Back at the Funny Farm
- by Magda -
A new year, new festival, new dreams and new goals.
I have set foot on Roskilde Festival a few times before, seven to be precise (I think), so I know what to expect. I know now to expect the unexpected. There is sort of a tension in the air, excitement and adventure and the feeling that though you know what you’re stepping into, you’re always in for a surprise. Roskilde never seizes to amaze, surprise, chock and entertain me, sometimes all at the same time. You also have a tendency to plan things ahead, things like what you’re gonna eat, what bands you’re gonna see, what you’re gonna do the days before the festival begins and you try to come up with themes for this years article. I decided to just take it as it comes, thinking something interesting would come along or I would have a brilliant idea once I arrived. But as usual you get distracted by all the awesomeness going on around you and then you panic at the end of the week thinking you will go home without a story. In reality you never go home without stories to tell.
We arrived bright and early sunday morning and met up with Alison and her boyfriend Mike, and as usual there were some confusion about trains, money and toilets. But we did manage to get there, pitch our tents and get down to Camp Mesterhak and crack up a beer before noon. Job well done! We did also get a good look at a guy (who was so drunk he could barely stand up straight) waving his junk around, peeing all over the place, falling over on tents, and then wanting to shake your hand. Unfortunately we do consider him a friend. So we were really in for a great start. Over the next days we went to a few concerts at Pavilion Junior, went to town and spent the night getting drunk over at Coffin Camp, which was great fun indeed. When you get a text that says nothing more then ”be here at 22.59”, well, then you better be there. When a bottle of Bacardi Razz awaits, you're so glad you arrived on time. One bottle of rum, three glasses, a dash of Sprite and some lime, pooh, you do the math.
Thursday is grand opening day, and also the day of the now legendary chatgang meeting. This year the RF actually came to donate a few crates of beer to the meeting due to some unfortunate e-mail spamming. A member of Coffin camp had also fallen victim to this so they were also invited, coffin included. Which by the way is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen, a big coffin-stereo-cooler-party-monster-machine. When it was time to go get ready for the gates to open, we were supposed to take the coffin-stereo-cooler-party-monster-machine with us, which resulted in carrying it over the bridge from West to East, then pushing it through East to get to the entrance by the Arena stage. The agenda here was to protest against the new rules for this year that you couldn’t bring your own beverages in to the festival area. So there we stood in front of the entrance, Rage Against the Machine’s Killing in the Name of blasting out of the speakers from the coffin, and we are handing out beer and wine to the people around us. I remember being really tired and sweaty after all the hard work getting the coffin there, and I remember it being sooo crowded while waiting for the gates to open.
Finally they did open, and the details here are a bit blurry, but we are all just making a run for it in the crowd, trying to push the coffin into the festival area. Said and done, all of a sudden we are inside heading for Orange. At this point I think we broke more than one rule. I don’t believe you are allowed to bring a big coffin-stereo, and I don’t think you are allowed to bring a big coffin-stereo with a built-in-cooler filled with beer. But no one stopped us so we just kept on going and parked in front of Orange, drinking our cold beer and waiting for Patti Smith to play a concert to celebrate the memory of the nine people who died ten years ago. And that is almost the last thing I remember before I fell asleep next to the coffin.
After some brain-storming one night in the tent we did come up with a great idea for this years story. The problem was that neither of us could remember it the next day, and to be honest here, that idea has not come back to me.
So I settled for another one, this year I would walk a mile in someone else's shoes, more accurately those who collect refund. It all started out as a brilliant idea. I was to walk around and collect refund while Moni followed me around to take photos. It was not the best laid plans. It was Sunday, it was around noon, it was hotter than hell in the sun and most people only drank saftevann. There wasn’t much refund to be found around the festival area. My friends were very nice and gave me head-start by donating their cups from breakfast. Let me tell you, it has been a long, looong time since I have felt that uncomfortable in my own skin than I did during those next two hours. Walking around there among the festival's official refund-crew, who collected refund for charity, I felt like I was stealing from starving children. I thought it would be a simple enough task, but there wasn’t that many cups on the ground and I kept seeing the refund-crew and I could feel their disapproving glances. This was presumably all in my head, but Judas Priest, did I feel bad and uncomfortable. So after collecting like nine (yes my friends..NINE) cups I had to walk up to one of the refund-guys to explain myself and donate my rather modest findings. I don’t think he really cared about my genuine intensions, but it sure felt good getting it off my chest.
The festival was coming to an end, and so was my back, it was so ready to go home. But there was still one event, one concert, to come. Prince. I will not waste time preaching to the choir here, so let me just say that my personal opinion is that we both made a hell of a performance that night, Prince on stage and me, my back and my clean conscience in front of it.
Why bother refunding?
Because your contribution makes a difference!
Each year the collected refund money has been used to support food programs, anti-trafficking, schools and removal of mines. In addition to give aid economically, the campaigns are also an eye opener to the fact that we can all help in our own little way..even when we drink our beer at a festival. On the last day of the festival OrangePress could report that donations had reached a staggering 1.100.254 DKK, and the money was donated to:
Danish Refugee Council: clean drinking water to Myanmar Danish Refugee Council has just received a work permit in Myanmar, one of the world's poorest countries. They will contribute to the reconstruction of Myanmar in the areas where the cyclone has ravaged, e.g. by offering help to build houses, develop wells, install latrines, construct schools and distribute ceramic water filtration pots that can purify polluted water.
DanChurchAid: 100 collected mugs give a family in Bangladesh food for a month DanChurchAid’s climate work focuses on three areas: prevention, new technology and political work. When disaster strikes, they help with the adaptation to the changing climatic conditions and try to improve the situation for the poorest on longer terms. If we, for instance, collect 100 mugs at the festival it can provide food for a family in Bangladesh for a month.
Danish Red Cross Youth: climate Work in Uganda and Zimbabwe The collected funds from Danish Red Cross Youth will go to climate-related activities in connection with the programme "Life learning skills" in Uganda and Zimbabwe. The money will also go to the organisation’s café, Café Zusammen, that organises events with focus on the consequences of the climate changes.
WWF: sustainable Development in the Third World WWF collects refund for their overall objective to ensure nature and the environment worldwide. The goal is to preserve nature and the environment while the world’s poorest get a better living standard. In other words, sustainable development in the Third World.
>> Read more about the Roskilde Festival Charity Society
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