PREVIEW: Roskilde

The landmark Danish festival presents eight days' worth of musical goodness and a whole lot more besides. Jeremy Allen picks out five highlights to help you navigate it all

If Pilton Farm feels like the centre of the universe right now, then that might be down to short-sighted commissioning. Everybody knows festivals on the continent are where it’s at, and come Saturday there will be something rockin’ in the state of Denmark.

Roskilde Festival, one of the big beasts of the European calendar, will begin eight days of frivolities this Saturday, June 29, with four days of headliners starting next Thursday, July 4. Acts appearing will be as diverse as Kraftwerk, Rihanna, Metallica, Kendrick Lamar and country legend Kris Kristofferson.

What some might not be aware of is the fact Roskilde has history on par with Glastonbury – it is one year younger, kicking off in 1971, but it has taken no breaks. It is blessed with heritage, scale and an unrivalled music line-up, and naturally there are plenty of diversions that’ll certainly give The Healing Field a run for their money; why Roskilde’s Dream City makes it look like a village fête with hippies. Here are five such things to look out for:

Dream City does what it says on the tin, with various art collectives granted funding and aided in their pursuit to build esoteric arcadias. The press release informs us: “Metal people from Blastbeast have conquered a piece of land and created a terrifyingly large pentagram; the Unicorny Camp celebrates sexual tolerance with lesbian finance and a 100-metre race in high heels, and SygCykelby spreads love and bicycle culture.” It’s a utopia for weirdos basically, which sounds kind of interesting, and even enticing too if you’re feeling adventurous. The various communities started constructing the city about 100 days ago, and anticipation to luxuriate in these artistic and architectural marvels of desire created in the spirit of cooperation is now at fever pitch.

Voina, the radical Russian street art collective and mothership that spawned Pussy Riot will be in attendance (Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich were both members of the Moscow faction of Voina). Voina wages war on conformity, mediocrity and politically-motivated violations of human rights. (Voina means war in Russian, in case you’re not Russian and didn’t know that.)

The New Jersey based post-pop artist Ron English will be in Denmark, projecting smart experiments in colour with thinly-veiled social commentary onto a 90 foot wall. Expect subversive observational comment of the visual kind on advertising and brand culture, which is made all the more ironic given the projections are appearing on the Orange Stage.

The Apollo Zone is the stuff of dreams, bringing together electronic music with an inflatable stage. Plus, when the sun sets the Apollo Stage doesn’t stint on a mesmeric lightshow.

Henry Rollins will be talking. The loquacious body fascist will be doing not one but two talks. Get down early and find out what Hank’s got to say.

If that’s not enough for you then Angel Haze and Azealia Banks will also be spitting words over beats, Savages and Suuns and The National and Queens Of The Stone Age and a whole celestial supernova of exploding stars will be all over the place besides…

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