Biggest Nordic music festival opens in Denmark's Roskilde

16:43, July 01, 2011      

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Roskilde Festival, the largest music and cultural event in Northern Europe, opened here Thursday, featuring some of the biggest names in popular music.

This year, the festival has attracted some 80,000 visitors from all over the world. They have braved the unpredictable summer weather to pitch their tents at the festival site situated about 35 kilometers west of Copenhagen, capital of Denmark.

The camping grounds, which are likely to get very muddy thanks to rain showers and dancing crowds, have already been open for four days, playing host to a range of warm-up music acts. Some 180 bands are scheduled to perform on six stages, both open- air and indoors, while over 160 musicians will showcase a range of musical genres during the festival which runs Thursday through Sunday.

Big names include indie rock sensations the Arctic Monkeys and Kings of Leon, trip hop band Portished, heavy-metal icons Iron Maiden, and others such as Mastodon, TV on the Radio and edgy, rap artiste M.I.A. Thursday's performances included music by Narasirato, Black Milk and Frisk Frugt, which is Danish for 'fresh fruit'.

One of Roskilde Festival's most distinctive features is that bands play a minimum of one-hour long sets on the smaller stages, and often 90 minute long sets on the biggest stages. And it is the long sets that make the Roskilde experience fundamentally different from that of competing festivals in Europe.

Another unique feature is the Green Footsteps campaign, which encourages festival-goers to be considerate towards the environment, thanks to a series of green activities before, during and after the festival.

In fact, organizers say 99 percent of the garbage generated by the festival will be recycled. Created in 1971 by high school students Mogens Sandfear and Jesper Switzer Moeller, and promoter Carl Fischer, the Roskilde Festival was initially known as the Roskilde Sound Festival.

At the time, only 13 performances were played during the then two-day long festival. The festival was taken over by the Roskilde Foundation the following year, which has since run it as a non-profit organization committed towards the development and support of music, culture and humanism.

All profits earned from Roskilde Festival are donated to charity.

Source: Xinhua
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