Roskilde versus Glastonbury

The two biggest music festivals in England and Denmark are both about music, partying, and being together with new and old friends. Nonetheless, the two are very different festivals with each their qualities.

By Julie Bang Henriksen
Translation by Minna Julie Kolte

There is plenty of toilet paper at the Roskilde Festival, but it is in shortage at the festival in Glastonbury. On the other hand, the English festival provides soap at the toilets, and you pay less for beers.

Two festival goers, who stay in a camp in camping area B, have tried both festivals.

“In Roskilde you come so much closer to the musicians on the stage than you do at Glastonbury,” explains Jenny, who with her boyfriend Mark has gone directly to the Roskilde Festival after a great week at the Glastonbury Festival in England.

“At Glastonbury 100,000 people were there for Amy Winehouse, and you couldn’t see her or the stage. We went to the Radiohead concert the other night – we went up to the front row without problems,” Mark says.

According to Jenny, that is impossible in Glastonbury, unless you are really dedicated and queue up hours before the concert takes place.

The couple, who live in London, agree that the programme at Roskilde is better than Glastonbury’s this year.

“Roskilde’s headliners are better. At Glastonbury, the Kings of Leon was one of the headliners. They are also playing at Roskilde and here they don’t headline,” Mark says.

Even though many of the names from the two festivals are identical, there are important differences.

“Glastonbury has got a bigger variety, whereas Roskilde is much more dedicated to rock music. Glastonbury has got much more dance music, and a big African world stage as well,” Jenny explains. The dance music attracts many colourfully dressed ravers, and according to Mark there is always a party going on – 24 hours a day.

The festival in Glastonbury takes place on a gigantic field in the south-western part of England. The field at Roskilde pales in comparison.

”Glastonbury is massive. A walk around the festival area takes 3½ hours – just to go from east to west. Roskilde has a good size – you can actually move between the stages in no time,” says Mark. A good thing, when the concerts are crammed in the programme.

Another big difference between the two festivals can be seen from the structure of the festival areas. At Glastonbury the festival goers camp directly on the festival site. That means that you can bring your own drinks about to the concerts. According to Jenny, that is a plus compared to Roskilde’s rules on that area. However Roskilde’s camping spirit is praised.

“I saw a camp with nice flowers planted all around the camp. The guys in the camp had really done something to make a nice camp. You wouldn’t see that at Glastonbury,” Jenny says.

From here on, it must be up to the individual festival goer whether it is a “both … and…” or if it is a “either… or…”, when it comes to choosing your favourite festival.

Experience
Roskilde: Since 1971
Glastonbury: Since 1970

Size
Roskilde: Approximately 75,000 paying guests
Glastonbury: Approximately 140,000 paying guests

Line-up
Roskilde: 190 live concert spread across 7 stages
Glastonbury: More than 600 live concert spread across 23 stages

Ticket prize
Roskilde: 1,650 + charges in advance sale
Glastonbury: 1,455 + charges in advance sale

½ litre draught beer
Roskilde: 36 kroner
Glastonbury: 30 kroner

Toilets
Roskilde according to Jenny: Toilet paper, but no soap. The toilets are generally filthy.
Glastonbury according to Jenny: Soap, but no toilet paper. The toilets are generally fine.

 
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Foto: Aida Veggerby Fredsgaard
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