Syrian National Orchestra to open Roskilde Festival

The 2016 Roskilde Festival will be kicked off with a performance by the Syrian National Orchestra for Arabic Music, fronted by Damon Albarn.

Syrian National Orchestra to open Roskilde Festival
Damon Albarn and the Syrian National Orchestra will open this year's Roskilde Festival. Photo: Mark Allan
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. 
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. 

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Six months later, Roskilde Festival death remains a mystery

Mid and West Zealand Police said on Thursday that investigators have been unable to determine the why a 20-year-old Copenhagen woman died at last summer’s Roskilde Festival.

Six months later, Roskilde Festival death remains a mystery
The young woman died in her tent. Photo Bobby Anwar
Police said that it has been ruled out that the woman was the victim of a crime and that there were no traces of alcohol, drugs or any type of poisoning in her body. 
The woman died on July 2nd in her tent at Roskilde Festival, which is Denmark’s largest and oldest music festival. 
A friend sleeping in the same tent noticed that the 20-year-old was having difficulty breathing and along with others helped get the woman out of the tent. They attempted to perform first aid and responders rushed the woman to the hospital. 
At the time, police said that “everything points to this being an isolated incident” but six months later there is no further clarity on what actually happened. 
“We consider the case closed. We have unfortunately been unable to figure out what she died from,” police spokesman Carsten Andersen told TV2 News.