Q&A: WILL WE MEET AGAIN IN 2021?

PUBLISHED FRIDAY 11.9.2020

Last updated 23 March 2021

How does the future look regarding meeting up at Roskilde Festival in 2021? Get answers to your questions here.

We continue the planning of the 2021 festival even though COVID-19 is still a serious worldwide threat to the general health.

It is always the authorities who permits us and other organisers to execute festivals. Even though we are not sure which type of festival we can arrange in 2021, we will not rule out this summer's festival events.

That's why we're continuing our work and we still have a cautious optimism about conducting Roskilde Festival no. 50 this summer.

You have many questions for us. On this page we will try to answer the most frequent ones the best way possible. We don't know all the answers, and the previous year has shown us that the circumstances for meeting and being together in larger groups can change quick as a flash.

We expect to carry through Roskilde Festival in 2021. It may not be in a way we usually do it. Because the world is different and the situation changes constantly.

But we know more about COVID-19 now than we did in the first wave of the pandemic: the possibilities for treatment are better, testing has further developed and the vaccinations have started. It nurtures our hope that solutions can be found for how we can be together again.

No matter how serious the outlook – both regarding health and finances – is at the moment, Roskilde Festival will survive and return whenever we can in the future.

The desire to gather in communities to share art and music experiences remains with our audience, and as organisers we are looking forward to continue doing what we do best.

The live industry joins forces for a health-wise safe and realistic reopening and return, so that we can offer a new and safe environment in the coming festival season.

Moreover, we can resume our work and act very quickly on our plan for the 2020 festival if the authorities are to permit for large gatherings. That way, we're not starting from scratch at the last minute.

We have many years of experience in arranging large and safe events in complex environments and in close collaboration with the authorities, and the live industry works closely together to contribute to a safe reopening of major events.

In Denmark, this effort takes place in a task group through the industry organisation Dansk Live where safety experts from Denmark's largest festivals share knowledge and research with the goal of producing concrete guidelines for safe solutions that can be put into practice at the festivals.

Specifically, the task group works with the following:

  • New testing and screening options: Before, during and after events using the public testing capacity as well as screening using reliable rapid tests.
  • Registration of all guests and active infection tracking, including requirements for documentation of negative test results before participation.
  • Initiatives with a focus on increased hygiene and cleaning as well as the use of, for example, face masks and fever scanning at the entrance.
  • Behavior regulation through crowd management.
  • Plans for arranging 'learning concerts' which makes it possible to look into the handling of tests and of the audience, their attitudes and behaviour, etc. It will ensure better knowledge before the execution of festivals and major concerts.

We are engaged in Dansk Live and Divisionsforeningen's joint scientific project (article only in Danish) which aims to secure a scientific foundation to make it possible to meet at large events in a responsible way.

Roskilde Festival's health and safety manager also represents the industry organisation Yourope where safety experts from the largest European festival organisers gather and share knowledge about guidelines for a safe reopening of major events.

Roskilde Festival's CEO is represented in a cultural restart team (press release only in Danish) whose purpose is to help Denmark reopen with a lively cultural and sports life despite the COVID-19 restrictions.

It is a positive thing that a slightly long-range plan has finally been put in place.

Although the plan does not say anything about the possibility of large events, we cannot see it as anything other than an indication that the authorities still believe that it is possible to conduct a festival this summer. Otherwise, we would have been told that it is not possible at this stage. So, we continue our planning with renewed intensity, otherwise we will run out of time.

It is no secret that at this point (23 March), it would have been better to have a clearer plan that could point towards the summer events. It would have been more desirable for everyone – not least in terms of ensuring responsible planning.

A so-called ‘corona passport’ has also been part of our take on a solution in relation to festivals and large events, so we welcome this initiative.

For long, we have called for a broader, more cross-disciplinary professional collaboration. So, we welcome the fact that a group of experts is finally being appointed to assess the possibilities of conducting major events.

We have the necessary knowledge and experience and we are ready to contribute to the work of the group.

It is very good news that the authorities have drafted a plan to vaccinate all Danes in the first half-year of 2021. We have also learned from the corona period that the situation constantly changes and that we consequently have to work with several scenarios.

In our collaboration with the rest of the live industry and Divisionsforeningen (a division under the Danish Football Association), we look into combining quick tests and a so-called corona passport where a negative test, a vaccine or documentation for antibodies in the blood can give access to larger events (look above).

With the uncertain times we are in, it is not unlikely that we will see more artists who cannot carry through their European tours.

Since much of our planning still needs to be adapted to the upcoming announcements from the Danish authorities, we also expect that the final programme for this year's festival will be complete later than usual.

We know that the artists are ready out there, and as soon as things open up, they're just as eager to come out to play and meet their audience as we are to arrange a festival.

Our bookers are busy putting together a fantastic programme. You can keep up with the announcements on our website and of course on social media. Then you won't miss out on the latest news about the coming festival.

You will have the opportunity to get the ticket refunded if the event is cancelled in its entirety. A possible refund will depend on the specific circumstances of the cancellation, and we will contact all ticket buyers about the options if we are unable to carry through the festival.

Roskilde Festival 2021 is sold out, and we are extremely grateful for your trust and support. The ticket sales mean that we have a strong foundation to get through the difficult time, and we will continue the work of preparing the 50th edition of Roskilde Festival.

The cancellation in 2020 means that The Roskilde Festival Charity Society is unable to meet its most important purpose as a fundraising event; namely to donate all proceeds to projects benefiting children and young people. This affects several organizations and initiatives both in and outside Denmark.

The consequences for the hundreds of associations and organizations that organize stalls or provide service on the festival site are major. Many base parts of their operation and development on the earnings from the festival.

The cancellation affects the artists and their crew who are hit very hard by the shutdown. Also, all the cultural partners, suppliers and organizations that contribute with content and production have lost earnings and the opportunity to create visibility and relationships that benefit their work.

Roskilde Festival is a fundraising event. The Roskilde Festival Charity Society promotes a festival with the purpose of raising money for charity work for children and young people. We donate all proceeds to charity every year, and we do not have major savings to draw on.

When the charity society creates a new festival, the costs are covered by e.g. ticket revenue for the year and partner contributions. Financially, each individual festival is a closed circuit and it is not possible to cover a significant loss with previous years' profits.

Financially, we start from zero every year so to speak.

The governmental aid package for organisers of cancelled events helps us cover the expenses in relation to the festival that should have been in 2020. But the main non-profit company has been financially affected, and the other aid packages don’t help sufficiently. That’s why we have been forced to downsize the organisation.

We are currently working on new ways of fundraising so that we can continue the festival's donation work as a non-profit association and make a difference for others.

Anyone who has volunteered at the festival both in 2019 and up to the (cancelled) 2020 festival can become members Roskilde Festival Charity Society. That way you can have an influence on the future of the festival. Write us on info@roskilde-festival.dk if you're unsure how.

We encourage everyone to support the cultural life by purchasing tickets to experiences at venues, theatres, galleries, museums and sports clubs. They need all the support they can get.