Roskilde Festival volunteers to receive terror training

When well over 100,000 people transform a field outside of Roskilde into northern Europe’s largest music festival this summer, watchful eyes will be on the lookout for suspicious and dangerous behaviour.

Roskilde Festival volunteers to receive terror training
Some 130,000 people attend the Roskilde Festival. Photo: Stiig Hougesen/Roskilde Festival
Roskilde Festival volunteers will be trained by Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) agents on how to spot potential terrorists amongst the throngs, radio station P4 København reported on Thursday. 
The festival’s head of security, Morten Therkildsen, told P4 that PET agents will provide evening courses for volunteer leaders to teach them what to look for. 
“That way we will have a good relationship with PET that can ensure that our volunteers know how to react if they experience something that is outside of the norm,” he said. 
Therkildsen said that the festival, which is run entirely by volunteers, needs to be extra vigilant given recent events. 
“We can always be better. Therefore there will also be some small changes this year because there is an increased focus on events when it comes to terror,” he told P4. 
Some 30,000 volunteers are behind the annual festival, taking care of everything from building the stages, keeping toilet facilities clean, manning VIP check-ins and cleaning up the sizable mess left behind after a week-long party with around 100,000 guests. 
The final line-up for this year’s Roskilde Festival was released last week

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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.