Roskilde Festival is slowly transforming itself into something it is difficult to keep liking. This is nothing new and it is a process that has been going on for several years now. It used to be a music festival always presenting a lot of major acts + upcomers competing with the best and greatest rock festivals all over Europe. It was mostly a rock'n'roll festival which attracted music lovers from all over the world. On top of that, it was also lots of fun and well renowned for the great pre-party in the days leading towards the festival. But it was always mostly about the great music experience.
This has changed a lot in recent years and it is fair to say that Roskilde Festival is now a giant funfair for youngsters having fun on the camping grounds. The music is only second priority now. The festival is no longer getting major acts (with a few exceptions) and the music being booked has been divided into so many lame subgenres that there is no musical direction whatsoever.
One thing is certain: it is no longer a rock'n'roll festival. This is apparently intentional judging from interviews given by the responsible people behind the festival. It seems that they now only want to target a younger audience (below 25?), and I guess this means even more dj based "music", electronic performances, techno, rap and even some live music worse than that. It probably also means even more focus on non-musical fun and entertainment, just to keep the youngsters entertained.
The problem is of course not that the festival attracts young people. The problem is that it now cuts off even more segments of it's former audience. Roskilde Festival used to be for everybody. Young, old, punk, metal head, Danish people, foreigners, you name it. All people who went were bound together by their love for the music. The problem now is that the new festival profile attracts a lot of the wrong segments for all the wrong reasons.
The Roskilde Festival that I used to love years ago is already officially dead, no doubt about it. I have been very lucky in the last few years to have been given some privileges making festival life much easier and more comfortable for me. Also an act like Prince last year will always make me decide to go no matter what. This year it was only about the good company, a few good bands and the fact that I was lucky enough to be able to stay in VIP-like accommodation (compared to the camping grounds.)
It is however getting harder and harder to justify paying the insanely high ticket prices when the music program sucks so badly, and I'm not at all sure, if I'll be coming back next year. They'll probably have to pull a Prince size act to persuade me to go again. If the "Orange Feeling" just means funfair world and fuck about the rock'n'roll music I love - then I might as well just go someplace else with a more sane idea of how to run and create the perfect rock festival.
Roskilde, it's been a fun ride visiting you 15 times, paying my first visit in 1994. It hurts me seeing you killing yourself.
- "Iron Maiden" (the only real major act this year) did what you could and would expect of them. They played a fine solid gig.
- "Killing Joke" played an awesome gig, but only for a somewhat small audience. I suppose the young hipsters had no clue who they are.
- "1349" were fairly evil, but they played a better gig at Wacken Open Air in 2010.
Apart from the above, I saw good performances from: Raveonettes and Mastodon. Other than that, nothing impressive to report about musically.