9 days of the Roskilde Vibe
Roskilde Music Festival, Denmark, 2010-06-27 12:00 by Martin
We drove from Copenhagen towards the Roskilde Music festival in a small and tightly packed car; two Danes (Lærke and I) and two of our Norwegian friends. Tents, sleeping bags, beer and food were crammed into the trunk and passenger seats, while the three girls sat in the back. Getting through the car-queues leading to the festival area was our first encounter with queuing, something we would get annoyingly familiar with. For the girls, it was their first time at the festival - I have been to the Roskilde Music Festival 5 times before, but this time was the first without my normal festival-gang – so it was kindda new for me too.

The last few years the festival got overrun before the official opening, which means that tents starts to be erected by eager participant on the camping areas early in the morning or even during the night before the opening of the gates. This year was to be different; steps had been made to help prevent this, which meant that this year you could book a spot in one of the specially marked camping areas beforehand – this should in theory make it unnecessary to take part in the early pushing and shoving. I didn’t really believe this though, but we didn’t wanna go and take part in the usual overrunning and my fears were unfortunately true. The fences had been overrun 5 hours prior to the official opening, and therefore the festival had decided to open for all shortly after. When we entered the camping areas, 1 hour before official opening hours, we could see that the mass of tents were already almost all encompassing. We made it to the special booking area, where a special entry pass was needed to get in, but this area had also been opened up to early and although it had been promised that there would be enough room for everyone that had booked, it looked bleak – the amount of tents were massive.

We wandered around looking for a spot, and weren’t in the best of spirits – but a small spot in between two major camps could be our salvation. We put up our tents, which barely fit and got one of the two camps to move some tents to give us more room – they had way to much open space, and they agreed to help us out. More of our friends from Norway were to come, but due to lack of space their tents were set up a little from ours; it didn’t matter though, ‘cos our camp now had room for a common area, and a couple of days later we bought a camping pavilion, which provided much needed shade!

Camp life

The weather was great, the sun was shining, blue skies and the summer had finally started; during the 9 days of the festival, it got warmer and warmer, and many water fights broke out between us and our neighbors – in fact it was essential to carry a water gun around with you on the hottest of days, as you could be attacked by anyone…so the need to be able to defend yourself was real.

The waterposts got a bit crowded, but who cared – we praised our fortunes, while we were swimming in the lake or the big pool area, or sunbathed in our camp. When the lake had to close because of bacteria (as it usually has to), the demand for the swimming pool got high – it was actually a newcomer to the festival. Driven by a eco-generator, sun panels, and pedal power the water was cleaned without too much clorine and cold beer were for sale in the bar. To get in, one had to (after queuing of cause) pedal on bicycles that produced power for the area, which was hot in the heat…but the ultimate goal was in range: the cooling pool! When finally in, it was like being in heaven, cold beer, a big pool and even people as naked as god created them ;) Unfortunately most of the completely naked bodies belonged to men…well, at least it was a good laugh when the made acrobatic dives naked from the jumping platform.

The pool

We had brought quite a lot of games with us; and they were put to good use. Mixing it up with lots of beer and alcohol suddenly made trivial games like “ring-throwing” very, very fun. Beer races were good to quell the thirst and Norwegian singing games attracted neighbors from far and wide. We did go visit friends in other camps as well, which as always was so much fun – you are sure to meet all sorts of cool and wired people. In the evenings we ventured to some of the “party” camps and danced the night away, or simply sat talking and drinking somewhere until it got cold, and a warm sleeping bag was needed.

When the concerts finally began on the 5th day, it almost felt as if our camp and tent was our new home. We did get to see a lot of concerts – Muse, Prodigy, Paramore, Kashmir, The Crooked Vultures, Nephew, Prince, Robyn, LCD Soundsystem, Marley and many more less-known bands. Some concerts were great, others good; we enjoyed them all, but as we aren’t the biggest music freaks, it was more the camp life that left a lasting impression.

Good music

After nine days of fun, beer and music the last concert was in full swing, but it was time to head home. The car had been driven home a couple of days prior, and we had to take the public transport. Luckily trains and busses leave directly from the festival to Copenhagen, but I knew that queues would get longer and longer as Prince played his final tunes; we waited maybe 45 minutes, and were lucky to get a seat on the train. Later I was told by colleagues of mine, that people who left later that evening waited until 3 AM or more to get home! Not fun when it’s a normal work day the next morning.

All in all, it was one of the best Roskilde festivals I’ve experienced – thanks to good weather, good music, good fun and must importantly, good company!