Roskilde Festival, Part 4: Dinosaurs, Gorillas and Reindeers
There is a mass exodus of people stumbling from the camp site to the music site in the morning. We all migrate together, like a herd of mongooses in the baking sun. I’m extra thankful for my backstage pass where the toilets haven’t deteriorated into total anarchy yet. The last day of Roskilde has the air of pure survival and people tend to have lost the last f*** they gave about tidiness. I need no real food as I hamster free chips, coffee, somersby and waffles from tired volunteers.
Long ago, my friends and I named the inexplicable attractiveness that some people gather here at this festival: “Roskildelækker”. It’s inexplicable because people here are drunk, dirty and wouldn’t think twice about eating that baguette that’s on the ground, but there is a the-last-man-on-earth kind of look to many people at this point and, frankly, it’s very alluring. I have forfeited the hot-mess look since I went home to Copenhagen and showered, but it was worth the 37 kr. to have toilet paper again.
There are so many things to do here. Despite most people spending most of their time beer-bowling, suntanning and cheering, the festival offers a lot of crazy opportunities. You can go to graffiti training, take a yoga class, soak in Finnish tubs and go to saunas even. There are food making events and high noon tea sessions. There’s an unbelievable amount of shopping going on, where you can buy all festival amenities, kids toys and political manifests as well as designer clothes. I’m particularly partial to the cinema scene, where you can watch movies outside at night and watch strange documentaries in the tent during the day. They even have some guys from a production company hear out people’s ideas for movie scripts. The movie selection is excellent, just as long as you avoid Holy Motors like the plague.
Totally legit, just come on into my cinema tent
In the press lounge there are daily panel discussions and talks on the music industry and journalism. I like the idea, but I’m made aware that most of the press here are middle aged men in sloppy clothes, floppy hair, gold earrings and bushy beards who moan and complain about how the whole industry is dying because it isn’t like the 70′s. I’ve randomly met an old classmate who is kind of a big deal as a writer now and we laugh at the industry dinosaurs and muse about our bright futures in writing. If anyone is keeping score, this is the moment where I’m forever damned by hubris.
I walk towards Urban Zone and enjoy the overall mayhem of a little topless Brazilian lady strutting about in the same field as old grandmothers, parents with infants and pregnant ladies. I don’t get the whole parents bringing their kids here, but I suppose that if my life was now officially boring and miserable, I’d justify the practice too.
I consider getting my makeup done by a guy in drag at the Christiania booth and even though they throw in a healing massage, I decide to get some reindeer stew from the Swedish stand instead. There are a lot more people that I know here. I run into people from school, friends of the family, my brother, people from Århus and even this hot guy I saw at a party months ago, who completely ignores me.
It’s hard to be grumpy in a place where a tuxedo-ed performance artist and his colleague in a gorilla outfit gesture to me from inside a cage, and proceed to teach me ballroom dance moves.
I then enter the Sustainable Zone, where I smell and taste different garden herbs and guys can see how much energy their urine stream can generate. Guys from DTU show me how to control sounds through brain wave scanning, how to 3D print a bottle cap and show me ideas for creating a new bridge across the railway tracks. I don’t get much of it, but DTU nerds are always fun and it’s more engaging than standing in line for the bathroom.
I talk to a guy from Musikparlamentet and we discuss all the things one can do at this festival. I’m sad at missing so many awesome things, but he’s a Roskilde veteran and has words of wisdom for me: “You always miss more things than you experience.” I’ve decided to miss even more and head home. 80.000 people need to pack up and leave this place tonight and the trains will be filled to the brim. Also, the Copenhagen Jazz Festival is going strong and I like the juxtaposition of going from Queens of the Stone Age to smooth smoky jazz in one evening.
As I gather my things that are stashed at different luggage locations all across the camping site, I overhear a drunken group rambling. A guy with a ridiculously pointy mustache and a t-shirt with the description “He Loves The Cock ->” slurs something that sticks with me:
“I can’t go home. I’ve already forgotten how the real world works.”