Denmark’s summer festival race heats up

A total of 30 new musical acts were rolled out in duelling announcements from Roskilde Festival and Tinderbox on Thursday, with the NorthSide Festival making additions of its own earlier this week.

Denmark's summer festival race heats up
Mastodon was one of 24 new acts added to the 2015 Roskilde Festival line-up. Photo: Roadrunner Records
As the final days of winter wind down, the competition on the summer music festival circuit is heating up. 
In a span of just two hours on Thursday, Tinderbox and Roskilde Festival announced a combined 30 new acts for their respective summer festivals.
The upstart Tinderbox got things rolling with the 10am addition of James Blake, Major Lazer, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Go Go Berlin, Emeli Sande and Sheppard. 
Those additions follow on to the Odense-based festival’s announcements of acts including The Prodigy, Faith No More and Modest Mouse in recent weeks. The festival's initial line-up announcement included the likes of Robbie Williams, Calvin Harris and The Cardigans.
First introduced in September, Tinderbox will be holding its inaugural festival June 26-28 in Odense’s Tusindårsskoven, wrapping up just two days before the main musical portion of the 44th annual Roskilde Festival gets underway. 
Two hours after Tinderbox's new additions, Roskilde on Thursday announced a full 24 new acts highlighted by American prog-metal giants Mastodon, former Oasis frontman Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and Swedish sister act First Aid Kit. Both Mastodon and First Aid Kits are repeat guests, the former having played in 2011, 2007 and 2005 and the latter appearing in 2012. 
Roskilde’s Thursday announcement had a distinctly Scandinavian flavor, with eight Danish acts – highlighted by the reunited dancehall sensation Bikstok – two acts from Sweden and three from Norway, including the DJ sensation Kygo. 
Roskilde has previously said that Pharrell Williams, Lamb of God, Disclosure, Muse and The War on Drugs, to name just a few. 
Not to be left out from the festival picture is NorthSide. Although the Aarhus festival wasn’t part of Thursday’s explosion of new acts, it did add English singer-songwriter Ben Howard and American rapper Earl Sweatshirt, among others, on Tuesday and has already announced big names including the Black Keys, Wu-Tang Clan, Little Dragon and the Jesus and Mary Chain. 
NorthSide will hold its sixth annual festival June 12-14. 
With more than three months to go – and dozens of acts still to be revealed – it’s looking like the clear winner in the three-way festival race will be music fans in Denmark and its surrounding countries. 

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Denmark’s summer music festival hopes fade

The possibility of large-scale music festivals taking place in Denmark this summer has been described as “unrealistic” following the publication of expert recommendations for coronavirus-safe events.

Denmark’s summer music festival hopes fade
The Roskilde Festival during the glorious summer of 2018. Photo: Sofie Mathiassen/Ritzau Scanpix

Music events such as the Roskilde Festival, the largest of its kind in northern Europe, would not be able to take place as normal and must be without overnight guests under the recommendations, submitted in report form by an expert advisory group to the government on Friday.

The group, appointed as part of the national reopening plan, was tasked with looking at how festivals and other large events can take place this summer.

The recommendations will provide the basis political discussions which will form an agreement over large events which will be integrated into the reopening plan.

READ ALSO: Denmark enters new phase of reopening plan: Here’s what changed on April 21st

Seven various scenarios, including one for outdoors, standing events, were considered by the expert group in forming its recommendations. Two phases have been set down for eased restrictions on large events, which are currently banned due to the public assembly limit.

In the final phase of the restrictions towards the end of the summer, a maximum of 10,000 people would be permitted to attend an event. All attendees would be required to present a valid corona passport, and audiences would be split into sections of 2,000.

Although that could provide a framework for some events to take place, Roskilde Festival, which normally has a total of around 130,000 guests and volunteers including sprawling camping areas, appears to be impossible in anything resembling its usual format.

The festival was also cancelled in 2020.

Roskilde Festival CEO Signe Lopdrup, who was part of the expert group, said the festival was unlikely to go ahead should it be required to follow the recommendations.

“Based on the recommendations, we find it very difficult to believe it is realistic to organise festivals in Denmark before the end of the summer,” Lopdrup said in a written comment to broadcaster DR.

The restrictions would mean “that it is not possible to go ahead with the Roskilde Festival. That’s completely unbearable. But that’s where we’ve ended,” she added.

The news is potentially less bleak for other types of event with fewer participants, with cultural and sporting events as well as conferences also included in the recommendations submitted by the group.

Parliament has previously approved a compensation scheme for major events forced to cancel due to coronavirus measures this summer.