ROSKILDE FESTIVAL HAS HELPED MAKE COPENHAGEN NIGHT-LIFE SAFER

PUBLISHED MONDAY 20.1.2020

They calm down loud guests, remind them that trash goes in the bin and deescalate conflicts. A pilot project with patrolling street teams in the nightlife, so-called night hosts, has proven to be so effective that Copenhagen Municipality has decided to continue the project.

The night hosts are on the streets every Friday and Saturday from 10 at night to six in the morning. They walk around the inner city of Copenhagen and encourage guests to show consideration for the residents and each other.

The project was set up on a trial basis in March of 2019 after many years of problematic experiences with street parties and disturbances in the nightlife. It has since received political backing and will continue in 2020.

Roskilde Festival is responsible for training the night hosts, and the festival has even made available competences and experiences for the development of the overall concept in collaboration with Copenhagen Municipality.

Uses experiences from festival

Among other things, the festival’s safety experts have trained the night hosts in psychology, conflict management and working with creating a safe environment.

The night hosts establish, among other things, a dialogue with pubs and doormen about street noise management, outdoor seating and queue management. Photo: Anders Graver

They have gained great insight into these issues from working with creating one of Europe’s largest youth cultural events, which annually attracts 130,000 young people in a temporary city, in which they live and party together.

“The collaboration with Roskilde Festival has been both positive and beneficial. The experiences and knowledge about handling large groups of partying – mainly young – people that Roskilde Festival has contributed with in the development of the concept and the training of the first night hosts, has been a significant factor,” says Copenhagen mayor for the Culture and Leisure Administration, Franciska Rosenkilde.

Dialogue creates safety

According to the Culture and Leisure Administration, police, bouncers and restauranteurs experience that the mere presence of the night hosts has a positive effect on people’s behaviour in the nightlife. It also frees up police resources to concentrate on actual police work.

The night hosts act as a link between police, doormen, noise guards and SSP (a collaboration between schools, social authorities and police). Photo: Anders Graver

“Earlier, nobody was responsible for this area in the streets of Copenhagen. The police are responsible for occurrences that are more serious, bouncers are only responsible for what takes place in the bars and the noise guards only take care of the noise level at pubs and bars. The night hosts are trained in entering into a dialogue with the guests and encourage them to be more considerate of the communal space, which the streets are,” says Morten Therkildsen, Roskilde Festival's safety manager.

According to Franciska Rosenkilde the approach has worked:

“The night hosts have a great potential and are a great example of how far we can get with dialogue and collaboration. The night hosts are able to make a difference, because they use dialogue to create a safe environment and balance in a nightlife filled with partying citizens and tourists.”

Active all year round

  • All year round, Roskilde Festival uses the skills that have been built through working with the festival, which has existed since 1971.
  • This takes place through RF Experience that is part of the Roskilde Festival Group.
  • Each year, RF Experience takes part in about 250 events and develop various solutions.
  • RF Experience is responsible for the collaboration with Copenhagen Municipality on the night host project.
  • Find out more about RF Experience here.

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