There will be no Roskilde Festival this summer
The Danish authorities have just prolonged its prohibition against larger assemblies until August 31st 2020. The prohibition also goes for this year’s Roskilde Festival.
PUBLISHED TUESDAY 7.4.2020
Updated 8 April
Roskilde Festival no. 50 takes place in 2021. Read what the prohibition of large gatherings this summer means for Roskilde Festival.
Many of you are currently asking us what will happen to the festival now that the authorities have prohibited large gatherings of people until 31 August.
We have never before been in such an unfortunate situation that we cannot carry through a festival as we have planned. Therefore, there are several questions to which we do not currently know the answers.
Below, we try to answer the most frequently asked questions as best as possible, and we update the page on an ongoing basis.
It means that there will not be a Roskilde Festival this summer. It is a very unfortunate situation. We feared that it would happen. We have hoped that it would not end this way. However, the risk of dissemination is too great when so many people are together, and this consideration is of the uttermost importance.
Roskilde Festival no. 50 should have been something very special. It should have been a celebration of what we're made of. By looking forward. A celebration that celebrated the art, the community and the desire to make a difference. Something we need so much in these times.
We had been looking forward to celebrating it with all participants. Organisers and volunteers have worked hard, and with a sold-out ticket sale in record time we know that the expectations of the participants were also sky-high. Collectively, we have crossed our fingers and held our breaths, hoping that the development would be positive and rapid enough for us all to meet this summer. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Now we join forces with artists, collaborators, suppliers, associations and organisations – all of whom help create Roskilde Festival – to create a fantastic Roskilde Festival no. 50 in 2021 and ensure that the orange light will burn brightly and warmly until next summer.
Tickets for 2020 could be transferred or reimbursed in May 2020. Relatively few tickets (15 percent) were refunded. The remaining tickets went on sale May 12 and sold out the same day.
The immense interest in attending the festival means that we have a strong foundation to get through the very difficult times and continue preparing the 50th edition of Roskilde Festival in 2021.
There are big consequences in not carrying through the festival as planned. Not just for Roskilde Festival Charity Society – the organiser of the festival – but also for the hundreds of associations and organisations who set up stalls or provide service work at the festival. Many of these ground a large part of their operations and development on the earnings from the festival.
There are also consequences for the large and small cultural partners and organisations contributing to the festival with both programme content and production. They are already severely afflicted by the lockdown, and with a festival cancellation they can lose both earnings and the opportunity to have exposure and relationships that benefit their work.
Finally, the postponement to 2021 means that Roskilde Festival Charity Society cannot meet its main purpose as a non-profit fundraising event this year. That is to make a profit that will be donated in full for the benefit of children and young people. This will affect a number of organisations and initiatives both in Denmark and abroad. They are also currently in need of some extra help.
It is still too early for us to say anything precisely about the financial consequences. It depends on the arrangements and aid packages available. We will look into this matter now.
As a non-profit festival, Roskilde Festival is in a particularly difficult situation. We are a fundraising event, and we are arranging the festival to raise money for charitable work for children and young people. We donate all our profits in full every year, and we don't have larger savings to draw on.
When Roskilde Festival Charity Society starts up a new festival, the expenses are covered by, among other things, ticket revenue and the financial contribution of partners. In this sense, each festival is a closed circuit where it is not possible to balance an extensive deficit with profits from previous years. We start from zero every year, so to speak.
There will also be significant economic consequences for the volunteer-based associations, cultural partners, companies and organisations behind stalls, providing services on site or contributing programme content and productions. Many of these partners already suffer from the Corona crisis.
Roskilde Festival is not insured to an extent that takes into account a pandemic like Coronavirus, so we cannot give a precise answer to the consequences relating to insurance of not carrying through the festival in 2020. In any case, the situation is serious.
(This Q&A replaces previously published Q&A)