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Roskilde Festival: The orange feeling

October 26, 2022

For many Danes, the highlight of the year is the festival season. This might explain why Denmark is the country in the world with the highest amount of music festivals per inhabitant. As the epicentre for Danish and international music, art and culture, Roskilde Festival is Northern Europe’s largest festival. Every year the festival demonstrates how experimentation, volunteer work and strong values of sustainability and equality can come together.

Roskilde Festival as a test lab for green solutions

From the end of June into the first week of July, Roskilde Festival constitutes Denmark’s fourth largest city, which is established and taken down again every year. It is an experimental space for art, sustainability, cultural projects, new ways of creating community and addressing societal issues. A free space where young people explore new perspectives based on art and creativity. And a real-time innovation lab for testing out new products and ideas.

"Roskilde Festival is an amalgam of music, art, food, community and sustainability projects. And a very concrete job of building what constitutes Denmark’s fourth largest city and dismantling it again once a year."


Roskilde Festival has for years had a cooperation with DTU (The Technical University of Denmark), where talented teams of students develop new and sustainable solutions and test them in the rough environment that a festival is. This has led to several successful start-ups and products such as DropBucket, making more sustainable waste management Volt mobile charging and PeeFence waterless urinals which have all grown out of Roskilde Festival. It demonstrates the festivals’ role as an experimental space where youth culture and sustainability issues mix and through creativity results in new products and businesses as well as a heightened awareness around the issues and an idea of creating something, not solely for one’s own sake, but for the sake of the community and the environment.

A recently launched partnership for Roskilde Festival is with Danish Industry (Dansk Industri), where the collaboration has begun with a joint effort in relation to EU’s New European Bauhaus project. The purpose is examining new ways of creating circular and sustainable societies, using culture as a social catalyst for behavioral change.

It is a complex problem to transform urban areas into sustainable, inclusive, and aesthetic cities and this cooperation is expected to result in putting forward solutions and conclusions from the ‘Roskilde Festival lab’ and into the work on future cities.

The goal is to gain inspiration from the initiatives that can inspire New European Bauhaus projects with tests and results from new solutions that ultimately leads to action and establishing a common platform for urban development and circular events.

Furthermore, the partners have initiated a short-term explorative involvement for the “well-being economy”. This project looks at how to build an economy that operates with safe environmental limits and serves the collective well-being of current and future generations.

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About Roskilde Festival

Roskilde Festival is Northern Europe’s largest festival. It is an epicentre for Danish and international music, art, and culture. The festival demonstrates how experimentation, volunteer work, and strong values of sustainability and equality can come together to create a space where even crowd-control is based on trust. In that way, it is a microcosmos of what Danish creative culture is all about. Most of the manpower is supplied by volunteers and the profits are donated to culture and charities. This creates a special atmosphere and makes for a very unique festival experience for festivalgoers, volunteers, and artists alike.

Fun facts about Roskilde Festival

  • The festival's iconic main stage, known for its characteristic shape and orange colour that has come to symbolise the festival.
  • Capacity about 60,000.
  • The original Orange Stage was first used in 1978. The current version is from 2001 and roughly 33 % bigger than the original.
  • The original tent was designed for The Rolling Stones' summer tour in 1976 after which the festival bought it in 1978. This means the Orange Stage celebrates its 41st birthday this year.
  • The canopy weighs 3.5 tonnes. It's 67 metres wide, 43 metres deep and 20 metres tall. The front arch is 32 metres wide.
  • It takes two weeks for about 120 volunteers to build the Orange Stage area. It takes four days to take it down.