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Cancelled Roskilde Festival reveals 2019 beneficiaries

Thirty-two applicants will each receive between 10,000 and 1.4 million kroner (€1,340–€188,000) from the money earned from Roskilde Festival 2019, the non-profit Danish event has announced.

“In a time in need of new approaches to strengthening social cohesion and sense of community we can take comfort in the younger generation’s commitment and ability to act. It is with great joy and pride that we now announce the donation recipients of our most ambitious open call [for funding] to date, Open Call: Young Voices,” reads a statement from the festival, whose 2020 edition is cancelled.

Among the successful applicants, who were chosen from 296 applications, are:

“Unfortunately, there will be no Roskilde Festival in 2020 […] We are, however, working on finding other solutions”

Every year, Roskilde Festival donated all earnings to cultural humanitarian/charity work, with an emphasis on children and young people. Since 1972, the festival has donated more than 420 million kr. (€56.3m) for those purposes.

“Open Call: Young Voices was really an inquiry about what is important for young people and how they connect to the world. We have asked and have been answered,” says Roskilde Festival spokeswoman Christina Bilde. “The idea to earmark, for Roskilde Festival, an unusually large amount for an open call has been fruitful. We see young people who want to be a part of society and are willing to take on great responsibilities, and we see young people helping each other as well as wanting to move art in new directions.

“We do, however, also get a clear picture of the pressure young people of today are facing from a sense of responsibility to, and expectations for, themselves and the world. These are thoughts and feelings we will try to address in the future.

“Unfortunately, there will be no Roskilde Festival in 2020, and thus we are unable to generate earnings to donate to children and young people. We are, however, working on finding other solutions for us to support children and young people’s opportunities. This has always been and will continue to be the purpose of Roskilde Festival.”


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“Better each year”: success for Roskilde 2019

Denmark’s Roskilde festival had its 49th outing this weekend, selling out all tickets and featuring headline performances from Bob Dylan and Cardi B. However, despite this commercial success, it appears that social activism remains at Roskilde’s core.

“It was a really fantastic year,” Roskilde chief executive Signe Lopdrup tells IQ. Aside from less than favourable weather, “there were no big issues at all.”

Organised by the Roskilde Festival Charity Society and working with 30,000 volunteers each year, the Danish festival has always had a humanitarian and social aim.

This focus was apparent this year through the announced partnership with Freemuse, an organisation defending freedom of artistic expression. The festival pledged 1.5DKK (£180,770) to Freemuse over three years to “help make the world safer for artistic expression”.

On stage, there was no shortage of artistic expression at Roskilde, which featured a “really strong” arts and activism programme, alongside a full music schedule.

“The programming came together very well this year,” says Lopdrup. “We always aim to give a voice to the youth in society and we managed to do that really successfully this year.”

The music programme also placed a special focus on young talent, despite a bill of headline acts such as the Cure, Robyn and Travis Scott, as well as Bob Dylan and Cardi B.

“One of our goals is to show fans something they haven’t seen before”

Presenting plenty of new acts is something Roskilde has worked on over the years, says Lopdrup, facilitated by a large, diverse line-up and “curious festivalgoers”.

“One of our goals is to show fans something they haven’t seen before,” explains the Roskilde chief.

Major breakthroughs for this year included the presence of “a lot of strong female artists”.

Rather than using quotas to ensure an equal representation of women, Roskilde focuses on “presenting strong and progressive female artists”, giving them slots that allow them to “make their mark and inspire others”.

Christine and the Queens, Rosalía, Jorja Smith and Janelle Monáe were among high-profile female acts on the bill at this year’s Roskilde.

Looking ahead to the festival’s 50th anniversary next year, Lopdrup prioritises a future-facing attitude over a celebration of the past.

“We are a youth-focused festival – the average age of attendee is 24 – and our goal is to engage with the younger generation and with the future. As a festival, we have a special responsibility to tackle important social and global issues and to continue looking ahead.”

Roskilde Festival 2020 will take place from 27 June to 4 July.


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Roskilde adds Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant

Danish non-profit festival Roskilde has added 32 new acts to its 2019 line-up, including Bob Dylan, Catalan star Rosalía and Led Zeppelin icon Robert Plant.

More than 180 artists will play at this year’s Roskilde Festival (85,000-cap.), taking place from 29 June to 7 July. The new additions join previously announced acts including the Cure, Christine and the Queens, Jorja Smith, Jon Hopkins and Cardi B.

Roskilde Festival 2018 won line-up of the year at the European Festival Awards in January.

Nobel Prize-winning Dylan will play with his band on Wednesday 3 July, returning to the festival for the first time since 2006.

“Few artists have had such a profound influence on music and popular culture as Bob Dylan,” says head of programme Anders Wahrén. “To many of our young festivalgoers, this will be their first chance to witness an artist who has changed the course of music as much as he has.”

Former Led Zeppelin lead singer Robert Plant brings his band the Sensational Space Shifters to Roskilde this year, mixing world music, psychedelic folk and American blues, as well as playing some Led Zeppelin classics.

“Few artists have had such a profound influence on music and popular culture as Bob Dylan”

Catalan singer Rosalía also appears on the bill.

“Rosalía is a perfect example of a pop star who makes global pop music in an age when genre and language barriers mean less. The way she  effortlessly mixes classic flamenco with pop and hip-hop is testament to her brilliance and the curiosity of millions of listeners out there,” says Wahrén.

Wahrén adds that “it’s crucial for us to present a line-up with great music from all over the world.”

The newest artists to feature on the Roskilde line-up span 16 countries. Greenland rock band Nanook, Iranian pop star Liraz, Brazilian rap jazz artist Tássia Reis and Belize’s Garifuna Collective make up some of the eclectic mix.

New acts have also been added to the festival’s Nordic talent programme and arts and activism programme.

Tickets for Roskilde 2019 are on sale now, with tickets costing £240 (2,100 DKK), including free access to camping.


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