Roskilde 2009: Rated!
Roskilde, Denmark - 2-5 July
Photographer: Tom Spray15 July 2009
This year's Roskilde Festival set heat records. With the sun baking and the music blasting, guests at the festival spread a cheerful vibe. Even though this year’s line-up had people talking of poor quality months in advance, a fortunate cancellation and an epic finale put Roskilde 2009 amongst the more memorable.
The Site – 7/10
The festival site at Roskilde is ever expanding. This year three smaller stages were spread out on the western side of the main stage, whilst the Arena Tent, with a capacity of up to 17,000, was the main feature to the east. The horned main stage, baptised the Orange Stage due to its characteristic colour, was the centre point once more, holding an audience of 60,000. Crowd-wise some of the venue choices were peculiar, especially when Royksopp played to bursting Arena Tent while Nine Inch Nails entertained a ghost crowd at the main arena. The festival site had numerous entrances from the campsites, so compact crowds and bottle-necks didn't get too bad but, when queuing up to get food, one had to be prepared to wait. Even though the festival site offered a very wide variety of delicious eats, it also hosted a dizzyingly large sum of hungry guests.
Atmosphere – 8/10
For the first time ever Roskilde chose to sell single day tickets for any of the four concert days. This resulted in more focus on the music among the guests and less dominance from the drunken teenage caners. Many guests had come for just 24 hours and fully intended to make the most of the packed musical program. The amazing Danish summer sun also contributed to a positive and relaxed atmosphere. Between concerts people would hang out in the shade in front of the Orange Stage, making it one gigantic picnic spot. Unfortunately though, the air was filled for the most part with dust and urine vapors, resulting in the odd sore throat and fever – a common price for festival fun.
Coldplay – 9/10
Chris Martin said it himself while on stage: Sunday night concerts at a festival are tough for both the audience as well as the performers. Despite this, an enormous crowd had waited all Sunday to hear Coldplay and the wait was worth it. Martin and gang succeeded in reaching out to masses by teleporting themselves from the stage onto a platform in the middle of the capacity crowd. Cell-phone waves, sing-a-longs and Martin practicing his Danish resulted in a tight knitted atmosphere. A captivating concert that never steered away from a strong musical focus. A perfect finale.
Oasis – 8/10
A bit past their prime, Oasis visited the Orange Stage on the Friday night. Yet the audience didn’t seem to mind that the hits belonged to the 90’s. The Britpop band delivered a delightfully predictable and nostalgic concert mixed up with songs from their new album. Warming up to the crowd, Liam Gallagher left an overwhelmed and extremely satisfied crowd with ‘Champagne Supernova’.
Lily Allen – 7/10
British songbird Lily Allen played for a large Arena crowd on the Saturday night. There weren't many surprises in her sing-along show, which still ignited quite a dance party in the steamy tent. A cover of Britney's ‘Womanizer’ lifted the roof and the concert was rightfully branded a successful pop show.
Kanye West – 5/10
The American superstar delivered a poor performance as Thursday night’s big act. He delivered his first concert on his European tour as if it was his last. Starting the concert out with soulful ballads from his new album, he halted halfway through the concert to rant about everything, nothing and mostly himself. Following the 10-minute monologue he shot out hit after hit in an indifferent manner, and managed only to keep the audience alive through the beat of his tracks.
By Tora Eff