Social sustainability is about ethical and social matters: about diversity, accessibility, security, justice and equal conditions for people. 
Roskilde Festival has a special responsibility to support youth communities and young people's voices. With over 100,000 participants present at the festival with an average age of 24, we have a potential and a responsibility to create responsiveness and generate social change 

We both can and will influence attitudes among young people on contemporary issues such as climate issues and sexual matters, and at the same time support young people's initiatives through our donation work. 
Our efforts are often based on activities at the festival itself and with an ambition that these also make a difference in the outside world. 
On this page you can read about some of our sustainable social activities. 
Subjects on this page: 

  • New solidarity and youth activism 
  • Donations for children and youth 
  • Voluntary development 
  • Respect and accountability 
  • Accessibility and diversity 

New solidarity and youth activism 

Roskilde Festival is a meeting place for thousands of young people. As a cultural gathering place for young people, we make the festival available as a platform for enthusiasts and activists who thrive to make a difference. We use the festival city as an amplifier of their voices and opinions – which are often overheard elsewhere in the world. 
In 2019, we chose ‘solidarity as a theme across the festival's hundreds of concerts, debates, performances and workshops. Solidarity as a concept is here interpreted as a contemporary, global understanding that crosses generations and borders. 
Read here about how we introduced the theme ‘solidarity through cultural partnerships, curating arts and music and donations.

Donations for children and youth

Roskilde Festival Charity Society, the non-profit association behind the festival, aims to support initiatives for children and young people and to support humanitarian and cultural organisations. This means that all profits from the festival are donated in full to charitable and non-profit purposes. Since the 1970s, the festival has distributed over EUR 55 million (DKK 410 million). 
We often involve the outside world in the selection of donation recipients. Through our recent open call called 'Young voices' we supported 32 projects including NGO’s such as Turning Tables Sweden, DareGender and The Association for Youth and Culture in Greenland. 
We also enter partnerships with selected recipients, for instance with the NGO’s Turning Tables and Rapolitics with the aim of co-producing events and experiences together.  
See all recent donations in our 2020 Year Book.

Volunteerism and civil society

About 31,000 volunteers are involved in creating Roskilde Festival. They make the wheels of the festival town turn, and together they form the unique sense of community that many associate with Roskilde Festival. All volunteers contribute to Roskilde Festival donating all its profits to charity. 

Our longstanding volunteer foundation can also be used to develop new knowledge about volunteering in civil society. We therefore cooperate with other organisations on research and studies on volunteering. 

We have developed a number of volunteer management tools together with the Tuborg Foundation, and we collaborate with Roskilde Municipality and the city's associations to strengthen volunteerism locally in Roskilde. 

Read more about volunteering here.

Respect and accountability 

We are responsible for creating a positive community between the more than 100,000 residents at the festival. When everyone involved explore the boundaries of a free space such as the one found at Roskilde Festival, everyone must show consideration and respect the community. Our experience is that dissatisfaction and dilemmas can arise in the meeting between party and respect. This is a challenge that we share with organisers in other party environments. 
Since 2018, Orange Together has been our way of preventing abusive behaviour and supporting the festival’s positive atmosphere. At the same time, we use the project in order to gather knowledge and network and in this way contribute to change elsewhere in society where the problems also exist. 
We have a responsibility to show that you can party without being under the influence of alcohol. Since 2009, we have been working with the Danish National Board of Health on a special effort called Under the influence of music concerning youth and alcohol. 
Our bars offer a wide range of non-alcoholic products, and together with the Danish brewery Tuborg we have introduced the recreational hang-out area Hydration Zone where guests could take a non-alcoholic break.

The zone was also a way to challenge the norms among young people in an environment where the parties are aplenty. 
Finally, we have an experienced on-site staff of hosts, emergency specialists and social workers who can help when needed and create safety, trust and dialogue. We also work closely with the police. At the same time, we acquire knowledge through dialogue with experts who have experience with urban and nightlife behaviour. 

Accessibility and diversity 

Roskilde Festival's music and culture do not necessarily suit everyone's taste, but we prioritise making the festival accessible to as many as possible. Some see the dense crowds as physical and mental barriers while others experience identity or cultural limitations.  
Our diversity efforts are primarily carried out through partnerships, and the purpose is to create an active community where everyone can participate and contribute and feel included. 

Especially among young people with physical disabilities, we experience a great desire to be able to participate on an equal terms with other young people. Here, volunteering is one way in which we can offer community and safety 

We have cooperated with Danish NGO’s Bistedet and The Askov Foundation on volunteering among emotionally vulnerable young people. Our efforts in 2019 for the visually impaired was the result of a collaboration with, among others, The Institute for the Blind and Partially Sighted (IBOS) and the Disability Council in Roskilde Municipality. 

Read more here about disability services at the festival. 

Diversity is also about making room for cultural and identity diversity. We have collaborated with Mino Denmark on, among other things, the debate concept Minority Talks, which engages ethnic young people's voices in today's social debates 
Also, our partnership with the diversity festival Copenhagen Pride in 2019 was about creating inclusion, respect, safety and love independent of one's identity and sexuality.