In these lives we write ourselves, some amount of madness is bound to take place – the Roskilde Festival is of the planned and organized kind, but no less bone pinching. It is a temporary parallel universe each participant is sucked into and spat out of anywhere between 2-10 days later. For many the festival acts as an annual catalyst, to an everyday full of expectations and pressure with nowhere to blow off steam. One would think that putting thousands and thousands people together out on a dirty field filled with music, alcohol, drugs and reptilian leveled brains, would be a recipe for disaster, but it is the most caring and loving experience year after year.
My first Roskilde Festival was in 1996, together with 90.000 others I experienced David Bowie, Björk, Nick Cave, Patti Smith and Rage Against the Machine. I was a 16 year old grunge girl, kissing in my tent at night with an Australian cray fisher. I refused to look in mirrors or wash my hair for five days, instead carefully remembered to eat my plate and cutlerey, as it was made out of cornstarch to reduce waste. Those four days changed my life, Bowie was a vampire on stage, I’d seen people make love out in the open, the sun set on tower high dust clouds, peed everywhere I felt like, been drunk, stoned and ecstatic. All I could think of was next year. And so it went for 16 years in a row. 2012/13 I lived in Berlin/USA, so 2014 was a huge comeback and this time yours truly was assigned the international press team for This is Jane Wayne.
This year Roskilde Festival broke the all time audience record, with a total of up to 130.000 guests (including volunteers), and is expected to be able donate 2,5 mio euros (!) to charity and cultural projects. Yes Roskilde has always been a non-profit organization, which makes it even more cool.
2014’s music line-up was dominated by big, safe broad-audience-appeal names, not exactly bend-over-backwards original. Personally I had hoped to see more from the fast evolving (American) psychedelic rock scene, such as Black Angels, The Entrance Band, Wooden Shjips, as well as low-tech punk names like The Garden. Instead big commercial acts like Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, Outkast and Drake (who cancelled, but was replaced by ever cool Jack White) headlined the festival, which presumably is what people wants and has led to the big, and very positive, financial surplus.
So what was the most memorable music experience at this years Roskilde? Well admittedly, sometimes the bigger the better – Major Lazer made app 60.000 people take off their clothes in front of the legendary Orange stage at 1-2 am in the morning and litterally full-on rave together. And then oldies, but goodies – Rolling Stones also pulled off a power manifestation of a show.
Biggest dissapointment? That would be Connan Mockasin and his entourage, that arrived straight from France and seemed very out-toured, in comparison with the two other, unforgettable shows I’ve seen with them.
Most miserable personal fail? Not realizing that Liars were playing. And extremely unfortunate, the memory card in my big Canon camera jammed or got moist, deciding not to work and I didn’t bring a back-up. That ment all photos were shot with my iPhone, far from ideal – but oh well it’s got an edge to it.
Each day was as sunny as the day before, and sitting here in rainy Berlin now, thinking back on the food, the toilet stench, all the pretty people and their phenomenal way of looking out for eachother, it’s nearly a little unreal what took place only a week ago on that grass-field.
Only other thing to say is: you have to experience it for yourself! Take a look at the photo-diary below, where I take your hand through four days of music and people – once done I am sure I will see you next year! Tak Roskilde Festival for staying wild, and letting us run wild, leaving our minds expanded with never fading impressions.