Artistic sustainability is about enabling change and development in cultural life and at the same time pushing for a more equal access to both performing and experiencing art. 

Art can do all that we don’t otherwise put into perspective. We have a role in strengthening the position of art og artists in society, and we actively support upcoming artists and make the festival site and stages available for new artistic meetings, formats and experiments. 
 
Read here about our goals and focus areas for creating sustainable development in art. 
 
Subjects on this page: 

  • A platform for new voices 
  • Donations to upcoming artists 
  • Artistic innovation 
  • Improving the gender balance
  • Responsible curation 
  • Volunteering and education for the benefit of art 

A platform for new voices

We have an obligation to use the festival as a platform that can draw attention to young artists who are not yet getting the deserved exposure.

At the same time, our programming is based on
a conviction that most socially relevant and engaging agendas are brought about by today’s upcoming artistsdebaters and performers. 
 
Each year, about 40 bands and solo artists make their debut on our Rising and Countdown stages, which are dedicated to upcoming acts. Here they often meet the largest audience of their career. 

Acts such as 
Nephew, Jada, MØ, The Minds of 99, Baby in Vain and Silvana Imam are among those who performed on our smaller stages before their breakthrough 
 
Our art and activism programme also support upcoming artists. In 2019, young artists such as Alexander Tillegreen, Ida Sønder Thorhauge and Biba Fibiger created works and installations through our partnership with the The Bikuben Foundation's studio for young artists. 

In recent years, we have explored activist schools for upcoming acts. Together with Danish newspaper Information, we have offered courses on democratic participation and activism, and through partnership with the design collective Public Works we have hosted summer schools on sustainability and activism in urban development with the participation of students from eight different countries. 

Donations to upcoming artists 

Roskilde Festival donates all proceeds to charity. Through our donations to young and upcoming artists, we can support ideas and initiatives that can grow and push our society in new directions. In this way, the  profits from the festival create the basis for new ideas. 
 
Recent donations include Swedish music camp PopkolloDanish youth mediSEIN, the network Women in Live Music and communities such as Musikstarter and She Can Play. 
 
Find an overview of recent years' donations to upcoming artists in our 2019 Year Book (page 42, in Danish only) 

Artistic innovation 

We perceive artists as collaborators, and we strive to develop works and installations in close collaboration with the artists. At the same time, we design the festival site to support new artistic experiences. In this way, the festival becomes a creative playground and a development space where new ideas arise and are realised. 
 
Spaces and stages such as Gloria, Klub RÅ (‘club raw’) and Amberium are some of the projects that have experimented with content, stage design and the interaction between art and participants. 

The many graffiti pieces on the festival city's walls and fences are created on site in a community of over 100 artists from all over the world, and Claudia Comte's tree trunk installation ME WE was created for the festival in 2019 in collaboration with the art centre Copenhagen Contemporary.  
 
Other projects are created through partnerships with other organisations where our respective experiences, knowledge and ideas can create new types of experiences. The performance The Real Raw, made in collaboration with The Royal Danish Theatreand the show series Iscenesat in collaboration with Betty Nansen Theatre in Copenhagen have brought music and theatre together in new experimental ways. 

Improving the gender balance

Fewer women than men choose the career path as a professional musician, and when the gender distribution in the music industry does not reflect the overall balance of the population, we miss out on potential future talents. 

Festivals and venues are dependent on the supply of artists and are the last stop in a longer food chain, which for musicians extends from the music schools in their adolescence and up to the career choice as a professional, performing musician.

Therefore, when we 
build the lineup, we can choose between fewer female musicians than male ones. 
 
We have a co-responsibility to influence the imbalance. We concentrate our efforts on supporting upcoming artists and young artistic communities through curating and donations.  
 
We prioritise female artists on our stages who act as strong role models. Finally, exchange of opinions and experience is a means of change. Therefore, we regularly participate in debates and networks and use the festival as a platform to raise awareness of gender and gender equality. 

Read more about how we improve the gender balance

Responsible curation 

The artists are co-creators of the festival, offering the guests great experiences. Not only on the music stages but also through performances, art works and installations that form part of the audiences’ overall experience. 

Art costs money, and artists must earn a living from their work and works, no matter where they are in their career. We offer the artists to participate at Roskilde Festival on fair terms

This means that the artists are paid according to the industry's agreed standard rates or in consultation with the trade union's professional organisations. At the same time, we offer fair conditions at the festival site in the form of safe facilities, technical conditions and catering. 

Through co-productions with museums, art galleries, theatres and venues, we can offer selected artists a wider audience than what is possible during the eight-day festival every year.

At the same time, the co-productions allow for longer work periods and thus further deepening and develop
ing the artistic process for the individual artists. 

Volunteering and education

Art is not created on stage alone. The artists are surrounded by agents, curators and technicians who coordinate and create the supporting sound and lighting experiences. 

Some of them are engaged as volunteers. Volunteering can provide practical experience with larger projects and management tools that can be used as a starting point to establish or develop oneself professionally in the experience economy. 

We collaborate with the National Gallery of Denmark (SMK) on the education of art intermediaries, and together with American sound company Meyer Sound, we have created a training course in sound production.
 
Each year, approximately 30 freelance audio technicians participate in a training course focusing on subjects such as collaboration, social relationships, speaker design and sound measurement. Through the training herethat participants can strengthen their networks, share experiences and gain access to test their high-level skills at festival. 

At the same time, the process can renew the industry through broader skills and focus on employees' rights while also contributing to influencing the diversity and gender balance in an often quite male-dominated world.