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Last weekend, Roskilde Festival took place in the Danish town of the same name. The sun, a big lineup, and enthusiastic crowds contributed to a great atmosphere. Roskilde 2018 was a musical party.

Festileaks was there and asked over 100 festival goers about their opinion on six categories of the festival experience. We present the average grades in the Festival Report. We will do this at several festivals all over Europe this summer. Want to stay updated? Follow Festileaks on Facebook or Instagram.This was Roskilde 2018 according to the festival’s visitors.

Lineup: 7.6

Photo: Niek Bosma / Festileaks
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A major festival such as Roskilde needs a worthy lineup, and the Danish festival succeeded in providing this. With acts like Nick Cave & The Bad SeedsGorillazBruno MarsMassive Attack and Eminem, the organisation had booked major headliners. For Eminem, it was even his first show in Denmark ever! Like many others, Mads (23) from Esbjerg was jubilant: “I’ve finally seen Eminem live. My festival can’t go wrong any more.”

Apart from the big headliners, the Danish acts were also popular. Artists such as Nephew, CV Jørgensen and Alex Vargas could count on full festival fields and exploding tents. Typical home games with an excellent atmosphere.

Side programme: 6.8

Roskilde Festival 2018
Photo: Niek Bosma / Festileaks

While the musical lineup was very extensive, the side programme was rather limited for such a big festival. Still, apart from the music there was enough to do. For example, Roskilde had a centrally located art zone where special constructions and murals brightened up the festival grounds. You could participate in guided art tours, spray graffiti yourself, or go to one of the many lectures (by Chelsea Manning, among others). The Swedish Eleanora (25) enjoyed this: “Sometimes it’s nice to escape the crowds for a short while. The lectures are small-scale and, above all, super interesting.”

Atmosphere: 7.7

Roskilde Festival 2018
Photo: Niek Bosma / Festileaks

The atmosphere at Roskilde Festival was more than satisfactory. And how could this have been different? The mostly sunny days and nice breeze were the basis of the good vibes. Funky sunglasses, sunscreen, and go! Hands were up in the air and artists regularly got vocal reinforcement from the audience. Roskilde was on fire.

With more than 100,000 attendants, the festival grounds were extremely crowded at times. However, the large audience and the occasional long queues could not diminish the fun. “Everyone is here to party”, said the Danish Lars. The expression ‘the more the merrier‘ definitely applied here.

Location & looks: 7.2

Roskilde Festival 2018
Photo: Niek Bosma / Festileaks

Because of the extreme drought, the festival grounds looked like the setting of a good western film rather than a festival location. Large sandy areas, sun and whirling sand were all present. Although sometimes annoying for your eyes, the sand also gave a unique twist to the location. Idyllic and green Denmark felt far away.

With no less than seven stages, Roskilde is one of the biggest festivals in Europe. It always remains a challenge to provide for all these festival goers. This year, the toilets proved to be a difficulty. The long queues moved both men and women to change every suitable wall or fence into a makeshift toilet. “The urine flows over the grounds. Really gross!”, said Lynn, and she was not the only one. A clear point of attention.

Food & Drinks: 7.1

Roskilde Festival 2018
Photo: Niek Bosma / Festileaks

Roskilde has a good culinary reputation. Apart from the well-known chips and burgers, there were also more refined options. How about pulled duck, creamy risottos, Eastern omelettes or tasty pastries and pies? Not bad, right? Apart from beer, the many cocktails were especially popular for drinks. The influence of the nice weather, no doubt.

The mark for this category could have been even higher, if only the high prices and long queues had not been a problem. Especially the non-Scandinavians underwent a fierce attack on their bank account. The German Emmy (30) waited 20 minutes to pay €4 for a cup of regular coffee: “It’s like Starbucks here, but then without all the extras.” The food prices could also be exorbitant. For a well-filled pita, wok dish or pizza, you easily paid €11. Relatively cheap was the beer: half a liter for €6.

Logistics: 6.6

Roskilde Festival 2018
Photo: Niek Bosma / Festileaks

Another category that knows two sides. Roskilde scored well on accessibility. For the first time, the festival had its own train station, where trains arrived and departed almost round the clock. At night, the trains even went all the way to Copenhagen, which was well-received by both foreigners and locals. “After a long festival day, there is nothing as great as sleeping in your own bed,” said the 45-year-old Sarah from Copenhagen. Apart from the direct train link, the festival site was also easily reached by bus or by foot from the normal train station. A Roskilde road trip belonged to the possibilities as well.

About the camping possibilities on the festival grounds, the opinions were less positive. While the campsites with pre-pitched tents looked neat and well-organised, the regular campsite was sometimes a true battlefield, with large sandy areas, thousands of tents, mountains of rubbish, and occasionally a pungent urine smell. “The campsite really is a gigantic mess,” the Danish Lara (28) sighed. The English Terry (21) did not mind as much: “This just happens.” A real festival experience for some, for others it was more like a small nightmare.

Festival Reports

This summer, Festileaks is reporting from the biggest festivals in Europe through our Festival Reports. At every festival, we ask over 100 attendants to rate their experience in six fixed categories, and present the averages. In this way, we can conclude at the end of the year which festival scores best in each category. You can check our previous Festival Reports here.

Luc Reij
Currently living in London / from Utrecht, the Netherlands / unnatural obsession with indie music / favourite artists change by the day, but Arcade Fire, Nick Cave, Sigur Rós and Sufjan Stevens are stayers.