Roskilde Festival, Denmark

Rave Scandinavia style at Roskilde

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Helen Twigg

Helen Twigg
HomeAway travel expert

Festival scene Lying 35 kilometres west of Copenhagen, the ancient city of Roskilde is reborn each festival year. Roskilde draws avid music lovers from across the globe, as well as seasoned festivalgoers on homesoil. Situated in the south of the city, the festival boasts enviable lineups and has secured some of the world's biggest acts. Taking place in late June and early July, the largest festival in Northern Europe caters for a diverse section of globetrotters and festivalgoers, and competes with Europe's largest arts festivals. Having trawled the festival site, claimed the perfect vantage point for your favourite live acts, and discovered upcoming talent as well as Danish musicians, reflect on your evening in one of our Copenhagen rentals.


Roskilde Festival


Background Background

Roskilde is a lovechild of two Danish students: in 1971, two young music lovers organised the first instance of the cult festival. Like Glastonbury, the festival has historic links with humanitarian causes, and this is still reflected in many of its partnerships. The non-profit organisation, the Roskilde Foundation, continues to successfully organise one of Europe’s most revered musical events year upon year. Still popular with Scandinavian ravers and rockers, the festival now welcomes crowds from across the globe, and with crowd numbers reaching 100,000, the festival now enjoys an international vibe.

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Headline acts Headline acts

Roskilde’s international crowd is mirrored by its cutting-edge, multinational lineup. Aiming to appeal to both new festivalgoers and seasoned ravers, Roskilde's ability to book critically acclaimed acts is crucial. Previous headliners have included The Kinks, U2, Talking Heads, Lou Reed, The Smiths, Bob Dylan, Muse and Bruce Springsteen! Leave star struck, an experience owed to the festival’s intimate feel.

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Upcoming talent Upcoming talent

Roskilde regularly plans a diverse lineup, a characteristic shared with other major European festivals. Traditionally, the festivals main stage is opened on the first day by local Scandinavian bands, meaning that visitors are able to experience local promising talent. Within Roskilde’s nine stages and arenas, festivalgoers can expect a wide range of cultural and musical performances. Tent performances offer more intimate live gigs, and visitors can widen their musical horizons by discovering classical acts, opera events, film-music and theatre productions.

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Festival events Festival events

Roskilde's progressive stance is reflected by a number of events held during the festival. In an effort to promote a more open-minded and tolerant attitude, the festival organisers have pioneered a 'Change' initiative: festivalgoers are encouraged to engage with a number of workshops and projects on site, including an interactive 3-D 'Dream City' that enables you to create your own utopian society. Visitors can take some comic relief during the infamous naked run through the festival site - prizes include free festival tickets for the male and female winners!

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Surrounding area Surrounding area

With its rich heritage, stunning twelfth century cathedral and unique Viking ship museum, Roskilde provides a quaint setting away from the main festival site. Enjoy the city by foot, and wander through the city square, dominated by traditional Danish archtiecture and the city hall and palace. Alternatively, board a viking boat on the fjord or hike to Boserup Forest. The Land of Legends Lejre provides a unique reconstruction of an Iron Age village and Viking Market, enabling you to fully appreciate the country's rich history and cultural heirtage.

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