1. Roskilde Festival is 100% non-profit.
This means that no “sponsors” who want your email address and mobile phone number in exchange for a lighter or raincoat will bother you at the festival. Around 25,000 volunteers work on a voluntary basis to ensure that everything runs smoothly and, above all, in a relaxed manner. The millions of euros in profits that remain every year have been donated since 1972.
2. The journey couldn’t be more stress-free.
This is also because we go there by car each year, but you can easily get to Roskilde by public transport as well. Denmark definitely is an over-organised country. Guides are everywhere, all speak English. From Copenhagen it’s only about half an hour to Roskilde city. Every train you ask for leaves in about five minutes. In the car there is enough space for you and your backpacks – and free Wifi on top of that. What do you want more?
3. The line-up is astronomical.
The organizers have around eight million euros at their disposal to buy bands. There are almost certainly some of your favourite bands in about 180 acts. But Roskilde is not only counting on big names – there is also a lot to discover. For my review of this year’s performance’s, check out my other post.
4. The Danish people are perhaps the nicest in the world.
Which is why you don’t feel lost among 60,000 people in front of the gigantic Orange Stage. Everybody take care of everybody, everybody let you through. And the binders tirelessly distribute water that is passed all the way to the back.
5. In Roskilde, you’ll see shows that are only played here.
Several bands are flying in especially for this festival, even if they are not on tour in Europe at the moment. In 2017, for example, Solange, the legendary 90ies rap crew Digable Planets, indie songwriter Angel Olsen, Jamaican dancehall artist Popcaan and rap producer Clams Casino. And the festival finale on the biggest stage on Saturday was a small sensation: a three-hour and for the first time combined Moderat- & Modeselektor show! We could hardly believe it ourselves – after all, the strict separation of these two projects had been sacred to the Berliners Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary so far.
6. You won’t feel like festival, you’ll feel like you’re on holiday.
Since the festival is located close to the sea, there is always a holiday feeling – when the wind is right, the air smells of salt. In the morning you will be woken up in the tent by seagulls screeching.
7. There is seriously good food, mostly also organic.
Thai Curry, Pizza, Pulled Pork Burger, Chia Porridge, Craft Beer and Flat White Coffee – almost everything of a quality that would also pass for “pretty good” in corresponding restaurants. But don’t worry: For those who are no longer satisfied with “Rock’n’Roll”, there will also be classical festival food at one or the other stand. Where there’s a will, there’s a way to the next questionable doner kebab.
8. 08/15 shows are the exception here.
Because the festival is simply too legendary and the scenery too powerful. “This is the biggest crowd I’ve ever played for,” Ice Cube told around 60,000 people at the Orange Stage on Saturday. “In California, they have Coachella – they can’t get to this.” And Lorde: “I only knew ‘concert’ and ‘something about Copenhagen’. I had no idea it would be so magical.” There was a whole monologue by Solange: “I have a twelve-year-old son. I always play a show in Europe, then I fly home again. I thought that’s how family and work work work. But I’m exhausted. I can’t anymore and I have the feeling that I have no more energy and no more voice. And then I see you… so much love. This can’t be happening.” Their show was so moving that The XX later interrupted their own set for the following announcement: “Were you with Solange earlier? That was overwhelming.”#
9. Good is done with your money – also in Germany.
Roskilde Festival, which is – one cannot say it often enough – non-profit, donates primarily to aid, integration and animal welfare organisations. Cultural projects are also supported. In the past, for example, the Refugee Council of Schleswig-Holstein and the Pudel Club in Hamburg, which was threatened with closure but has since been saved.
10. Coming back to Roskilde always feels like home.
To entertain around 130,000 people for over eight days and to offer more than just a few bands and beer stands is a huge task – one that the organizers of Roskilde Festival in Denmark face every year. They themselves do not advertise with the mere festival experience, but speak of a week full of “freedom and togetherness”. I remember the first time I visited Roskilde festival as clearly as if it was yesterday. 2014 we experienced “The Orange Feeling” ourselves. And it is this special atmosphere which can be felt everywhere around the huge site in Roskilde, which mutates into Denmark’s fourth largest city during the festival period. Even on the screens after concerts there is nothing like advertising and instructions, but more of a motto: “Take care of each other”.