Every year Roskilde Festival chooses a focus that unfolds both on and off the stages during the festival. This year the theme is Solidarity, inspired by the young people demonstrating and fighting for a better world. Spokeswoman Christina Bilde explains how a festival known for music and partying can also contribute to changing society as a whole.

Published in the spring edition of the festival's newspaper Orange Press

How did you choose this year's theme?

»The theme is connected to what we are and those we're here for. The festival was created to support young people, we're rooted in the youth movements of the 60's and 70's, and young people come together at our festival today. With this foundation we've been looking at the things going on in the world, and we're inspired by the movements we see among young people today. They're engaged in open-minded communities that reach out, whether it's related to gun violence and legislation or climate demonstrations. We want to support these movements by focusing on solidarity at this year's Roskilde Festival.«

What will this mean to the festival-goers?

»They will have the chance to meet a lot of young people – organisations and movements – that also work to make a change for young people and also want to inspire more people to take part in their movement. I think people will also be met with a clear intention that it's NOW we need to act. It will be about the climate, youth and communities, what they mean, and what they're able to do. And you'll see it across our programme, so festival-goers will experience it through music, art, debates, workshops and so on.«

Why does a festival need a theme? Is it not enough to throw a great party?

»The two things aren't mutually exclusive. The festival-goers are generally ready to debate, discuss what's important to them and experience new perspectives on the world, without compromising their party. Roskilde Festival is a journey that lasts for eight days, a journey that can set you free and take you new places. We're creating a space together where you can open up in a different way. The people you experience art or a talk with and the atmosphere you're in, it's something that combines to let you be inspired. You might not change your everyday life drastically afterwards, but if you've taken part actively, I believe that it inspires you to do things differently.«

Does the Solidarity theme mean that only those who agree with you should go to Roskilde?

»Taking in different perspectives is one of the ways that we can really change. That goes for all of us, and it's no different at Roskilde Festival. You don't have to agree with our theme or the perspectives presented. We wouldn't dream of telling anyone what to think either. What's really important is mutual respect, including to agree to disagree. Our core values are about trust, openness, tolerance and respect, and with them we have a framework that helps us all navigate.«