Denmark’s annual political extravaganza, Folkemødet, was an idea posited by the culture minister, Bertel Haarder, six years ago, and the ‘People’s Meeting’ just continues to grow.
The 2016 edition looks set to be the largest ever, weather permitting. DMI has promised rain and hail of biblical proportions on Friday and Saturday, which may put a damper on some of the close to 3,000 events scheduled to take place in and around Allinge on Bornholm.
If the weather holds out and the expected crowds show up, 30,000 people each day will descend on Allinge Harbour to attend the scheduled events, and that doesn’t take into account the ‘underground’ events that pop up.
Over 160 tonnes of cement have been trucked to Allinge to secure the hundreds of tents now dotting the area.
Pitch a tent for politics
A new camping area set up for this year’s meeting has room for 500 guests and 2,100 young people will be at a camping ground specially set up and created so youngsters can get their first taste of Folkemødet.
There are over 600 metres worth of banners hanging about to direct the faithful to their favourite political party, NGO or business group.
About 22 men have worked around the clock the past few weeks setting up tents and stages and building temporary flooring throughout the festival grounds.
All work and no play
Back in the office, the people that organise the festival do what has been described as two years’ worth of work in just one year, and planning for next year’s Folkemødet will start as soon as the sun sets on this edition.
While some politicians across Denmark have grumbled that Folkemødet should move around the country so that other areas could reap the benefits of the yearly influx of hungry and thirsty politicians and their minions, Bornholm looks set to continue as the host of the festival for the foreseeable future.