Blurry days, and blurry nights.
Pouring rain and golden lights.
Roskilde 2016 came to an end and thousands of merry souls struggled their way back home to wherever they came from, loaded on new memories, music and mostly likely, a seven-day hangover.
Friday night, Neil Young played what was probably one of his best shows ever – both critics and audience agreed that this was truly something special to witness – treating the crowds to one evergreen after another during his three-hour long set, and his fans were beyond end with joy upon hearing songs such as ‘After The Gold Rush’, ‘Heart Of Gold’ and the dark and beautiful haunting ‘The Needle And The Damage Done’. He played on till around midnight, where after the ecstatic crowd continued out into the night. High on Neil.
Sadly, the wet weather kept me mostly indoors on Friday, while Morten did the rounds taking photos of festival installations and artwork.
Danish contemporary art group SUPERFLEX have a long tradition for challenging power structures, and this year the art collective contributed with the Flagship Shelters/Bottle Collectors VIP installation – a restricted area for the many bottle and refund collectors at the festival, offering them a recreational and exclusive space at the festival.
The shelters were inspired by three of the most prominent fashion stores’ headquarters in Tokyo, designed by superstar architects and downscaled into shed size structures made in accessible materials, such as wood and translucent fabric. Thereby commenting on the inherent social and economic inequality among the festival visitors. Roskilde Festival is a popular destination for refund collectors from all over the world, due to the Danes’ enthusiasm for alcohol and the high refund prices.
This is also the same group that once flooded a McDonalds…
I wake up to the headlines. Neil Young was awesome. Critics agree 6/6 stars. His hit parading marathon concert is the talk of town, on a rainy Friday morning in Copenhagen, where I suddenly find myself at home in my own bed, having slept soundly for quite a long time.
Armed with sunglasses and umbrella in hands. I try to walk as gracefully as I can through our rainy capital, and soon find myself on a train back to Roskilde. It’s the last day of the festival and the program is full of names such as Biffy Clyro, Mac DeMarco and LCD Soundsystem, to mention a few.
I’m happy to find that my bicycle is still safely parked outside the media gate, walk inside and feel happy at not being the only one looking like a zombie. Although, despite endless amounts of rain, people seem to be in quite a good mood. I feel a bit worse for wear, almost jet-lagged, but shortly after an organic Tuborg, everything slowly seems to fall back into place. Well, kinda…
We browse the site for some time catching bits of music here and there. Danish hard rockers Dizzy Mizz Lizzy are playing to a packed field on the Main Stage, almost reminding me of a whole football field singing along with their heroes, to their huge catalogue of (mainly to Danes) classics.
Having not eaten for a while, I decide to try the He-Man chili dish, with nearly puts me in hospital. I sit down for half an hour and drink nothing but water, which is probably good for me. I had almost forgotten how sweet water can taste. I recover just in time for Last Shadow Puppets, which proves to be a real treat. Big atmospheric soundscapes combined with pure rock n’ roll. Alex Turner and Miles Kane are doing a great job sharing vocal duties, and the sun is still shining. Life is good.
We walk down to Arena Stage to catch a bit of gloominess from Manchester legends New Order, which is great, because, well… they’re New Order. The tent is packed. The band is all dressed in white, delivering one classic after the other. I can’t help but think that they should have swapped stage with Alex Turner & Co, ‘cause the tent is absolutely packed, but then again, the darkness of Arena suits the music perfectly, and works in favour of the b-movie slideshow that they have playing in the background.
Later on the Main Stage, we watch Danish popstar princess MØ rock the crowds with songs such as ‘Waste Of Time’ and ‘Slowlove’, during which she greets her audience down in the pit. Next up, is LCD Soundsystem, who put on an energetic show, with great visuals, and the party is full on. After a while I decide that I’ve had enough for now, so I wrap things up, and sneak out, fetch my bike and head back for the train station.
At some point I take a wrong turn and end up at Morten’s uncle’s place, only to find that the keys from the garage have been removed. The Saab is gone too, and so is Morten. I’m as confused as ever. How did I even end up all the way back here.
Thankfully his uncle comes out and proves to be a man of great hospitality. Not before long I’m fast asleep in the garage to the sweet sounds of nothing.
Words: Anders Knudsen
Photos: Morten Gersager Abel