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The Great Nordic Inebriation

Roskilde |

Where do I start. As Craig will attest at work, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to keep my reports short.

Top few days in Denmark with Mark, Tubby Nige and Matty K. Roskilde music festival was the target – www.roskilde-festival.dk - one of the larger music festivals in Europe.

Checked out Copenhagen first, well checked out the pub, then walked through the Red Light District on our way to the Carlsberg Brewery. We didn’t know at the time it was the red light district. We thought Copenhagen must be the most debaucherous city we had ever seen. As you can imagine we hurried through with our heads down. And Tubby Nige didn’t stop to eat either.

Carlsberg tour was interesting, if unspectacular. After all the brewery tours I have taken you would think I would know enough to start my own plant. You’d be wrong. I don’t remember a thing. I think I’m too busy concentrating on the free pot of beer at the end of the barley rainbow.

Worked out even better this time, just as we were about to leave, having finished our free drinks, a group of Asian tourists got up from their table, walked over to us and gave us all their remaining free beer tickets. There was much bowing and cheering. We stayed til the brewery closed. Or they ran out of beer. It’s a little hazy.

Train out to Roskilde late afternoon. First sight upon queuing to enter the festival – a girl walking over to the fence, squatting down and… well you get the picture. Festival’s are often remembered for underlying theme, whether it’s rain, trouble, drugs, and occasionally the music. Well this one will be remember for urine. ‘The World is my Toilet’ has never been more unashamedly promoted by members of both sexes.

Walking through the camping area looking for a place to set up it felt like we were walking through a cross between a refugee camp and a Mad Max movie: Mad Mark – Beyond Thunderpants would haunt me all week like an Ed Massey curry.

As one of the last out of the 80,000 to arrive we were real lucky to make camp and set up our flag. Was on the far side of the camp ground, but that wasn’t a bad thing given the state of some of the closer camping areas and the urea swamp that developed in some places.

We were pretty pleased with ourselves, good spot in Little Mogadishu, urine free, and good neighbours. Until 7.45am each morning when the tent Mark and I were sharing became hotter than the Danish girls we never had.

Europeans may have thought they saw the last of kiwi’s in white jump suits in Geneva. The Airborne Firefighting Veterinarian Dolphin Trainers were on tour once more. A better ice breaker you will not find, although we were very reluctant to talk to the guy wandering around the camp site in nothing but a pair of boots and a cowboy hat. Given the ridiculous number of beautiful women in bikinis there was more sausage on display than a butcher’s window.

Thursday we wandered around the camping ground, which included themed areas such as swimming, fishing, sports, and shopping areas (Matty K had to be kept on a short leash) with our crate of piss in tow - £18 for 30 beers probably explains the excessive urination. They basically backed a big truck up and unloaded crate after crate of Tuborg. The Scandinavians may speak outstanding English but do not seem aware of the request “one crate of piss please”. We felt repetition was the key to expanding their vocabulary.

I know we met loads of people from different countries during our journeys around the different campsites, wheeling our crate on an acquired trolley, and had what seemed at the time very interesting conversations, but I remember very little of that. A group of lads offered us a 3-can funnel, which I duly obliged, and met with a rapturous “That’s never been done before”. Yes, in the annals of human civilisation no one has ever successfully undertaken a 3-can funnel. I’ll take your beer and leave you.

Went into the Festival venue late on Thursday. Mark threw a rock at Matty K. Matty K was emotional, in a fairly aggressive manner, not surprising given the chunk missing from his chin. Another addition into the Mark Modrich ‘Not my Finest Hour’ catalogue. I lost the guys shortly afterwards. Walking around in a white jump suit by yourself doesn’t have quite the same impact.

Saw Guns n’ Roses. Not too bad. Played the classics.

Friday was a repeat of Thursday, lost the guys as soon as I went into the festival.
Fat Freddy’s Drop were excellent, Bob Dylan was very average, The Streets were excellent, Scissor Sisters were pretty good.

I have to admit I didn’t shower for 6 days. Fortunately the local swimming hole provided hygiene almost to a sufficient standard, and ‘shower in a can’ topped it off nicely. ‘Who could resist a ginger bearded, smelly, drunk kiwi in a filthy white jump suit?’ was not as rhetorical as I first thought.

Another entry into Mark’s ‘Not my Finest Hour’ Catalogue – Mark jumps on top of me after I dive into the lake, cutting my head open. Made me look suitably hard with blood running down my back, or suitably stupid depending on your perspective.

Saturday saw a whole heap of bands, all of which were most entertaining. Having said that when I’m drunk I find Macca doing a small matinee with his My Little Pony entertaining, so I can’t be sure of the standard.

Brazillian band Cabruera, punk Lagwagon, missed the Deftones as I watched England v Portugal, Primal Scream surprisingly good, random rappers Tech N9ne and Tool were above expectation as well. Managed to check out a bunch of DJ’s as well. Don’t remember who they were, but I do remember 4 guys in white suits dancing around with Scandinavians looking on in amusement (refer photos).

Struggled through the Artic Monkeys, Wolfmother and the Strokes in the Sunday afternoon heat, very hungover, so got back on the beers again and found Franz Ferdinand and Kaiser Chiefs (my pick for most entertaining at Roskilde) in fine form. Roger Water Dark Side of the Moon was pretty amazing as he played most of The Wall as well as Dark Side.

I was amazed at the clarity of sound at all the gigs, with no sound testing. Impressive set up. I would definitely recommend the Roskilde Festival to anyone who doesn’t mind living very rough for a few days. Hardly any attitude, everyone was chilled and friendly, particularly if you wear a white jump suit. Met a few kiwis and sadly there were a few Aussie flags on display.

Packed up mid morning Monday and headed back to Copenhagen. Checked out Christiania in Copenhagen. Kinda like a hippy den where the police don’t really go and the people rule themselves. With the beard and ‘Bevar Christiania’ (Save Christiania) t-shirt on I think I must have looked like I lived there the way people were enquiring about my access to medicinal herbology.

Locations Visited: Copenhagen, Roskilde, Copenhagen

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