A universe of music, culture, responsibility and a forward-thinking mindset
The Roskilde Festival blues has more or less left us all by now, or at least a little. But its time to dig down deep and find out why this specific festival is so successful and a renowned event worldwide. It’s time to share some facts about this summer highlight and also acknowledge their amazing and forward-thinking work when it comes to sustainability.
First of all, Roskilde Festival is a non-profit organization and the largest North Europe Festival when it comes to music and culture, with about 130 000 visitors. And it all started back in 1972. With this written, it’s a festival with a purpose – Roskilde Festival Charity Society is the organizer of Roskilde Festival. The purpose of the society is to support initiatives benefitting children and young people and to support humanitarian and cultural work. The society’s work is independent of party politics and has no geographical borders. Additionally, the amount of dedication put into this festival each year is also heartwarming and a huge part of its success, about 32 000 volunteers are working during the festival, making it a pleasant and familiar place to be.
A huge part of the core values at Roskilde Festival is, of course, the donations provided after the festival each year. They support humanitarian, cultural and non-profit projects all over the world. Between 2016-2018 the focus has been on equality and different aspects of this topic and this year, Roskilde Festival donated DKK 500 000 to Copenhagen Pride.
It’s also essential to know that Roskilde Festival Charity Society does not accept applications for donations. They identify the projects and initiatives they want to support to ensure synergy between the festival’s core values, focus areas and donations.
There are several actions taken towards a more sustainable festival. First of all, the amount of waste is to be taken care of as consciously as possible. Roskilde Festival has a goal to increase the share of sorted waste annually with 10 % from 2016-2019. Recycling is key, encouraging the participants to bring their waste home and most importantly, take action in regards to all the air mattresses being used during the festival. These matrasses contain PVC which is harmful to the environment when being burnt. An action plan starting 2018 is to collect them and send them off to Germany, where they are being cleaned up, chopped into pieces and reused as floor materials in horse stables. There are also several spots around the festival area where they focus towards a more clean, responsible and conscious experience. Examples of these areas are Dream City, Settle n’ Share, Clean out Loud, Silent & Clean. To join these camps, visit the website.
In terms of food, there are several actions towards a sustainable experience for any foodie visiting the festival. Each food stand and menu card showcases the CO2 emissions for each portion. The CO2 emissions menu cards from 2018 will be used for studies and goals for next years festival. 90 % of the foods served around the festival are organic and in some cases, you’ll find 100 % organic selections on the menu.
“Our goal is, in collaboration with our guests, artists, and partners, to become wiser on equality and to motivate and engage people to make decisions that promote worldwide equality”
During your Roskilde Festival experience, you are also faced with arts and statements, making people aware of the current situations around the globe and the importance of taking a stand. The art program is also focusing on differences and similarities. One example of powerful interaction in 2018 was the Equality Walls, copies of the prototypes walls Donald Trump built for the USA-Mexican border in order to decrease illegal immigration. In Rising City there is a mixture of art, workshops, music, debates, talks and much more. Here you will meet inspiring people and incorporating activities that will broaden your knowledge and challenge your positions on political equality and human rights.
However, when it comes to the actual live music and performances during Roskilde Festival, the balance is for sure off, only 20 % of live musical artists in Denmark are female. Roskilde Festival is working with several plans in order to face these statistics. Focusing on strong role models (both female and male artists) in order to make a powerful point across. In 2017, young artists, such as Princess Nokia and Madame Gandhi, were truly exciting because they offered charismatic artistic and personal profiles while working within traditionally male-dominated urban music. As role models, they offered an alternative path and inspired audiences. This is also a core value at the festival, instead of working with quotas and having a certain percentage of female artists, they work with strong female role models, and by doing this hoping to change people’s perceptions of gender equality within the field of live music.
Of course, the number one reason for being such a hit each year is the strong music lineup and offering such great quality as well as diversity. Starting out as a Rock Music Festival, you’ll today find something for every music nerd! Here is a list of artists and bands who have performed during the years (just to mention a few) The Kinks, Bob Marley, U2, Lou Reed, Eric Clapton, David Bowie, The Smashing Pumpkins, Bob Dylan, Robbie Williams, Neil Young, Santana, Metalica, Guns n Roses, Kanye West, Patti Smith, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones and Kylie Minogue. This years lineup didn’t disappoint either with names such as Eminem, Bruno Mars, Nich Cave And The Bad Seeds, Massive Attack and Gorillaz.
It’s also worldwide renowned that Roskilde Festival is working towards being the ultimate music experience with new technology and collaborations constantly pushing the possibilities when it comes to the sound and overall impression of each concert.
The combination of such amazing quality, the actual music, volunteer work, all the humanitarian work and showing a responsibility towards the participants, the next generations to come and our environment has proven to be a winner when it comes to the ultimate music and art festival. It’s for sure proven that Roskilde Festival has something unique and impressive to offer, no matter if you are into music, culture, food or art- there is something for everyone to enjoy.