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Experiencing Roskilde Festival, a musical feast

07-04-2011 09:58 BJT

ROSKILDE, Denmark, July 3 (Xinhua) -- Starting June 30 for four days, over 80,000 music lovers from all over Europe gathered at Roskilde Festival.

At the festival site some 35 kilometers west of Copenhagen, capital of Denmark, the visitors braved heavy rains and muddy ground to pitch their tents, sing and dance, and hold mass parties where the beer flowed freely.

But their most important and self-appointed task was to enjoy live performances from some of the biggest names in popular music today. In all, some 180 bands performed on six stages, both open-air and indoors, while 163 musicians showcased a range of musical genres from around the globe, during the festival.

From 1971 when it was founded, and up till 2011, Roskilde Festival has presented acts by classic bands such as English rock legends The Rolling Stones, Irish rockers U2 and newer, indie-rock sensations like Oasis and Coldplay, from the UK. This mix makes Roskilde Festival a window from which to witness the history and continuous development of popular music.

Esben Danielsen, the festival's music director, told Xinhua that "Unlike the previous years, this year's festival has set focus particularly on the audience under 25 years-old."

"Roskilde Festival should not be getting older together with the audience. We should focus on the new and young minds and put new and fresh blood into the festival. We want to see upcoming stars on the stage of Roskilde Festival," he said.


This year, some of the headline performers at Roskilde included major stars such as English bands Arctic Monkeys, Portishead and Iron Maiden, US bands Kings of Leon, Mastodon and TV on the Radio, as well as British female rapper M.I.A.

A variety of beats featured on the first day, with godfathers of heavy-metal Iron Maiden, and English singer-songwriter PJ Harvey attracting many fans.

Danish indie-rock duo The Raveonettes, playing on their home turf, raised the festival atmosphere to fever pitch on day two.

Referred to as "the next wave" in rock music by both "Rolling Stone" and "Q" magazines, the band got the audience cheering and waving wildly, and belting-out the numbers played during their one-and-a-half hour long set.

Afterwards, sludge metal band Mastodon played its brand of fast, strong music which electrifies its audiences everywhere.

And later, Beth Gibbons, lead singer of Portishead, revealed her sensual vocals, which formed a perfect match with the band's keyboard, guitar, and drums.

Sabrina, a Portishead fan from Brazil, had waited at the venue entrance for two hours before the show started just to get a good place to watch the performance.

"I love Portishead. I feel so happy today to watch the live show of Portishead," she said.

The Arctic Monkeys, who have won a lot of music awards, performed the exciting headline show of the third day, on the festival's famous, orange-canopied main stage.

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