Spoiler Alert: there are probably less photos in this post because mainly we were busy enjoying the music & we’re smart enough not to post all the weekend shenanigans.
If you’ve heard of this festival before, we’re a little late to the party & just learned of it from some friends from Denmark. Figuring we’d be in the area, we decided to check it out. The festival itself lasts 8 days & loads of people (aka youngsters) camp; while we had this option available to us, we chose (wisely) to stay in a hostel & take the train in. We also didn’t attend every day as that probably would have killed us. But still, in the 4 main days of the festival, we were treated to an incredible lineup:
The Foo Fighters had to be the most insane concert crowd we’ve ever seen, easily over 90K+ people filled the grassy arena area & more were piled atop rooftop bar decks & other nearby structures.
Besides a killer lineup, Roskilde has also been hailed in recent years for its food & beverage selection. This was not your average run of the mill burger & beer festival in the states; true you had LOTS of that as an option, but 90% of all foods served are organic & include wide ranges of food from Thai cuisine, Italian dishes, falafel pitas & southern BBQ plus numerous vegetarian options (so I was not starving) & even vegan popcorn.
Outside of enough Tuborg being poured to fill a couple of lakes, a mojito “bus”, gin bar & organic vegetable cocktail gave you plenty to occupy yourself while in between acts. One of our favorite experiences had to be waiting out the rain in one of the “bars” while everyone participated in a N’Sync sing along. Many things may divide countries, but a boy band from the 90’s can always bring us together.
Speaking of rain, it kind of rained constantly while we were there; this is Denmark after all & the main reason we were ecstatic not to have camped. After numerous stories from other Danish friends & Americans we met there of tents being flooded with 2+ inches of rain, we felt justified in our decision. Luckily we had looked ahead & were smart enough to purchase rain boots on sale in Sweden. Outside of malaria pills & yellow fever shots this was the best money spent for our travels. Though at one point running through the mud from the Foo Fighters to Lorde, I had thought I would sink into the thick mud so high it was going to come into my boots. It was that insane.
As if it were some rap miracle, on the last day of the festival as Ice Cube was preparing to grace the main stage, the sun emerged for the first time in days. We couldn't actually recall the last time we saw such bright blue sky. People in the crowds cheered & the rays beamed out over the crowds & a local man promptly slathered buckets of sunscreen over his pasty Northern European skin.
The festival is actually named for the town its held in. Embarrassingly, I’m not sure we realized this at first but quickly realized our error. Its population numbers only just above 50K but during the festival itself it becomes the 4th largest city within the country of Denmark. And I have it from two legit sources in the U.S. that “The Bachelorette” just had an episode centered in Roskilde, though I cannot confirm why besides to be ridiculous.
Unfortunately, we didn’t really spend much time in the town itself; the optimal way to enjoy the festival would be to rent a place to stay here & take the quick 3-minute train to the festival stop, however we bought tickets too late & lodging was completely booked in this little town. We did spend a lovely hour killing time at Klosterkaelderen, a fun old pub where we played a round of darts. I won, in case you were wondering.
While we couldn’t stay in Roskilde, we were able to book an amazing hostel near the train station in Copenhagen. Since we were mainly there for the festival we weren’t able to spend as much time as we would have liked touring around Copenhagen but still managed to get a great feel for the city. If Stockholm felt posh & fancy, Copenhagen to me was like its hipster younger sibling; personally, I think we could live in Copenhagen easier - felt like the better fit.
Of course with any good visit to Copenhagen you can’t pass up a chance to pop into The Lego Store, its flagship location on the famous & very busy Strøget, & we certainly weren't about to miss out on the Carlsberg Brewery. Highly recommend their beer tasting where they show off their craftier brew line, Jacobsen & then a can get a free glass at their 2nd level pub.
If you’re looking for a slightly less touristy, “up & coming” spot for a bit or drink, the meat packing district is loaded with lots of new quirky restaurants & bars. Warpigs (which sounds insane), according to Ben, had a nearly spot on southern style BBQ & proper sauce accompaniments. I settled for their only vegetarian dish, mac & cheese of course, & was actually surprised at how good it was. Of course you have to try at least one (or 2 or 3) of their 20+ house beers on tap.
Copenhagen has been one of my most favorite cities in all the Scandinavian countries & I didn't think that would be possible after Stockholm. Its laid back, hipster-ish vibe, allows it to feel more free & quirky without judgement. I do hope we get to come back one day for a proper visit, though we both feel certain we will be back for Roskilde. Who's up for a trip to the next festival with us?! 😊