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It's one thing to submit yourself to living in a tent in a dirty field for four days because it gives you access to your favourite music. But what's the deal with people voluntarily going to a festival up to five whole days before the music even starts? What's the appeal of the warm-up days at Roskilde Festival? Juliane Dybkjær investigates.

It's like everyday life... Turned upside down

atmosphere_camping_site

The tents are crammed together in small squares, surrounding pavillions under which young people from all over Europe gather to listen to music on their stereos. Some are munching on a sandwich they just bought, some are eating tinned food to keep their spending down, and almost all of them seem to have a beer permanently attached to their right hand. At first glance, the living arrangements seem special to say the least. But after a few days in the slum, as the camping area is affectionately called by the festival-goers, I begin to see a pattern emerging. People are living their everyday life here on the campsite - with a few key differences.

Roskilde Festival is a special place to be. The logo of the festival, the orange canopy backdrop, is accompanied by the slogan of the festival: The Orange Feeling. If you have never been to Rosilde, I can imagine that it is hard understanding just what this Orange Feeling is and why it means so much to many people. Let me explain to you what it means. 

The Orange Feeling is a state of mind. It is having a beer by the bathing lake in the sunshine, enjoying a coffee in the chill-out area, and of course, it is experiencing the music. But most of all, it is enjoying that special feeling of "We share something because we are all here at the same time."

Monday, 04 July 2011 12:28

Festival guest of the day #4

Written by

Andreas is 34 and lives in Copenhagen. I knew he had to be festival guest of the day when I heard that this year is an anniversary for him, and quite an impressive one as well. This year is Andreas' 20th year in a row at Roskilde!

Andreas is here for the atmosphere. He wonders if he would go only for the music, but thinks that he wouldn't - although, as you an imagine, is it hard to separate music and atmodphere after twenty years at the festival. "Even when the music program is weak, I still go, and I still have a good time," he says. When asked to describe Roskilde Festival in three words, he says "time warp" (you can literally forget what time it is when all you do is go to concerts, drink beer, and eat burgers), "all-embracing" and "intense". His best Roskilde memory made me green with envy: "Back in 1996, I was right in front of Orange Stage when Rage Against the Machine played. It was right when they were most succesful, and they are notorious for their live performances. Right after the concert, I stayed in front of Orange Stage, and Aerosmith went on. That was a crazy day, music-wise." However, Andreas thinks it is hard to determine one favorite Roskilde memory - because really, it is always the same, at least the atmosphere - and thank God for that!

 

Now that the festival area is open and the first concerts have been played, you really get to see what Roskilde is all about. Because of course, even though all the different and exciting initiatives that I have written about earlier blogs are important, Roskilde Festival always have been and always will be a music festival. As one guy put it: "Of course, it is fun to party during the warm-up days, but I don't believe that a festival could attract 75,000 paying guests if there were not music, and really good music too."

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