Bob Dylan to play at Denmark’s Roskilde Festival

One of the all-time greats of rock ‘n’ roll will play at Denmark’s largest music festival this summer.

Bob Dylan to play at Denmark’s Roskilde Festival
Bob Dylan in 2012. Photo: FRED TANNEAU/Ritzau Scanpix

A new generation of fans will therefore be able to experience the Nobel Prize-winning songwriter, who also played at Roskilde on several occasions during the 1990s and 2000s.

Dylan, known for songs including Like a Rolling Stone, The Times They Are A-Changin’, Boots of Spanish Leather, Blowin’ in the Wind, A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall and Subterranean Homesick Blues as well as countless others, will play the Danish festival’s main Orange Stage on July 3rd, Roskilde Festival confirmed.

“It’s now been 13 years since he last visited us, so for many of our young participants this could be the first and maybe only time they will have the chance to see an artist of such importance,” programme director Anders Wahrén told DR.

In 2016, Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”, although it took him a while to officially accept the prize.

He has also won 10 Grammy Awards, one Golden Globe and one Academy Award.

Born in 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota, Dylan emerged during the 1960s, with his distinctive vocal phrasing and guitar and harmonica-based music.

“Bob Dylan’s cultural impact can almost not be overstated, even if you don’t also consider his personal, literary or political awareness and engagement,” Wahrén added.

The rock ‘n’ roll icon will be 78 years old when he steps on to the Roskilde stage this summer.

Other acts so far announced for this year’s festival, which is the largest of its kind in northern Europe, include The Cure, Cardi B, Robyn, Travis Scott, Christine and the Queens, Robert Plant and Tears for Fears.

READ ALSO: Roskilde 'is not just stages, but also the space between'

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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.