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The World’s Biggest Party Posted by on Jul 12, 2012 in Culture, Music, Society

72.000 people. About 100 bands. Thousands of telte (tents). A week of dancing, drinking, swimming, smoking, flirting, making love, and grooving to some of the hottest names on the international music scene. Last year I told you of Roskilde Festival, the largest music festival in Northern Europe. This year, I had the chance to go there myself.

Good vibes at Orange Scene, Roskilde.

Each year in the beginning of July, Roskilde on Sjælland becomes a Mecca for musikelskere (music lovers). Since the first festival in 1971, unge i alle aldre (youngs of all ages) from Denmark and other (Northern) European countries have been working to save up penge (money) for the armbånd [Ahm-bon] (wristband) that lets you in. Subsequently, some festival hardliners refuse to cut it off, keeping an ever growing collection of Roskilde wristbands on their arm. Cool kids go to Roskilde, and among teenagers a really common question is: Skal du til Roskilde? (Are you going to Roskilde?, literally: ”Shall you [go] to Roskilde?”)

Working at one of the port/e (gate/s), I had a great opportunity to watch & talk to a lot of the partygoers. There was everything from hippies to punks to old rock fans. Most people, though, were just young pige/r (girl/s) and dreng/e (boy/s), wanting to ha’ det sjovt [hah deh shaw-wt] – have fun.

Roskilde is all about musikken (the music). There are 8 different stages, with the huge Orange Scene [awRANGsheh SEHneh] ([The] Orange Stage) as the main draw. It is located in the middle of the festival area, and thousands of people gather in front of it, dancing together in the green grass till late at night. This year, both Björk and Bruce Springsteen played on Orange Scene, as well as Danish hip-hoppers Malk de Koijn.

The Roskilde atmosphere cannot be properly described. It has to be felt. If you prefer sleeping comfortably in quiet surroundings, then Roskilde is not for you. If you’re ready, however, for one week to let go off your everyday comfort, to live in a tent on an enormous campsite, where the earth turns into mud each time it rains, and into dust each time the sun shines; to stand in a long line to shower (or, as I did, take a swim in the campsite lake); to search for your ven/ner (friend/s) in a throng of people; to pay for expensive fastfood at one of the many festival shops; to add to the ingredients of mucked-up toilets; to forget everything about sleep, then I say: go, go, GO!

Let the music in, sense the people and the life around you. If you’re lucky, then, for a short while you’ll get this mind-blowing sense of absolute frihed [FREEheth] (freedom). You’ll know it when it’s there. That is Roskilde.

A tent on the move…

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About the Author: Bjørn A. Bojesen

I was born in Denmark, but spent large parts of my childhood and study years in Norway. I later returned to Denmark, where I finished my MA in Scandinavian Studies. Having relatives in Sweden as well, I feel very Scandinavian! I enjoy reading and travelling, and sharing stories with you! You’re always welcome to share your thoughts with me and the other readers.