Folkemødet – or as its founder Bertel Haarder likes to calls it: “the political Roskilde Festival with less beer and more talk” – has open its doors for its ninth edition.
Since 2011, the four-year festival has been held annually on the island of Bornholm, an island east of Denmark and south of Sweden.
The meeting is well known for attracting politicians, business people, lobbyists and the curious.
The official opening took place yesterday with music and an opening speech from Winni Grosbøll, the mayor of Bornholm Municipality.
A record number of guests
Around 32,000 guests attending the opening, which beat the previous record of 30,000 for an opening day, which was set in 2018.
However, around 40,000 people have bought ferry tickets so far – an increase of 31 percent on 2018.
The Folkemødets Ungdomscamp has accordingly expanded to accommodate 2,800 guests compared to 2,300 in 2018.
All in all, this indicates greater interest in Folkemødet than in previous years.
Diverse topics of discussion on the first day
The topics discussed on the first day were diverse, ranging from plastic to sexual harassment in the workplace to mental disorders among kids and adolescents to artificial intelligence.
It then concluded with a performance by rappers Pede B and DJ Noize.
What sets Folkemødet apart from other festivals is that it is interactive.
Apart from speeches, lectures and interviews, it includes a whole range of workshops, fun activities, debates, performances, networking, music, dance and, of course, drinking!
The prized event of the festival is the ‘Dialogue Prize’. The idea behind this prize is to encourage politicians to listen more and engage in more open dialogue with citizens – as opposed to ‘megaphone speakers’ and media appearances.
Check the program here.