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  • Veras Roskilde Festival Sustainability Less Magazine
Words: Esben Sachmann

For the 46th time, the largest music festival in Northern Europe, Roskilde Festival, have been taking place creating an opportunity for people to unplug from their daily routine and head to the 80 hectares of campsite, where they listen to artists from all over the world, experience new things and - not least - party till the break of dawn. The festival transforms the otherwise quiet city Roskilde from being the 10th largest city in Denmark to the fourth largest city in terms of population, due to the 130,000 festivalgoers (not to mention the 21,000 volunteers, 5,000 media and all the artists). Besides the logistics nightmare, this is also an interesting study in how such a massive crowd will challenge the current agenda on sustainability and lack of care for the environment, while leaving over 2,400 tons of camping equipment, when the festival is over. We at Less Magazine wanted to explore this further and went to this year's festival.

Roskilde Festival has since 1972 been run as a non-profit organization and thus the profits have been used to support music, culture and humanism. At the same the festival has created its own platform for addressing important issues and thus constantly trying to challenge status quo. Last year, the festival ran a campaign on the digital surveillance that we are all subject to. This year, the focus has shifted towards social and environmental sustainability and the festival encourages festivalgoers to choose to live a more eco-friendly life and festival style.

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This is a noble cause, and we at Less Magazine applaud the festival for its courage to be the moral influencer; so, we went out to talk with the festivalgoers and volunteers on their festival experience, what they think about Roskilde Festival's eco-friendly perspective and how they practice this, while at the same time partying and drinking. We talked to Sophia and Sarah who are Roskilde regulars.

Less: "Eva, tell us about yourself and why you are going to Roskilde?"

Sophia: "Well, I'm a 24 year old creative working in advertising and I've been to Roskilde the last 8 years with my friends. We started just being a couple of friends from high school, but now more and more people have been joining, so now we are like 20 people going to Roskilde every year. The thing I like about that is that I necessarily don’t see these people during the year, but when we're back at Roskilde, we always have a blast."

Less: "Awesome, how do you feel about Roskilde's engagement in social initiatives and social responsibility?"

Sophia: "It's fun that you said it, because I've been talking about that with one from my camp yesterday. It's like, when I was younger I did notice it a bit, but I definitely think that it's way more present now. Don't you remember last year, where they made beer from people's urine? So funny. No, I do appreciate it more now that I'm getting a bit older, but it could also be the amount of beers I drank when I was younger!"

Less: "Haha, how do you practice being environmental and living sustainable?"

Sophia: "Well, down here, I do find a bit more difficult, because of, for instance, the disposable cutlery, though I did notice that some places this year use disposable forks made of tree instead of plastic. When I was younger, I was really bad and always bought the tents from Harald Nyborg (Danish department store), you know the yellow one's. However, three years ago, I decided to buy a proper tent, because I felt it was a huge waste, both in terms of environment, but also for the people who work with making cheap disposable tents. So I do think it has gotten a lot better in recent years."

The sustainable initiatives does not only touch upon the food, tents and cutlery, but also the new fashion shops that pops up seem to get good traction.

We met Sarah outside Veras, a sustainable 2’nd hand fashion shop.

Less: “Why do you think concepts like Veras is interesting?”

Sarah: “I know Veras from back home in Copenhagen. I have been following them on Instagram for a while and was surprised about how cool the clothes looked. I have honestly always been hesitative in regards to 2’nd hand shops, but this feels a lot different to me than traditional ‘old’ Røde Kors. - And looking good without having to ruin your expensive clothing in the mud is nice haha”

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Header: Less Magazine
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Less Magazine
Picture 3:
Roskilde Festival

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