Monday, April 9, 2012

Roskilde Festival - Vikings Run Amok

Roskilde, Denmark has for been well known for its Viking Ship Musem but over the past 40 years it has been gaining fame as the home of the Roskilde Festival.
Roskilde Festival is a festival held south of Roskilde in Denmark and is one of the six biggest annual music festivals in Europe (the other five being the Sziget Festival, the Glastonbury Festival, the Paléo Festival, Rock Werchter, and Exit Festival). It was created in 1971 by two high school students, Mogens Sandfær and Jesper Switzer Møller, and promoter Carl Fischer. In 1972, the festival was taken over by the Roskilde Foundation, which has since run the festival as a non-profit organization for development and support of music, culture and humanism.

It is Denmark's first real music-oriented festival, originally for hippies but today it covers more of the mainstream youth from Scandinavia and the rest of Europe. Roskilde Festival 2007 had more than 180 performing bands and gathered around 80,000 people paying for the concerts, with more than 21,000 volunteers, 5,000 media people and 3,000 artists – which means almost 110,000 people participated in the festival. 130,000 participated in 2011. There are a lot of crazy activities and drinking scheduled to keep the attendees occupied between the musical performances and to express their joie de vivre. Did I mention there is a lot of drinking?


 And did I say there is a lot of drinking?
  And did I say there is a lot of drinking?

And did I say there is a lot of drinking?

A temporary city of this size creates its own logistical problems. With a population density higher than that of Shanghai...
and a lot of drinking, the promoters have come up with some temporarily, inventive solutions to those temporary daily concerns, you'd just better not be 'pee shy'...
 or otherwise shy.
And did I say there is a lot of drinking?

For many years it was a tradition that the campsite opened the last Sunday of June, but in 2010 the festival opened Saturday instead. The festival management argued that this would prevent earlier years problems with the fence going down before time. The early opening of the campsite, gives the festival guests plenty of time to settle down and "warm up". The festival officially starts the following Thursday at the Animal Showgrounds (in recent years simply known as the "Festival Site") and lasts for 4 days.
Until the mid-1990s the festival attracted mostly Scandinavians, but in recent years it has become more and more international (with an especially large influx of Germans, Australians and British. 

Musical acts seem always to be an eclectic assortment of local bands and international Headliners. In 2005, for example, the Headliner Acts included Black Sabbath  • Brian Wilson  • Foo Fighters  • Green Day  • Duran Duran  • Snoop Dogg  • D-A-D  • Kent. At this years 2012 Roskilde Festival two of the Headliner Acts secluded thus far are Bruce Springsteen and The Cure. The festival has not been free from controversy, however, the worst being the tragic deaths of nine people that interupted a musical performance at the event in 2000.

2000 accident

During Pearl Jam's concert at the Orange Stage in 2000, a violent incident occurred. Nine victims—three Danes, three Swedes, a German, an Australian and a Dutch man—died when they were crushed as the crowd rushed toward the stage. The reasons for their deaths were examined by police, public prosecutors, and subsequent civil trials, all of which determined that the causes were accidental. Many people fell down at one place; when they did not immediately get up, crowdsurfers fell into this "hole," and people at the bottom died of suffocation. By the time security guards in front of the stage got to the area of the accident after the music had been stopped, it was too late. As crowd surfing seems to have been among the precipitating factors, it was subsequently forbidden across most of Europe.

Read more:

Nude Run - Vikings Run Amok

Every year, on the Saturday of the Festival, since 1998, Roskilde Festival Radio organizes a nude run around the camp site. One male and one female winner will receive a ticket for the next year's festival. Festival goers prepare for the race.



The competitive spirit, excitement and anticipation soon reaches a fever pitch! Then the race begins, the runners are off with visions of next year's tickets urging them on.

This is a video about one of the 2010 female winner.
Below are some photos of the Festival Race from various years.

The 2011 Race

 And did I say there is a lot of drinking?
 When all is said and done...what a mess to clean up.
But hopefully everyone left for home having had a good time.

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