After three years without festivals, it finally happens. This summer, Roskilde Festival, NorthSide, Smukfest, Tinderbox, Jelling Festival and all the others are back in full swing.
Hold up now, I’m looking forward to it as a toddler. I imagine I’m far from the only one.
Two years with the corona have, if anything, taught us the importance of crowding, meeting, partying and listening to music – and finally we can do it again.
The other day I drank a beer with a good friend, and we talked about how we can hardly remember what it actually feels like to stand there in front of a big stage and shout at his favorite song, while the flock next door alternately pushes and spills draft beer on one’s shoes. Now I’m almost looking forward to someone in festival boredom spilling that draft beer besides me.
We have also happily forgotten how extremely tiring it is to wake up in a tent that in the darkness of the night has turned into a smaller swimming pool while the air mattress is punctured and the hangover is knocking. Even that, I’m actually looking forward to it.
Can we even handle the must any longer after a three-year festival break? Of course we can, and I think all of us who are going out on festival grass again will have the summer of our lives.
The cliché of them all sounds, as you know, that you do not know what you have until you lose it. And it has to that extent made itself felt in the culture in recent years.
The festivals were some of the cultural institutions that were promptly shut down and de facto made impossible for several years. Seen in the light of a global pandemic, one could perhaps shrug one’s shoulders and think that festivals are not that important either, we could easily do without them.
I think, however, reality has shown us that nothing could be more wrong.
This year, the festivals are finally back after a three-year hiatus.
Photo: Ida Guldbæk Arentsen
All of us who have been to the festival and keep coming back know what I’m talking about. When you take the first step into the festival site, you simultaneously enter a bubble of freedom that is only found at festivals.
Whether you are a busy parent, high school student, unemployed or top manager on a daily basis, everyone is in the same boat in the festival room, where we gather for music and escapism. At a festival, you can forget about everyday drum space and be just who you want to be, and that free space I think we so much need after years of confinement and a ban on gathering in large groups.
We need to hug strangers in a trance over a wild concert moment, and we need to let go.
The festivals also need us to that extent – so herewith an invitation to spend the summer in front of a music scene in the Danish country. We all need that.