Posts Tagged “Glastonbury”

A “flurry of bets” have been placed on Noel and Liam Gallagher reforming band ahead of next year’s festival

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I’d already heard quite a bit about Roskilde before I got the chance to actually rock up and check it out for myself. Denmark’s (and, in fact, Northern Europe’s) premier mega-fest is renown for consistently providing one of the most impressive and diverse lineups in the world, and it is this year that has perhaps rammed that particular point home further than any other.

From Slipknot, Anaal Nathrakh and Kvelertak to Rihanna and Chase and Status via Sigur Rós and Kris Kirstofferson, this really is one of the few events going where you can legitimately say that there’s something for everyone, and the non-profit, environmentally friendly and arts-fuelled approach to the manner in which the festival is put together means it has as much in common with Glastonbury as it does Download. Although there are admittedly a lot less stinky hippies running about than at the former.

Still, it’s hard to know exactly what to expect as I arrive on site early Friday morning (annoyingly, mag deadlines mean I had to miss Slipknot, BOOOOOOOOOO). With the sun already breaking out and bearing down on my pasty neck and a 3.30am start to catch my flight earlier, I’m feeling about as fresh as a poo in a sock, and the tent I’ve got pitched and reserved for me in hospitality camping, complete with blow-up mattress and lovely pillow and duvet (what do you know about glamping, though?!), is a helluva tempting sight right now. Also, there are tonnes of bikes everywhere. Like literally hundreds and hundreds parked up all over the place. It’s mad.

Of course, there’s no rest for the wicked or, in my case, whiny music journalists, so rather than trying to sneak in a cheeky nap I’m whisked off to the fucking massive backstage guest area, where I’m introduced to an absolute humdinger of a press area that’s situated outside over a huge pond and looks like something out of a Famous Five book.

There’s no time for ginger beer and dicking about solving mysteries, obviously, so I’m ushered round the corner and plonked in front of an audience for a panel discussion debating the current state of festivals in Europe, what sets Roskilde aside and what the future may hold for its unique approach. Given that I haven’t actually gone out and explored the festival yet, I feel like a bit of a wally at first, but the discussion is a genuinely interesting one and a lot of great points are raised and debated. Those who listen to the Metal Hammer Podcast know my stance on festival lineups and music genre divides in general, and the general outcome of the debate can pretty much be surmised as Roskilde Is Awesome And More Festivals Should Definitely Book Slipknot And Rihanna.

Looking right at the camera, what a wally

Finally, I get the chance to walk out into the festival itself, where many of the punters tearing around the site have been here for the best part of a week already. The stages look awesome and come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and it’s instantly obvious how much effort has gone into Roskilde being much more than just a music festival. Almost every single bar, tent and even shop has been done up in a specific style to give it its own identity, many of them graffiti’d up or sat next to weird sculptures and imposing works of art. Dotted all over the place are individual performers doing a variety of acts from juggling to trombone playing, with hosts of fans dressed in particularly OTT costumes and attires to add to the friendly mayhem. Clearly, this is a place where all types of art can flourish, and it’s heartening to see how people enjoy being able to express their own creativity in such a maddening environment.

Eventually, I’m taken to the main campsite, and it’s here where the real heart of Roskilde truly lies. Camps filled with metalheads bouncing around to Slayer sit side-by-side with ones brimming with bucket hat-wearing ravers and flower-haired indie girls. One moment you feel like you’re at Bloodstock, the next Creamfields. It’s fucking nuts. As it happens, upon arriving to the site I find out I’ve been entered into a sort of campsite heavy metal pub quiz at this place:

Definitely not scared at all. Apparently the Build-Your-Own-Soundsystem thing is a big part of campsite life here, but I’m not going to get the chance to find that out right now, because there’s the small matter of our newly-created team of music journos and industry types having to go head-to-head with this:

…We won 10-8. They didn’t know when Slipknot’s self-titled album was released. The fools! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Luckily, they’re all total dudes despite having a penchant for shouting “SA-TAN! SA-TAN” quite a lot, so our grand prize of a ton of beer is happily shared out and we get the chance to chat to some of the people who make the pilgrimage here every year. It’s maddening to think that these guys are sat here, right now, having an awesome time talking about how much Goatwhore are going to rule tomorrow, when the headliner for tonight’s main event is Rihanna. Despite everything I’ve seen so far, it’s this realisation that rams home what an incredible creation Roskilde is. There’s no tension between different music fans here. Sure, not every guy in a Blind Guardian t-shirt is looking forward to throwing down to Only Girl In The World, but there’s an awesome sense of coexistence going on that’s quite unlike anything I’ve really seen before. This is a festival that people come to because it’s a fucking amazing festival. It really is that simple.

I bid my newly made chums farewell and take a stroll around the immensely huge campsite area, where yet more bizarre creations and freshly created communities spring up all over the place. All great festivals have great campsites with their own atmosphere, of course, and Download in particular is a fine example of a festival that has gone to lengths to give its campsite a real sense of identity in recent years, but here this really is a culture unto itself. Dozens upon dozens of “mini-cities” are spread across a landscape that looks like a cross between a Utopian dream and something out of Mad Max, and it’s not hard to imagine coming here for the week and forgetting completely about the small matter of, you know, going to watch some bands and stuff.

I later find out that the campsite is actually opened up 100 days before the festival even starts to let people come in and work on their creations, which take on forms as varied as pop-up clubs and bars to mini-radio stations, bike shops (yes, really) and even extra stages. It’s so vast and multilayered that it becomes quite easy to get lost in, so I decide to not risk getting stranded in the Dream City camp until next year and head back to the arena.

The next two days are effectively spent either staring bug-eyed at the endless menagerie of cool stages, lovely people and mad onsite activity or losing my shit to the many awesome and extremely varied bands and artists playing across the weekend. Friday night’s fun include predictably chaotic sets from Devin Townsend and Turbonegro as well as an admittedly fun-as-hell turn from Rihanna and a triumphant closer from Danish superstars Volbeat. On Saturday, there’s a host of awesome stuff going on, including a typically boisterous Henry Rollins spoken-word set, great showings from Hatebreed and Goatwhore and, perhaps most stunningly, an incredible set from Kvelertak, who play to a packed-out Arena tent of 16,000 people. To put that into perspective, that’s a crowd about halfway between Wembley Arena and the O2. Like I said, it’s batshit out here.

Hatebreed throw down

Goatwhore: Metal as FVCK

The evening climaxes with a maddening double header of a Metallica in fine form as the main stage’s headliners and Chase and Status turning the place into a gigantic club-friendly mosh pit soon after. Obviously, Download quite successfully booked Chase and Status last year, so to see these two sharing a bill is nothing new, but to have a band of that ilk come on after Metallica have played? It’s nuts, it works and it’s awesome. Oh, and there was also time to trundle off to one of the smaller stages at around 3.30am to watch Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats before stumbling out half an hour later into daylight. Not weird at all.

Metallica: Danish famileeeh

Uncle Acid: far out, man

With my flight due out on Sunday (which means I miss Kraftwerk doing a show in 3D, DOUBLE BOOOOOO), there’s just about time that morning to go and sit in on a press conference with some of the people who put Roskilde together each year. Many subjects are covered, from the festival’s non-profit set-up (any profit made each year goes straight to charity) to their continuing mission to become more eco-friendly (many Green Schemes got tested in Denmark for the first time this very weekend).

One ultimate message rings out over the next hour of chatter and Q+A sessions, however, and it’s a thought that sticks with me as I pick up my bags and am sent on my merry way home: In their own words, this is a Progressive Festival for Progressive People. If you can’t bear the idea of a festival catering to all corners of music, regardless of background or creed, then Roskilde is definitely not for you. If you’re not interested in getting stuck in with everyone else and becoming part of the festival, rather than simply an attendee, then Roskilde is probably not for you. If, however, you want to try something a little different and risk finding some awesome new music from the unlikeliest of sources in the process… If you fancy spending a week in the heart of a brilliant mini-city surrounded by people that want to be there because it’s fucking awesome… If you just like the idea of getting wasted and watching great bands until 4am every night… Give Roskilde a go. I’ll be back next year for sure, and I won’t make the mistake of only doing two days next time. Maiden, The Prodigy, Jimmy Cliff and Lady Gaga for the wishlist please…

“Slipknot fans love Rihanna”

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Roskilde will be back next year. Head to for more info on this year’s event.

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Grohl’s band alongside with Kasabian, Oasis, Daft Punk and Davie Bowie are bookers favourties to rock the Pyramid Stage next year.

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Meanwhile, the rest of the Glastonbury crowd who saw their two-hour show this weekend called it one of the greatest festival sets ever.

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Popular singer reportedly in talks for a headliner spot at the Pyramid Stage.

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The electronic supergroup also deny that they will play this summer’s Glastonbury.

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Following claims from its organisers who are keen to book the band, guitarist Ronnie Wood will push to headline the legendary festival.

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Hear their brand new song “Doom And Gloom” and read the rumors about their potential headline slot at the legendary festival.

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The Rolling Stones have denied reports they will retire next year with a headline slot at Glastonbury.

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Metallica’s Lars Ulrich has admitted the band would love to headline Glastonbury.

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