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Technical Precautions for the Stage in Denmark

There are a number of stage technicalities also relating to possible set designs etc. that require special permissions or that are forbidden by law. In this section we present a number of situations where certain precautions are required.

Weapons on stage

By Svend Erik Steenfeldt, Police officer

Purchasing, possessing, carrying or using firearms, knives and other expressly hazardous weapons without permission from the police is prohibited. A gun licences must be procured for usage, storage and transportation, when signal guns or melee weapons are operated on stage. Gun licences and dispensations are acquired from the local police department.

Most often it will be the theatre’s props master, who acquires the gun licence. It can be issued for an individual performance or for a 5-year period, if the theatre frequently uses the weapon.

According to Danish weapons law §17, weapons may only be handled by people who have a licence or dispensation. For this reasons, dispensations must be granted to all staff handling the weapon, including actors. A dispensation only applies to the specific production. Dispensation from the weapons law §17 (requirement for a gun licence for signal guns) can be given, according to the weapons decree no. 8, §17, to people who will be using the weapon in connection with theatre and film productions etc.

When touring, one is required to apply for dispensation in each police district in which you perform, as licences cannot be issues centrally, which means that they do not apply to the entire country. This is also the case with 5-year licences.

With regards to melee weapons (swords etc.) each individual needs a licence and there are no dispensations. Theatres and actors must acquire separate licences for the handling and storage of melee weapons. And the same principles apply as for signal guns.

When taking the weapon abroad for international tours, you need a special export licence. Furthermore, a separate weapons licence must be acquired in the host country.

In regards to melee weapons (swords etc) again there are no dispensations. Each individual must obtain their own weapons licence, and that goes for both theatres and actors, but other than that, the principles are the same as for signal guns.

Danish application forms for weapons licences and dispensations can be procured on, blanket P704-01.

The police guidelines for weapons licences.

Link to the weapons’ law full legislative text.

The Danish knife law

Denmark may have the most restrictive laws surrounding knives and multi-function tools. Technical staff carrying work related pocketknives or multi-function tool must therefore acquaint themselves with Danish legislations. Knives included in the weapons’ law §4, paragraph 1., declares in broad terms that:

  • Flick knives are illegal
  • It is illegal to carry knives in public places with blades longer than 7cm and/ or lockable, without an approved purpose.
  • Approved purposes include carrying out trades such as hunting, sports and angling and other legal pastimes, where knives are required. This includes transportation directly to and from aforementioned activities.
  • Usually police permission is required to carry a knife with a blade over 12cm. Daggers and knives used in trade, households or hunting, angling or sports are exempted from this. On condition that the knives are designed for the designated use and are purchased, kept and carried for the designated use only.

The penalty is 14 days imprisonment for the possession of illegal knives, except unlockable folding knives with a 7cm blade or less. First time offenders will be issued a fine of DKK 5.000.

Link to the weapons’ law (Decree on weapons and explosives)

Other Technical Requirements for Stages

The following draws attention to a number of other technical conditions that can require special attention.

Flying of persons

If a performance requires flying of persons or the implementation of other hanging point that must carry people it is initially crucial to have a dialogue with the theatre as early in the process as possible. Clarify the theatre’s requirements to equipment and setup and possible legal demands to the strength and weight tolerance of the materials, and if it necessary to consult a building inspector or other professional.

Materials used for lifts and raising persons must furthermore display clear instructions to the maximum load. Applied equipment should be marked with SWL or WLL designations of maximum load.

Further references are from the WEA’s decree on hoisting equipment. 

Source: Arbejdstilsynet/ WEA

Frequencies for wireless equipment

In Denmark you don’t need permission to use the following frequencies for wireless microphones, In-Ear monitors etc.

823-831 MHz
863-865 MHz
470-790 MHz (available ”holes”)

From 2013 the frequency 800-820 MHz will be surrendered to wireless network within the entire EU and cannot be used. The frequency 470-790 MHz will additionally priorities TC transmissions over wireless microphones.

For more information on wireless equipment go to the Danish Business Authority’s homepage

Free frequencies in the area 470-790 MHz can be found in asking in the specific district or by using this tool.

One can obtain information about free frequencies through this free app:
Download for iPhone
Download for Android

Source: Erhvervsstyrelsen/ The Danish Business Authority


Pyrotechnical items are defined as items containing substances that intend to induce effects such as heat, light, sound, gas, smoke or a combination of the aforementioned, through a burning process that emits heat of energy. Indoor and outdoor stage fireworks fall under the category of pyrotechnical items.

The handling and discharging of certain pyrotechnical items requires qualification in the form of a completed training as stage pyro-technician. The two-day training for pyro-technicians is offered in Esbjerg twice yearly.

For more information (in Danish).

Stage fireworks are graded in T1 and T2 categories (EU standards). The T1 category includes low risk fireworks and can be handles without the pyro-technician training. The T2 category covers stage fireworks that require handling by persons who are authorized pyro-technicians.

A Danish link to the decree on requirements to fireworks and other pyrotechnical items.

Source: Sikkerhedsstyrelsen/ The Danish Safety Technology Authority

Use of rotating flashing lights

Blue rotating lights should always be used with great consideration as they can be mistaken for en emergency service vehicle. For this reason it is only permitted to use blue rotating lights indoors. Any use outdoors in public space must be in accordance with Danish legislation. 

Red, yellow and orange rotating lights can be used freely indoors and in the open. Considerations should be taken to the fact that these lights will always signal attention to danger or critical situations. 

Source: Vejdirektoratet/ The Danish Road Directorate

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