out masses at the 2018 edition of Burning Man in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, the 83-foot-diameter inflatable mirrored sphere specifically created for the event by Bjarke Ingels and Jakob Lange, partner at Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), will debut on Danish soil next summer.

Dubbed The Orb, the globular installation will be re-inflated at Eskelunden, a sprawling park near Aarhus. The park is the new site for NorthSide, an annual three-day outdoor music festival held in or around Denmark’s second-largest city since 2010. NorthSide will return early next June with a “sharpened emphasis on sustainability,” per the organizers after being canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Since 2010, we’ve worked intensively with making NorthSide the heart of sustainable initiatives within the field of international festivals,” explained Peter Skoven, who holds the title of “director of atmosphere” for the festival, in a statement. “We do so by taking tangible and measurable actions like running all of NorthSide 2022 on 100 percent green energy and adding artistic means like The Orb. The goal is to make all of us stop and remember that we need to take care of each other and the world around us.”

The arrival of The Orb at Eskelunden comes along with several sustainability measures instituted at the festival borne from a long-standing partnership between NorthSide and venerable Copenhagen brewery Tuborg, which is part of the Carlsberg Group.

Moving forward, The Orb will become a permanent fixture at NorthSide.

Described as an “all-encompassing experience aimed at making the festival attendee stop and contemplate,” The Orb will be situated on a 105-foot steel mast and hover roughly 16 feet above the ground with a gradient of 21 degrees, which, as described in a press statement, corresponds to the Earth’s axis inclination of its orbit around the sun. The overall diameter of the metallic sphere, which features a PVC inner layer clad in a mirrored surface, is the same as that of the Earth divided by 500,000.

While Ingels and Lange’s crowdfunding campaign to erect The Orb at Burning Man 2018 fell short of its goal, it was still ultimately realized at the psychedelics-fueled (and currently cash-strapped) community gathering in the desert as a “new planet to sci-fi fans, a wayfinder for travelers or just a huge disco ball to those who love a good party!” as the architects explained at the time.

“We’re excited to see all the life that The Orb will attract and reflect in its new home at NorthSide,” said Lange of The Orb v.2.0. “With The Orb, ‘NorthSiders’ will gain a brand-new perspective on the art, architecture, the energy, and the social interactions at the festival.”

As mentioned, NorthSide was scrapped in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID. Headlining acts from the 2018 and 2019 festivals included Björk, Beck, Queens of the Stone Age, Diplo, Bon Ivar, Khalid, and New Order. A limited number of tickets for the 2022 festival, held June 2 through 4, go on sale in November.