This year Good because Danish is trying to show you guys the “Danish side” of one of the biggest European summer festivals happening in DK – Roskilde Festival. We spoke with Tommy Andersen, project manager of Roskilde Rising, the very special initiative which is supposed to help young Danish bands showing themselves to the international audience during the festival (as well as before and after the event).
We also got a chance to chat with some of the DK bands that already played Roskilde Festival as upcoming acts. Daniel from Bottled In England, Signe from Nelson Can and Søren from Mother Lewinsky shared their RF experience with us. How did the Roskilde Festival performance look like for them? Let’s move into the past and imagine we’re on stage with these bands…
Finding out that your band will play Roskilde Festival – THE Roskilde Festival – is definitely a first amazing experience:
“It felt almost too good to be true” – says Daniel from Bottled In England. “I was jumping around, called friends and family to tell about it. It was a great feeling“ – remembers Søren from Mother Lewinsky. “We screamed like little girls! On the phone – because we were not in the same country when we found out” – tells us Signe from Nelson Can.
The bands work hard to get to the Roskilde Festival stage – so when the coveted award is there, the excitement and joy have to be huge.
As Bottled In England states: “Roskilde Festival is sort of the window to the rest of the world.”
Mother Lewinsky explains why: “…it is because it is a festival with a long history. Lots of legendary artists have been playing at the Roskilde stages through the years, and the festival is one of the few places in Denmark, where you still find the hippie culture and the rock’n roll spirit alive.”
The bands are aware what a big honour and opportunity it is to perform at Roskilde Festival. Therefore, the stress connected with it can be killing. It’s a great test for a young band. What do the bands remember from the very first moment of entering the stage?
Bottled In England were feeling “that this was where we were supposed to be. And then, you know, ‘wow’!”
Signe from Nelson Can had nearly a “black out” experience: “To be honest I think I just shut down my brain to try and avoid getting too nervous and then I just gave it all I had in me. It’s almost like I blacked out. I don’t remember much from actually being on stage just that I was constantly thinking: OMG!! SO MANY PEOPLE!!!”.
Mother Lewinsky remembers that: “Entering the stage was amazing. First of all, the tent was packed – before the show we made different projects with Roskilde Rising, the Roskilde Festival program for upcoming bands. These projects gave Mother Lewinsky lots of attention and therefore many people came to see the concert. (…) It was a feeling of “OK this is it, this is our moment to shine and show people, what Mother Lewinsky is”. And then it felt like it was over in five minutes”.
Watch the full Roskilde Festival shows of Mother Lewinsky (2013) and Bottled In England (2011) below:
The Roskilde Festival concert is often one of the most important ones in the Danish bands’ careers. But nothing goes perfect.
What was the biggest “fuck-up” (sorry for the word) during the show for Bottled In England? Daniel tells: “The sound engineer forgot to turn on MANKYs mic…twice…besides that, it couldn’t have gone better”.
However, there were also a few surprises that he remembers: “Four girls passed out during the show. The crowd was rowdy indeed, and we’re a handsome couple of guys, but it still came as a surprise”.
Such great moments on their RF shows are really appreciated by the bands. Especially, because these Danish artists are playing on the biggest national music event of the year. That means something special for them.
Søren (Mother Lewinsky) explains perfectly, how important it is to play at such huge event IN Denmark: “Roskilde is just the biggest, and everyone in Denmark knows it. (…) Maybe it’s because all Danish people grow up with it and when you are young in Copenhagen, all your friends go there. I’ve been playing lots of bigger festivals around the world, but for some reason, it still feels like something special to come home and play at our own biggest festival”.
It’s still the biggest dream for many Danish bands to be able to – one day – play the famous Orange Stage itself.
“To play Orange Stage is not only a dream for many bands, but it is also almost impossible to get there. Only a few Danish bands play there every year. The band that gets to open Orange Stage is normally a band that has not completely made it yet, but is more than an upcoming band. It’s a slot many upcoming bands dream about, and it’s something the papers and the magazines write a lot about. It still matters a lot. It’s almost mythical! Statistically though, the last time a female musician opened Orange Stage was 27 years ago, so it’s not looking bright for us… haha” – notices, with a little smile, Signe (Nelson Can).
Big dreams, big hopes and – we can say it for sure after chatting with the bands – an amazing life time experience: that’s what a Roskilde Festival performance means for all of the Danish bands.
Nelson Can says playing the RF show: “made us a band. I honestly don’t think we would be a band today if it wasn’t for Roskilde Festival. It meant that we got a lot of attention from all the right people in the music industry and that we actually had something to begin to build our carreer on. After that show we realized that this was what we wanted to do. We wanted to be musicians. And we wanted to get a hell lot better. That’s when we decided to get real serious about the band”.
The Pavilion Junor stage concert of Mother Lewinsky gave them lots of things :“First of all, in the music business it is extremely respected, so it has opened new doors and opportunities for Mother Lewinsky. We also got a lot of new audience – we often meet fans at our shows that discovered Mother Lewinsky because of our Roskilde Festival show. Another important thing is that it gave us a lot of confidence – we got a feeling, that our music had potential for something big”.
After such experience of playing Roskilde Festival as an upcoming band, what can you do more? Well, you can for example go back to playing as part of the regular line-up. Like Bottled In England will do this year (two Roskilde Festival appearances without releasing an album – the debut LP will be out in August 2014). How does it feel to be back? Bigger pressure than playing the “upcoming” stage?
Daniel answers: “There’s a big difference. When you’re playing an upcoming stage, you gain some extra crowd easily just by being ‘the new kids on the block’. But when you’re part of the real line-up, people will actually have to choose to go to a Bottled in England-concert…and I hope they will…I think they should…because it’s gonna be awesome!”
We definitely agree with him and we’re SO MUCH looking forward to this year’s Roskilde Festival edition. Maybe the Roskilde Rising stage concerts will bring us another sensation like MØ? Maybe bands like Bottled In England will gain international appreciation? There will be a lot of great musical experiences for both artists and the audience – that’s for sure!
Check out our YouTube playlist with this year’s Roskilde Rising acts HERE. See you at Roskilde!