Roskilde Festival – Day 1 – …an inspiring dream-made-reality

Wednesday evening NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION landed in Roskilde. After taking a tram, a subway, a bus, a ferry, another bus, and a minivan I and other international journalists experienced a warm and friendly welcome at the media check-in. Danish people are nothing if not nice and volunteers at Roskilde are especially nice. Due to the travel time from Berlin I missed a few acts, but I have it on good authority that trenchant hardcore punkers LOWER destroyed the crowd at their set on the Pavilion Junior stage. SCHULTZ & FOREVER‘s acoustic set was the centerpiece of the Warm Wednesday Welcome, where spokeswoman Christina Bilde invited the international press to a few beers and warm words. Then it was off to the Pavilion Junior stage to see BABY IN VAIN, three girls that pack as much power as an a ton of dynamite, and the energy from the crowd is the match. Everyone pushed to the front to be sonically pummeled by three girls from Copenhagen who play a brand of loud rock not seen since the heyday of BLACK SABBATH. The demand and hype surrounding this show was made more powerful when the sound cut out in the second song and the band had to step back for a few minutes while stage crew fixed the technical difficulties. The crowd kept shouting “Louder! Louder!” in Danish and “BABY IN VAIN!!!!” The girls retook the stage with renewed vigor and inspired fists up, head banging, shin-bruising mayhem.

Walking around the festival grounds I stumbled upon a group of party-enthusiasts with portable speakers on a luggage trolley, blasting old-school hip-hop and busting out bad-ass breakdance moves. Where else in the world can you walk from the freshest young rock band, to DJ GRADED, to someone blasting NAUGHTY BY NATURE on homemade speakers?

Thursday I began the day meeting up with folk-rock prodigy Jonathan Schultz of SCHULTZ & FOREVER. He made a top ten formative songs playlist (it includes songs from THE JACKSON FIVE, TIM BUCKLEY and WILLIAM BASINSKI) and we talked about it, expect the results of that deep talk in the next few days.

Roskilde Festival is an inspiring dream-made-reality, with people from all over the world coming together for eight days of music, art, and boundary-pushing living. The vibe is open and friendly, with crowd control handing out cups of water to those drenched and sweaty in the crowd. Smiles abound, and personal attitudes are checked for a larger, we-are-greater-together feeling. The festival’s end goal is always humanitarian. It is completely non-profit, with all proceeds being donated to charity at the end. It’s refreshing to think that in our depressing, self-destructive times, when negative news fills the airwaves, there are still optimists who still hope. Optimists who also rock. Highlights on the list today include SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, VINNIE WHO, THE LUMINEERS, SAVAGES, JAKE BUGG (who was named one of the 16 heroic acts to see at Roskilde Festival 2013), MYKKI BLANCO, ANIMAL COLLECTIVE and the Icelandic collective INGRID, who is performing with some very special guests. Stay tuned for updates.

Roskilde Festival – Day 2 – …time to visit the Church of Beer


Today I went on a tour of Dream City, a place where artists, collaborators and dreamers come together to make and create their own corner of the world, their own vision of utopia. It is the largest concentration of art projects in Denmark, and made all the more special by its fleeting, impermanent nature. Dream City is a large-scale art village, right in the middle of Roskilde Festival. This is a part of Roskilde where 1100 people come to play and build a city where you can challenge, celebrate and question everything. On the tour, two guys clad in same plastic poncho and dripping foam came up and squirted water on our guide’s black mini-skirt. This was just one of the many fantastic things witnessed. All participants in Dream City have paid for a ticket to the festival, but the festival awarded over 180,000 Danish kroner [add euro equivalent] to artists who proposed projects. It has been open every weekend since they began setting up in March, so in effect the festival has been going on for 106 days. The organization is hoping artists realize dreams, whether it be soap for a foam party or used materials to build a geodesic dome. This is definitely outside the white cube type of art. Dream City has a post office, with bikes donated by the Danish post to carry mail around the festival. What would you expect from a festival that has its own newspaper?

The tour took us by the Unicorny Camp, a LGBT camp where a debate was going on around the attitude of why boys/men yell degrading names at girls/women. A UK journalist quipped “I might just pop in for the answer.” Just next door is SygCykelBy, a bike camp where people can come for bike repair questions and support, complete with its own mini-BMX track. The people working here do not want beer or cigarettes, nor do will they just take your bike and fix it, they want to teach you how to do it and spread some bike-related love and knowledge. Yesterday they got some home-made muffins which were well received. [insert the teach a man to fish picture or find one of the camp, they are on twitter and instagram] A bit farther is Blast Beast, a camp of metal fans living inside a pentagram. Everyone is invited for tips and suggestions on the latest in the metal scene. Members of this camp all met each other when setting up, whoever says metalheads aren’t friendly hasn’t been by there. Friday they are hosting their own metal trivia session, for those of you with an extensive knowledge of metal. Elsewhere guests on the tour saw a Church of Beer (made entirely of beer cans and designed by German architects). There was a group of people dressed as Waldo rolling around in a foam party. There were people at a small stage doing spoken word and rapping and waving American flags. Inside the geodesic dome (constructed of all reused materials) there was a poetry reading and a performance of a man wrapped all in white, with his face painted and caked with white, atop a pyramid of white fabric, singing and screaming “This is my house!” This is all before 2 pm. NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION will keep up with this Orange Feeling, check back in for the report tomorrow, time to visit the Church of Beer and say a few prayers.