Roskilde to rock all year round

Long-planned rock museum clears final financial hurdles and will open in 2014

(photo: Stephen Wright)
May 9th, 2012 3:21 pm| by admin
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For many, the name Roskilde is synonymous with music and instantly brings to mind thoughts of four summer days of concerts and camping.

In the near future, the tunes won’t be confined to just a few days in July, and fans will get the chance to enjoy rock music in Roskilde all year round.

The long-planned Danmarks Rockmuseum recently received the final financial donations needed to start the project, which has been in the works for about ten years.

The final financial support comes from Realdania, which kicked in 16 million kroner, and Bikubenfonden, which contributed three million. With those two amounts, the organisers have reached the project’s estimated budget of 120 million kroner, according to Roskilde’s mayor, Joy Mogensen (Socialdemokraterne).

“The rock museum is an important future investment in Roskilde’s development, and I’m very pleased that Realdania has chosen to give such a generous donation that can complete the fundraising process,” he said in a press release.

At the rock museum, music fans will be able to see, listen and feel the history of Denmark’s popular music, from 1950s rock ’n’ roll through today. Visitors can even become music stars themselves with the possibility of recording their own versions of hit songs and the chance to perform in front of a virtual 3D audience at Roskilde Festival’s Orange Stage.

According to the museum’s manager, Frank Bikebæk, the museum will use music to communicate the importance of youth culture to societal development.

“We will try to create a museum for young people, about young people, on their terms. We will try to engage them so they take part in creating the experience they will have at the museum,” he told Politiken newspaper, adding that “rock music is one of the few common references that exist across generations today.”

And although the museum will focus on Danish music, that doesn’t mean that there won’t be plenty to offer for the non-Danish speaking crowd.

“Danish musicians and artists are obviously inspired by other places like England and the USA, and those references will be on display,” Lise Hammershøj, a spokesperson for the museum, told The Copenhagen Post. “Then there’s the sound lab, where you can play music, compose, sing and perform on stage. That will be fun no matter if you speak Danish, French, German or Spanish.”

The museum is not only about rock, as it will also cover other genres, which means organisers need to stay up to date on the latest trends.

“When music changes we will keep up,” Birkebæk told Politiken. “Music is more than just rock, and so are we.”

Danmarks Rockmuseum will be something between a traditional museum and a hands-on experience, and will be situated in a new area of Roskilde known as Musicon, which is dedicated to music and creative arts.

Located in a former industrial area, Musicon is a project aimed at supporting Roskilde’s position as a centre for popular music. The museum will be part of the building complex ‘Rock magneten’ together with the new Roskilde Festival headquarters.

The museum will be on Rabalderstræde, which is mentioned in the Danish band Gasolin’s song of the same name.

One of the Gasolin bandmembers, Franz Beckerlee, has also donated the band’s old tour limo ‘Betzy’ – a 1961 Plymouth Fury – to the museum. When it opens, the limo might get a space in the entrance hall at the museum according to Birkebæk. Other Danish bands plan to donate instruments and paraphernalia to the museum.

With the financing in place, construction can begin in February or March of next year, and the museum is planned to open in the autumn of 2014.

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