• Denmark's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Roskilde Festival 2016
Syrian National Orchestra to open Roskilde Festival
Damon Albarn and the Syrian National Orchestra will open this year's Roskilde Festival. Photo: Mark Allan

Syrian National Orchestra to open Roskilde Festival

The Local · 9 Feb 2016, 13:31

Published: 09 Feb 2016 13:31 GMT+01:00

Organizers said on Tuesday that this year's first performance on the Roskilde Festival’s iconic Orange stage would be from The Syrian National Orchestra for Arabic Music, led by conductor Issam Rafea and joined by Blur and Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn as well as other special guests. 
 
Roskilde organizers wrote that they chose their opener to highlight “the remarkable music culture of Syria, providing a more positive perspective than events currently seen in the news.”
 
“This will be an extraordinary, fun, moving and unpredictable opening show. To open our Orange Stage with a Syrian national orchestra together with a large group of Western musicians is a way for us to show how music and culture can make people come together and overcome borders and conflicts,” spokeswoman Christina Bilde said. 
 
 
The booking is likely to be viewed as a political statement from the Roskilde Festival, a non-profit that every year donates all of its proceeds to various cultural and humanitarian projects. 
 
“Currently, several European countries have shut their borders, and many people view refugees as a burden. Through music we’re trying to show how people can be regarded as resources and offer something to the new communities they are now part of,” Bilde said. 
 
"Additionally, it’s very important for us to show and highlight the proud Syrian cultural history that is currently being demolished by the country’s civil war," she added.
 
Albarn first joined forces with the Syrian National Orchestra for a 2008 performance at the Damascus Opera House. His Orange stage opening gig will be Albarn’s third consecutive Roskilde performance. Last year, he spearheaded a five-hour set with Africa Express and had to be physically dragged off the stage at 4am on the festival’s final night. 
 
Story continues below…
The Syrian National Orchestra for Arabic Music will perform on Wednesday, June 29. 
 
The act joins over 50 others that have been announced for this year’s Roskilde Festival, including LCD Soundsystem, New Order, PJ Harvey, MØ, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tenacious D and Wiz Khalifa. 
 
A total of 175 acts will play this year’s festival, which runs from June 25 through July 2, with the first four days serving as a “warm up” with lesser-known Nordic acts before the main acts hit the festival’s six stages. 
 

For more news from Denmark, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
American tourists flocking to Copenhagen
The number of overnight stays and international passengers are both up sharply in the first quarter of 2016. Photo:

American tourists flocking to Copenhagen

14 hours ago

A number of new low-price flight options have given the Danish capital a major tourism boost.

My Danish Career
'I was fired from my first Danish job after nine days'
Henrik Cullen is a British-born expat who also holds Danish nationality. Photo: Juan Franco

In the latest instalment of My Danish Career, we spot with British-Danish 'local expat' Henrik Cullen who overcame a rough start to find success in Copenhagen.

Danish man gets stuck in museum chimney
Not the actual chimney. Photo: Adrian Scottow/Flickr

Maybe he just couldn't wait until the museum opened on Monday.

Denmark ready to cut off money to royal grandkids
Queen Margrethe and her eight grandchildren waving to well-wishers on the queens's birthday last month. Photo: Ida Guldbæk Arentsen/Scanpix 2016

Politicians appear ready to limit the number of Queen Margrethe’s grandchildren who get an annual salary from the state.

First service marks Battle of Jutland centenary
A memorial park to mark the world's largest naval battle that took place May 31, 1916 during World War will soon open in Denmark. Photo: Scanpix

Britain yesterday kicked off a week of commemorations marking one hundred years since the Battle of Jutland, the largest naval battle of World War I.

Border checks
First migrants make it from Denmark to Sweden on foot
The Øresund Bridge connects Copenhagen to Malmö. Photo: Colourbox

Dozens of attempts to cross the Øresund Bridge have been made, but this is the first successful crossing.

Seagulls 1, Aarhus 0
Aarhus's Hitchcockian nightmare will continue. Photo: Stefan W/Flickr

Officials in Denmark’s second city declared an all-out war on seagulls earlier this year. They lost.

Russia lashes out at ‘hostile’ Denmark
Russia's ambassador to Denmark, Mikhail Vanin. Photo: Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Kingdom of Denmark

Russia’s ambassador to Denmark accused the Danes of being “hostile” and “anti-Russian” in an interview published on Friday.

Danish MP cleared for 'bomb civilians' remark
Søren Espersen of the Danish People's Party. File photo: Keld Navntoft/Scanpix

Copenhagen Police have dropped proceedings against Danish People’s Party (DF) spokesperson Søren Espersen after he said that Denmark “should start” bombing civilians in Syria.

Denmark's biggest IPO to be windfall for Goldman Sachs
Dong's expected market value is up to 106.5 billion kroner. Photo: Claus Fisker/Scanpix

The Danish wind farm group Dong Energy is valued at up to $16 billion, leading to renewed debate about its partial sale to the US investment bank.

Sponsored Article
VIDEO: Why Malmö is the world's 6th best city for biking
Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
National
Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
How Copenhagen achieved an ‘organic food revolution’
National
How Copenhagen achieved an ‘organic food revolution’
Travel
The second best destination in all of Europe is...
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Sport
We are the champions! Denmark wins world badminton team title
After 100 years, British WW1 sailor identified in Denmark
National
After 100 years, British WW1 sailor identified in Denmark
Society
Strangest political story in Denmark just got stranger
International
Keeping Denmark in Europol 'maybe impossible'
Analysis & Opinion
Green card holders tell Denmark to keep its promise
National
Denmark picks F-35 in historic jet purchase
Society
Denmark to no longer define transgender as mental illness
National
Danish minister tells 'Sharia' troublemakers to 'get a job'
Culture
Danish 'martyr' exhibit reported to police
National
Denmark extends 'temporary' border measures for sixth time
National
Denmark nears final decision on controversial fighter jets
Society
Muslim ‘girls only’ swimming sessions ripple Danish waters
National
Could Danes face a 'red meat tax' to help climate?
National
Denmark unable to process or issue visas
Denmark to go to war against Isis in Syria
International
Denmark to go to war against Isis in Syria
Business & Money
How Denmark’s national bank card is about to change
Culture
The best Danish bands you've (maybe) never heard of
Danes leaving the church in droves
Society
Atheist campaign gets Danes to leave the church in droves
2,290
jobs available