It must feel like a thankless job at times to be a music booker for the Roskilde Festival. Regardless of which acts you secure for the four-day festival – the largest music festival in northern Europe – your decisions are bound to be savaged by fans angry that their particular favourites didn’t make the roster.
Such was the case on Thursday when the Roskilde Festival held a live press event announcing 93 additions to the 2012 line-up. As the festival’s music director, Rikke Øxner, ran through some of the highlights, the vast majority of the online commentators following along with the announcement’s live stream were complaining every step of the way.
Following a year in which Roskilde’s perceived lackluster headliners received much criticism, the pressure was on to come strong with the 2012 line-up. The problem for Øxner and her crew was that many of the biggest names for this year’s Roskilde Festival – Bruce Springsteen, Björk, The Cure, The Roots – had been public for some time. Even Thursday’s first big announcement that former White Stripes frontman Jack White would be gracing the Orange Stage had previously been reported by Soundvenue.
But despite the lack of a big punch, Thursday’s announcement gave music plans plenty to look forward to in July. Depending on one’s tastes, the Roskilde Festival promises to deliver many memorable performances. Here’s an overview.
For the, ahem, “mature” audience: It can’t be ignored that after responding to criticism over last year’s lack of marquee headliners with a response that Roskilde wasn’t about chasing up old dinosaur acts, the biggest names on offer this year are past their prime. Yes, Bruce Springsteen will put on a great show and no-one wants to speak poorly of ‘The Boss’, but his best-selling album was released 28 years ago. Similarly, The Cure’s biggest hit, ‘Lovesong’, graced the music charts in 1989.
For headbangers: Roskilde has a bit of a reputation for being heavy on heavy metal, and this year is no exception with acts like Behemoth, Baroness, Machine Head, Crowbar, Suicide Silence and Red Fang.
For electronic fans: Thursday’s announcement added plenty of names for those who like their music coming from MacBooks: M83, Modeselktor, Araab Muzik, and Pretty Lights.
For hipsters: You could almost hear the collective hipster swoon when Bon Iver was an early announcement. On Thursday, media darlings Alabama Shakes and indie rockers The Shins and Friendly Fires were added gifts for the tight-trousers set.
For hip-hoppers: In addition to headliners The Roots and previously-announced acts like Wiz Khalefia, Royce 5’9” and Yelawolf, hip-hop heads can look forward to Big K.R.I.T., Sage Francis, and Evidence.
Of course, like the Roskilde bookers’ impossible task of pleasing everyone, this too is just a short list bound to cause disagreement. To see the full Roskilde line-up for yourself, visit the festival's website. And if you’re not happy with what you see, perhaps you can take heart in the fact that around 15 more acts will be added before the festival kicks off on July 5.