The festival has a tradition for guests arriving as early as possible – the phrase “charging the fence” (“vælter hegnet”) has moved into common parlance due to the tradition of knocking over temporary barriers the day the camping grounds open.
But concerned parents at home began to post worried message on the festival’s Facebook page on Sunday night after reports of early arrivers being asked to move their tents due to lack of space and safety regulations.
“Many young people, including my daughter, have queued for 24 hours before the opening at 4pm today [Saturday, ed.]. They ran in like everyone else, found a place to camp, only to be moved on along with 500 others in the area due to fire safety. No signage whatsoever. Now they have nowhere to stay and have been told to wait until 10pm and others say they must wait until 12pm until a space is ready. They are wet and cold and this is just not on!”, wrote one woman according to a report by newspaper Jyllands-Posten.
The average age of Roskilde's 130,000 festival guests is about 24 years and approximately 50,000 tents are set up in the various camping areas.
The main Orange Scene can be made out in the bottom left of this aerial shot of the festival grounds. Photo: SH Luftfoto/Stiig Hougesen/Roskilde Festival
A similar message was posted by a second concerned mother, who wrote that her daughter’s camp was “torn down by a bigger group of young people. Where is Roskilde, where are the security guards?”, the woman wrote.
The parental messages were met with both reassurance and ridicule.
On Monday, social media users began to give the festival five star ratings on Facebook to counteract what they saw as oversensitive criticism from parents.
The expression “curling parents” (“curlingforældre”) emerged on the reviews section of the Facebook page as a term of ridicule for the complaints.
“Terrible! My 32-year-old daughter has been subjected to awful treatment by the festival. When she finally found a bumpy spot, she wanted during the course of the evening to put up her tent and sleep, but – and I find this inappropriate – there was loud music and noise into the early hours,” one sarcastic poster wrote.
Festival spokesperson Christina Bilde told broadcaster DR that she was confident young festival goers could cope with the week away from home.
“Fundamentally I think that, if you let your child or young person go [to the festival], then they should be allowed to fend for themselves. They are great at looking after each other, and they come home at the end of the week and have grown, if they are allowed to,” Bilde said.
The lineup for this year's edition of the festival includes the Foo Fighters, The XX, Arcade Fire, Future Islands and Father John Misty.
The weather forecast for the week suggests a mixed bag overall, with rain a near certainty.