I’m back in Copenhagen after a long weekend at Roskilde Festival. I haven’t been to many music festivals but I have attended a few big ones in the past and I got to tell you, none of them compares to the Danish four-day music extravaganza. Trust me, if you ever want to experience Denmark at its best and get a sense of what their people is all about, come to Roskilde. You will never forget it.
Anyway, this was my second year and although I didn’t see anyone getting peed on (disappointing, I know), the overall experience was pretty good; I discovered a few acts whose music I want to delve into, managed to finally catch some bands I had been wanting to see live for a long time, and got reunited with the greatest Spandauer ever. I tried to keep a brief diary via Facebook so, to save us some time, I’m just going to copy and paste what I posted there and just elaborate further when necessary. I will also break it down into 3 posts. Let’s see:
Roskilde Festival, day 1: after going around the camping site for 15mins, I finally found my tent. My neighbor is a guy called Thomas who offered me a shot of white rum as soon as I arrived. Nice.
Outkast was great, better than I expected. Fun to see everyone dancing.
The Rolling Stones were surprisingly good, too! I had high expectations and considering how old everyone in that band is, the show was terrific. And over 2 hours! Well done.
As I was going back to my tent, saw and old man sleeping with a half-eaten sandwich in his hand. Must have had a blast watching The Stones play.
For those of you who know the story: I’m glad to inform no one was peed on.
One of the great things about Roskilde is that the sound is most stages is perfect and bands are usually very loud and crisp, which really gets people into festival mood. Outkast was a big party and The Rolling Stones, well, they are the bloody Satanic Majesties, aren’t they? Fantastic show featuring a solid selection of classics everyone could sing along to.
Pinpointing a highlight out of a setlist that was packed with greatest hits is hard but I remember getting quite emotional during “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”, not because I’m a sensitive Stones fan but because I have a special bond with the song, a bond that was established, almost by accident, a couple of years ago in London when the whole UK visa bullshit when down.
At the time, I desperately wanted to stay in England and was devastated when I heard I had to leave the country for reasons that were beyond my control; a shortsighted anti-immigration policy enforced by the UK government left me with no other choice but to pack my bags and move somewhere else in Europe where I could work legally. That place ended up being Copenhagen, a city I had never visited before and where I had no friends at all. Clearly, moving there was not what I wanted but it soon became evident to me that it was just what I needed.
Fast forward a year and a half later, and there I was, at Roskilde, watching Mick Jagger sing those lyrics in front of my eyes, and somehow, those words now resonated with me more than they did before. I thought of my last days in London, all troubled and frustrated; I thought of Emily and how heartbroken I was because things between us didn’t played out the way I thought they should have… and then I thought of my situation in Copenhagen now and couldn’t help to smile as Mick reminded me that sometimes you don´t get the things you want, but if you try, well, sometimes you get what you need.
Indeed, what I needed was to be in a place where I don’t obsess over work and success, and instead can focus on enjoying myself and have time to do other things; what I needed was to be with someone who can push me forward and not somebody holding me back, someone who can challenge me and can make me laugh instead of making my life miserable. Luckily for me, Copenhagen has given me both and although I can’t predict what will happen next, right now I’m quite pleased with the way things turned out to be and I’m happy to say that for the first time in a long time, what I want and what I need is just exactly what I currently have.
How cool is that?