Danish experts advise against 10k+ festivals
Danish festivals with more than 10,000 participants should not be carried out as usual, according to the government’s advisory expert group.
The working group – which comprises cultural institutions such as Roskilde Festival – has submitted a 54-page document of recommendations on how events should be able to take place this summer.
In the report, the experts recommend that no more than 10,000 guests attend a festival but only once Denmark has reached the final stage of the restrictions.
According to the group, major events of this capacity should only take place in ‘phase 2’ – when all citizens over the age of 50 have been offered their first vaccine.
The Danish Health and Medicines Authority’s vaccine plan, which was last updated on 14 April, suggests that everyone in the over-50s age group should have received their first vaccine by the end of May.
In addition to this, all participants of a major event must have a corona pass and the event must be divided into sections with a maximum of 2,000 attendees in each. Accommodation at the campsite is not allowed and the festivals must make a health plan, says the expert group.
“We have a very hard time believing that it is realistic to carry out festivals in Denmark before the end of the summer”
The recommendation for indoor concerts with standing audiences is a maximum of 3,000 participants in phase 2.
Following the report, major Danish festivals Jelling Music Festival, Heartland, Northside, Copenhell, Tinderbox, Roskilde Festival and Nibe Festival, as well as live music association Dansk Live, have penned a joint letter urging the government to “work quickly with the recommendations” to give a final decision about the fate of the summer.
“We had all believed and hoped that we would get an answer when the government announced the plan for reopening Denmark on March 22nd. Instead, we got an expert group that has now spent precious time onto find recommendations for the reopening of major events.
“We fully recognize the great work that the expert group has put in…but the work has been started too late and we have a very hard time believing that it is realistic to carry out festivals in Denmark before the end of the summer,” the letter reads.
Minister of culture Joy Mogensen has not commented on the recommendations directly but has referred to the government’s DKK 500 million (€67.2m) ‘safety net’ which will cover eligible festivals and major events between 1 May and 30 September 2021.
Roskilde 2021 sells out of full festival tickets
With more than 14 months to spare, Roskilde Festival has sold out of full event tickets for 2021, after 85% of those who planned to attend this summer’s cancelled festival opted to hold onto their tickets.
Roskilde was forced to call off its 50th-anniversary edition, originally scheduled for 27 June–4 July, in early April, after Denmark became one of the first countries to ban large-scale outdoor events to prevent the spread of Covid-19 this summer.
Of the 80,000 people who’d bought a ticket for the 2020 festival, just 15% opted to return them for a cash refund rather than use them for Roskilde 2021, according to organisers. Those 12,000 tickets went on sale again this morning (12 May) and sold out within hours.
The remaining five thousand one-day tickets, meanwhile, will go on sale in autumn 2020.
“Since the cancellation of this year’s festival due to Covid-19 unfortunately became a reality, we have received support in spades from participants and partners alike,” says festival promoter Roskilde Festival Charity Society in a statement.
“An overwhelming majority of ticketholders have gracefully chosen to transfer their ticket from the 2020 to 2021”
“Our social media has been overflowing with encouragement and now, we are happy to say, words have been followed by action. An overwhelming majority of ticketholders have gracefully chosen to transfer their ticket from the 2020 to 2021.”
“Your support means that we can continue our work preparing our anniversary festival in 2021,” it continues. “It also means that we can continue our non-profit work for children and young people all over the world.”
Thirty-two projects, including community recording studios and an activist hip-hop festival, will each receive between 10,000 and 1.4 million kroner (€1,340–€188,000) from the money earned from Roskilde Festival 2019.
Roskilde Festival 2020 was to have been headlined by Taylor Swift, Deftones, Kendrick Lamar, Tyler the Creator and the Strokes. Roskilde Festival 2021 will take place from 26 June to 3 July.
IQ’s next IQ Focus virtual panel, Festival Forum: Here Comes 21, features Roskilde’s Anders Wahren along with Jim King (AEG Presents), Stephan Thanscheidt (FKP Scorpio), Rachael Greenfield (Bloodstock Open Air) and Mathieu Jaton (Montreux Jazz Festival).