If I had to describe Roskilde Festival in one word that word would be “Savage.” This festival would not work in the states. 8 days long in total, 4 days of festival and concerts, 4 days of camping and getting drunk. I imagine this is what Burning Man is like…. except with more trash. People leave their trash everywhere. What’s a trash can? I don’t think anyone knows.
I almost didn’t bring a tent to Roskilde, I thought it would be in a forest and I could hammock. WRONG. It was in a giant field, with a gravel quarry blocked off right in the middle of it. Luckily I was able to get a cheap $12 sturdy-ish tent from my friend and borrow a sleeping bag from his friend.
I camped with some of my friend’s friend’s friends. They were nice with open arms, but also a bit on the savage side. They drank over 300 beers in just 3 days and one of them went to the hospital for what he thought was a broken toe. I was impressed, but they did a good job including me in their nonsense and tried to speak english more often.
My neighbors 5m over were also quite interesting. In their late 20s/early 30s they mostly all had master’s degrees and they all loved Taylor Swift. They would blast their speaker system with T-Swift and sing as loud and as obnoxious as they could. It was hilarious. They also had this rule, “Clap for Beer.” If someone clapped, someone else had to throw a beer at them as fast as possible.
Many other camps had speaker systems or structures of their own. Dream City. This area especially makes me think of what Burning Man would be like. Every camp has a specific theme and they go all out. One camp recreated a model of a Daft Punk stage and they had a Daft Punk Tribute Party one night. Another camp was dedicated to Game of Thrones. Another was themed to be like a Zoo, they had great parties and a very loud sound system.
Song of the Week: Tiësto Vs. Dzeko & Torres -L’Amour Toujours
I heard this song EVERYWHERE at every camp at some point. People I talked to said it made them feel happy and excited and make them feel like they are back in the 90s. It is an old song from 2001, but was re-edited and released by Dzeko & Torres last year.
Notable Acts & Activities at Roskilde
– Beer Bowling: (Basic Playing) Set up two chairs on each end of playing field. Put beer in the middle of each pair of chairs. Roll a football (soccer) ball and try to knock down the beer. If it knocks it down that side has to drink the whole beer.
-Macklemore & Ryan Lewis: Probably my favorite act of the week. I’m not super huge into them or know a lot of their songs, but they made me feel like I did. Macklemore told great stories on stage and showed that he is a genuine person who truly cares. He had a tribute to the Orlando victims before he played “Same Love” and it was a moment that showed me how connected the world really is.
-Maker Station: They had an area where you could build stuff. Some of it costed money, but a few things were free like the 3-d doodler. I could make a little plastic roskilde logo using this pen that spits out plastic. You could also make a solar panel phone charger for free. I made one of those with my friend Troels. See photo in gallery above.
-Hot Showers: No need to explain why this is awesome.
-Refunds & Recycling: In Denmark a “refund tax” is added to some of the plastic and metal containers. You pay an extra kr and when you return it, you get that kr back. Most people don’t care, so you’ll see these people going round and round picking up all the cans and bottles worth some money. I was told some people make up to 40.000 kr (~$6000 USD) in one week.
How to be Savage
I’ve mentioned the festival is savage, but specifically why? A few things.
The trash. Trash is everywhere. It is gross.
People pee everywhere. I’m not kidding either. You’ll see 5 or 6 guys lined up on the fence with streams watering the few plants left. If someone is drunk they might just pee in the middle of the field. It’s not as common, but you’ll sometimes see girls squat and pee too. You get used to it after a while.
People pack up their campsite, but leave their tents and canopies. This encourages people to destroy such things. I had fun bashing a tent like a Piñata and playing baseball with some old cans. I was a bit savage by the last day too.
Buying beer at 16. Yes in Denmark you can buy beer at age 16. This means a lot more people are drinking and all of them are probably legal to do so. I imagine this would actually be a lot more savage in the states, but you still saw a lot of people stumbling here.
According to someone I met at the charging station: “90% of people cheat on their SO during Roskilde, so most relationships end after the festival.” I don’t know what is more savage than this. Guess you better #hideyogirlfriend (or #hideyoboyfriend).
Overall Roskilde Festival was a good experience. I think it was good for me to adjust to the culture shock, adjust to the language barrier, and overall just figure out how things work over here in Europe. It was a very difficult week, as you’ll learn from my previous posts. I couldn’t have been more excited for the last day of the festival! If I was to ever go back, I would definitely want to be with my own friends, in our own campsite, in the “Clean out Loud” section (because I really hated the trash).