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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!