Once again, they are digging in "Roskilde Festival's gravel pit". It doesn’t cause any problems right now, but in the long run it could eat up some of the area we currently use when the festival is taking place.

We try to give you some answers to how the gravel pit affects the festival and what the festival is doing about it.

I’ve just bought the ticket to the 2020 festival. Should I be worried about not getting a space for my tent?
No. They started digging for gravel during the festival in 2019, and that didn’t cause any problems. In fact, in 2019 we had more space than ever before. And that’s how it will be again in 2020. And in 2021.

Should we prepare for longer walks from the campsite to the festival site?
Not for first couple of years. But in the long run we may have to rearrange a bit, so that the areas we currently use for parking will be used for camping instead. One scenario is that the car parks will be moved further away, and we may have to operate shuttle buses to the campsite. But we will do what we can to ensure that the campsite will always be within a reasonable walking distance to the festival area.

Where can we find more territory?
Right now, we are looking at some possibly usable areas that we haven’t used before. Also, there are some empty spaces in some of the areas we’re already using. We expect to find additional space here. Together with the municipality and the company digging for gravel, we are working on some solutions so that we can fill the gravel pits, or at least some of them, with soil, once the gravel has been transported away. However, when you plunge into such operations, you must be sure that nothing jeopardises the groundwater resources.

Do you have to close any stages or other things to get more space for camping?No. Not at all. When we choose to move our stages like we did this year, the goal is not to get more space for camping. We place the stages where we believe they work best. This year, when we moved the Avalon stage, we wanted to use a lush area with large trees, hadn’t hadn’t been open to the audience previously.

Do we risk having to camp closer together?
It doesn’t seem likely. The festival-goers are really good at exploiting the available square metres. In some areas, the density might be closer – also because of ongoing camping development which has nothing to do with the gravel pit. But there will be room for camping as we know it.  

Is there a risk that the gravel pit will make it more expensice to attend the festival?
Not really. But if we need to use shuttle buses from the car park, we have an extra operating expense that we need to cover. But the short answer is that our way of solving the gravel pit challenges does not make the festival more expensive for the festival-goers.

FACTS: Is gravel more important than festival?

In the ground under Roskilde Festival there is gravel that can be used for construction work and concrete. That is why gravel pits are needed as long as construction work is taking place. And right now there’s a lot of construction work in Copenhagen. The city of Roskilde supplies the Copenhagen metropolitan area and large parts of Zealand because it is the only place close by with raw materials in the soil. The alternative is to dig up the raw materials from other places, but then it would be costly to transport the raw materials, and that’s bad for the environment with the extra transport.
Source: State Geologist at GEUS, Jørn Bo Jensen, expert in raw materials in Denmark

Words: Agnes Rasmussen and Martin Finnedal

The festival area is constantly changing and is now - because of refilled gravel pit holes - more hilly than ever before.