Beer bowling, public urination, gaffer tape, and of course, music. It is the alluring and repelling combination of these things that make Roskilde Festival so special. Last week marked Copenhagen Post interns Mike Hofman and Elise Beacom’s first encounter with the odious sights, delectable sounds and pungent smells of Roskilde. Here’s how it went down.
Q: Roskilde is supposed to have a community vibe. Did you find the more experienced festival goers welcoming?
Mike: It started off nicely, with people on the train accompanying us to the festival check-in. However, by the end of the festival, our neighbours kept us awake by playing death metal at 5am and stole my laptop charger and Elise’s shoes. Oh well, at least they didn’t poo in our tent.
Elise: Others were a bit too friendly. One bloke told me I had nice breasts and then asked if he could touch them. Of course, I politely declined his offer, knowing my boyfriend might read this.
Q: What was the craziest thing you saw?
Mike: We saw a guy being held down by about six people who had decided to cut off his beautiful long locks. You could almost see the tears in his eyes. We just laughed and took photos.
Elise: We also took photos of a girl who had been gaffer taped to a power pole by her so-called friends. The red-faced girl was camera shy, but what could she do about it? Run?
Q: What was the most disturbing thing you saw?
Mike: Seeing the can collectors nonchalantly shaking piss off the cans while our news editor was midstream nearby.
Elise: One word of advice to our fellow male campers: if you are going to pee, please do so facing away from any bystanders. Even if there’s a wire fence between us, we can still see you. And more importantly, do not make eye-contact with us while you are pissing.
Q: What did you do when there were no shows on?
Mike: I thought about getting my haircut by an asylum seeker at Poor City but was too busy playing Danish drinking games.
Elise: Yeah, Mike and I played a variation of Kongespil using beer cans and a ball. My team was victorious because we downed our beers first.
Q: What else did you eat and drink?
Mike: We had access to the media area which provided free Coke, coffee and water, and, if we were really lucky, nectarines and bananas. Needless to say, we spent a lot of time there, being the cheapskates that we are. But hey, we’re unpaid interns, so what do you expect? It was also where we befriended some middle-aged Dutch women with a sack of home-brewed liquorice vodka.
Elise: Tinned tuna and crackers were the standard meal, washed down with warm vodka or warm beer. Actually, our neighbours had the far more ingenious idea of digging a hole underneath their tent so they could store their beers and keep them cool.
Q: Your most memorable moment?
Mike: The shower afterwards.
Elise: We were privy to an impromptu performance by a dozen-strong choir of men in penguin tuxedos. They performed classical versions of songs like the ‘Star Wars’ theme to a tent in our camping section. It was really beautiful and felt so out of place in such a scummy backdrop.
Q: Did your tent survive?
Mike: Basically all the tents in camping section L were totally trashed, but ours stood tall and strong like a Danish Viking.
Elise: We purposely bought a tent with a Danish flag on it to reduce the chance of someone leaving smelly skid marks on it.
Q: Was the smell really that bad?
Mike: YES! After it rained heavily on Friday, we had to jump over piss-puddles to get from the camping area to the stages. Actually, I accidentally jumped right in the middle of one while wearing my canvas Vans, and had to wheel my bag through it on the way out of the grounds.
Elise: I have my suspicions that there were some nasty things lurking in the sludgy mud – it honestly smelt like faeces.
Q: How are you recovering now that it’s over?
Mike: The train carriage we were in on the way home looked like a quarantine centre with everyone coughing and sneezing. And when I took a shower, the water that ran off my hair and body was grey.
Elise: I definitely got that ‘orange smell’. When I got home, my boyfriend wouldn’t come within a three metre radius of me because he said I smelled so bad. I have a really sore throat too, which I’ve heard comes from inhaling too much piss-dust.