VIDEO: Festivalgoers praise ‘forward-thinking’, organic Northside

The Local spoke to festivalgoers at the Northside festival in Aarhus about organic food, sustainability and, of course, music.

VIDEO: Festivalgoers praise 'forward-thinking', organic Northside
Photo: Jonatan Nothlev/Northside

Several people at the festival, which sells only organic food, told The Local that the focus on organic produce was a key aspect of their festival experience.

“It’s incredibly important to create focus on it in today’s society when we have a lot of plastic and things being sprayed with all sorts of good stuff,” said Sophie Ingeborg Gade, one of hundreds of volunteers enlisted by Northside to collect and sort tonnes of recyclable rubbish at the three-day event.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Northside festival gets drenched on opening day

The festival's organisers announced earlier this year plans to become fully powered by sustainable energy, replacing diesel generators with wind and solar cells by 2020. 

“It maybe requires a bit more planning, a bit more forethought, but it’s not totally unachievable, so it’s really nice to come and be a part of something that is a bit forward-thinking,” said Canadian Ryan Kennedy, a branding executive who lives in Aarhus.

International and Scandinavian acts including Frank Ocean, Veronica Maggio, MØ, James Blake, Richard Ashcroft and The Prodigy all appeared on Northside's 37-concert programme.

British indie giants Radiohead are scheduled to close the festival on Sunday evening.

READ ALSO: Northside: Radiohead to play first Danish gig in eight years


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.