Category Archives: Music

Yeti Raves: The Roskilde Festival

The Roskilde festival in Denmark–8 days of camping with 130,000 people– is one of those life events where what everyone says is true but you can’t understand the magnitude of the truth until you go through it yourself.

You Start Me Up

You Start Me Up

Things like:

The music doesn’t even matter.
It’s the best week of your life.
You’ll meet lifetime friends.
When you see a fence, pee on it.

We were an international Mashup camp of nearly 50 people–very few of us had ever met previous to the festival. We had people from 11 countries including Lithuania, Canada, Germany, Norway, Australia, Hungary, Denmark, the US, and the Netherlands.

Setting Up Camp

Somehow we all got along, wandering the grounds and making up games and drinking warm beers and blasting tunes and learning to twerk and swimming in the pond and just generally having the time of our lives. This was Monday through Wednesday.

Big Orange Tent

Big Orange Tent

Thursday the music began, with Outkast opening for the Rolling Stones. An amazing night, to be sure. One of our camp was so drunk that she’s still not even sure if she managed to see the Stones. Outkast was great as well. Back at camp we talked about how good the Stones sounded and drank Tuborg until the early hours of Friday morning.

The next day I saw Les Claypool and Damon Albarn, who brought out De La Soul for the encore to sing Feel Good Inc. Before the shows started we would hang out, wander around, play beersby (a frisby beer based game, where you try to knock off the opposing team’s beer can and protect your own). By saturday, people were leaving, with tents and sleeping bags and pads all just left behind. Tents were still full of food and beer and alcohol and it was fun raiding abandoned camp sites. I saw Major Lazer and Interpol and many other bands besides.

Beersby

Beersby

The headliner the last night was supposed to be Drake, but he dropped out and Jack White was added. For me, this is like running out of something smelly like olives and replacing them with something tasty like craisins. Seven Nation Army was about the best possible song to end the festival on. Before that, though, was Stevie Wonder and he was even better than I expected. He even covered the Beatles!

Random Waldo Debauchery

Random Waldo Debauchery

Some of my friends who live close to Roskilde told me that they live for the yearly week of the festival. Everything between festivals is just filler, just time to be passed before that too brief week of reality, just like Burning Man or even Dead shows. And after experiencing 8 days of friendship and music and madness, I fully agree.

Team Mashup Camp Flag

Team Mashup Camp Flag

Safe to say that whenever possible I will do all I can to return every year. The Roskilde Festival is even better than you think!

Yeti Raves: Roskilde

Roskilde.  8 days of the largest music festival in Northern Europe.  I guess I first heard of it when several people died at a Pearl Jam show in the early 2000’s.  A few years after that, a Norwegian friend mentioned it as one of the greatest experiences of her life.  I remember stories of mud and tents so filthy they were burnt down at the end of the festival.

But years passed and I got no closer to Denmark.  It wasn’t until I was in Nepal this March, about 3500 meters up in the Himalayas, that my Danish and Canadian trekking partners started waxing poetical about it.  Both had been there the previous year, separately, and both had that glazed look of nostalgic reminiscence in their eyes as they spoke.

One of them told me a story about wandering the festival while dressed in a tiger suit.  He couldn’t find his tent so fell asleep in some bushes.  When he awoke the next morning he was surrounded by people dressed as pandas, drinking beer at 7 or 8 in the morning.  When one of them saw that that my buddy was awake, he yelled to his friends “Hey, the tiger is finally awake.  Someone get him a beer!”

It’s expensive–350 dollars for a ticket alone.  And the lineup is actually pretty weak compared to a Coachella or Bonaroo.  But the experience is going to remarkable.  The Rolling Stones and Stevie Wonder will be there, and it’s not hard to think that neither of them will still be touring in 5 years.  I’m maybe most excited to see Outkast, and acts like Interpol, Damon Albarn, and Les Claypool will be lots of fun too.

I’ve joined a camp of mixed Danes and internationals–there are something like 40 of us!  As you can imagine, some of the finest minds in Europe are working on not where to camp or which shows to see, but how to drink the most efficiently.  The conversation on FB goes like this.

CAMPER 1: I think a rental van that can do 1000kg is going to cost somewhere around 1200kr, gas would be ~500kr and the ferry is 600kr. So about 2300kr for transport, roskilde-puttgarden-roskilde. (roskilde? when? how?) A crate of tuborg is 60kr in germany, 130kr in denmark and 190kr at roskilde.   70kr * 125 – 2300kr = 6450kr saved. Or 215kr/person for 30 persons. Buying less beer and more booze and wine would save more. There’s still the question of customs/import rules and how that works in practice.

Camper 2: The savings you’re using are too optimistic. Had a look at prices and this is what I found.  Van + extra km – 1200 dkr, gas – 300 dkr, ferry (same-day return) – 300 dkr, total – 1800 dkr.  Box of Carlsberg (24 cans) in Germany – 60 dkr, in Denmark on offer – 100, savings – 40 dkr.  40 dkr x 41 boxes (what 3 persons can take into DK) – 1800 = – 160 dkr, so we’ll loose money.

Camper 1  As I’ve said before then I don’t mind go for a beer run I just need a van. We have to take weight into consideration, so a car isn’t enough. Typical payload for a family car is around 400 kg. A box of beer is 9 kg (incl packaging) and an average adult is 70 kg. 41*9+3*70=579 kg. For the trip to be worth it we also need to buy some wine and softdrinks.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen that much preparation go into beer buying!  Ah Europe.  It’s going to be great.