Sitting on my Dad´s porch in Austria, enjoying a strange wheat beer in about 35 degress celsius.
This past monday I returned from what was by all non-participants generally agreed to be a disaster, namely the Roskilde Festival.
We had some rain, sure. In fact, we had twice the amount of rain that the next-worst year provided (1997). My tent got washed away by a mud flood Thursday around noon. I still have scars on my calfs from where my wellingtons gnawed (before I got smart and padded them properly).
Nevertheless, the drama has been a bit exaggerated by the media, I felt - once I got home and had a chance to study the reactions. Wednesday and Thursday up to the official festival start it rained for 30 hours straight - a single, long event that pretty much caused all the problems. I´m not sure I have ever experienced 30 continuous hours of fierce rain, not even in Denmark. By noon on Friday, however, the weather was tolerable with only few showers and, at least in our camp, the mood was flying high. After all, this year people had been prepared for troublesome weather, unlike in e.g. 2004.
Saturday and Sunday was a blast - and all the adversity, in a sense, only contributed to the feeling of togetherness and common cause. Strangers at Roskilde had even more to talk about this year (not that they usually hold themselves back).
Musically, I didn´t have my most active year. I quickly realized that the sheer mud-wrestling energy necessary to see all the bands I wanted to was way too high. So, instead I relaxed a bit and chose a fair selection of known goodies as well as smaller acts.
My best experiences this year (in no particular order):
CSS - great party.
Mahmoud Ahmed - Ethiopian funky vocalist supreme.
Stones Throw (Percee P) - this guy can flow.
Beastie Boys - no comment necessary.
The Who - I remember I thought it was good.
Flaming Lips - weird and different and quaint and feel good.
K´naan - Somali new-yorker with a message. I´m getting that album ASAP.
Justice - french excentric house madness.
Looking back at the program, I see at least 5 acts that I really regret not seeing. But that was this year´s festival for you. Mud madness had you making too many last minute decisions.
I was sick of seeing reviews of e.g. the Chili Peppers in Ekstra Bladet when I got home. I agree it was no awesome concert, but they did most of it at a medium level. Flea´s bass play alone is enough to generate a good show. Thomas Treo at that crap paper gave them 0/6 which just shows that too many reviewers either come out each evening from their cosy Copenhagen apartments or sit in hiding in the backstage Media Village trying to not get mud on their fashionable pants before they venture out to take a peak at the artists. There is too much of that musical snobbery going on at the moment, methinks.
Pitchfork was attending the festival this year - they have some good coverage including fantastic photos - go take a look (search for "Roskilde").
It´s fun to read an American perspective on the whole thing, although I think they use too much space on artists they have previously experienced or already condone professionally.
Oh, and they are a bit prissy when it comes to excessive drinking and urine. They´re young...I guess they can still learn.
Happy summer to all - I´ll try to post some pictures as I receive them.