More drug busts at Roskilde Festival

Police say the increase in cases of drug possession may not reflect a rise in drug use at the festival

The death of a 20-year-old man from an ecstasy overdose on the first day of this year's Roskilde Festival led police to step up their efforts against drugs at the annual eight-day event.

As a result, there was a noticeable increase in the number of drug cases registered at the festival, up to 468 by Sunday afternoon (the final day of the festival) compared with 292 at the same time the year before.

“The weather plays a large factor,” deputy assistant commissioner Per Heide, of Rigspolitiet, told Jyllands-Posten newspaper. “People have been sitting in the sun outside their tents in the camping area taking drugs in the open so they are quite easy to catch.”

A total of almost two kilograms of cannabis was among the haul of drugs at the festival, though Heide would not confirm whether drug consumption at the music festival was on the rise.

“We don’t have any grounds to say there were more drugs at the festival this year but we have written up more citations,” Heide said.

In the camping area,The Copenhagen Post met a 22-year-old man, who did not want to be named, that had just been caught smoking a joint.

“These two policemen in plain clothes just walked into my camp, took the joint out of my hand and asked me what I was smoking. I didn’t have a chance.”

The man was given a 2,000 kroner fine for possession of cannabis, a punishment that he found too severe.

“How is giving me a fine going to stop me smoking hash at Roskilde? They ought to just legalise it.”

Among the other misdemeanours at the festival included a number of people that were caught either entering the festival illegally without a valid wristband or with fake wristbands.

One 42-year-old man was caught three times without a wristband and accumulated three 3,500 kroner fines for illegal entry to the festival. On the third occasion the Moroccan was kept in police custody in order to determine the reason for his stay in the country.

The Copenhagen Post came across a number of cases of individuals passing on their armbands, particularly plastic armbands that gave access to the media area of the festival. Unlike previous years, these armbands were easy to remove and put back together with either tape, glue or, in one case, staples.

Reports of thefts at the festival were down on the year before, with 302 reports between June 29 and July 5, against 375 reports during the same period the year before.

This morning Roskilde Festival announced that they expected to make a profit of between 8 and 12 million kroner.