Home Authors Posts by Jessica Cavallaro

Jessica Cavallaro

“Her energy spread to me” – first time volunteers at Roskilde Festival.

The energy, the trust, the Orange Feeling. And the chance to save a bit of money. First time volunteers open up to what brought them to the largest festival of music and arts in Northern Europe.

Foto: Kaitlyn Jefferson og Jessica Cavallaro

Patryck Jachimowski, 28, first heard about Roskilde Festival from a Danish friend. He’s volunteering with the DADL Organization at the Roskilde train station. He is originally from Poland, but recently moved to Copenhagen for work.

“I really, really wanted to experience Roskilde as one of my Danish experiences here, so I thought volunteering would be nice. [Volunteering is] a nice way to, you know, make it possible.”

Like many first-time volunteers, his main motivation for volunteering at this year’s festival is money.

“Roskilde is quite expensive, as is Denmark,” said Jachimowski. “I don’t think people are coming here for the lineup, for the main artists, but probably more for being here, being part of this event.”

“I don’t think people are coming here for the lineup,  but probably more for being part of this event.”

Jachimowski has never experienced anything quite like Roskilde. He has attended a number of one day festivals and volunteered in the past, but Jachimowski has never combined the two.

“I used to be a scout. And then we volunteered a lot in different places, but nothing connected with music,” said Jachimowski. “We were organizing the camps for children, then we were teaching children, and doing a bunch of other stuff, always for free, but I was like 15, 16, 17.”

So far, Jachimowski has had a positive first impression of Roskilde Festival.

“The first incredible thing about Roskilde, which I found out, is that the sun never goes really down. You always see beams in the horizon. That’s really, really wonderful,” said Jachimowski “And of course it stinks with pee, but everyone will tell you that.”

Foto: Kaitlyn Jefferson og Jessica Cavallaro

Aurora Aglen, 19, first attended Roskilde Festival as a participant in 2016. She choose to return as a volunteer this year both for financial reasons and because of the positive experience she had last year as a guest. Aglen is originally from Norway, but recently moved to Copenhagen to study.

“I remember before the gates were open, during my shifts I was now on the inside looking out and not on the outside looking in. You get a new perspective on how important the volunteers are to the festival,” said Aglen. “If there weren’t all these volunteers, Roskilde wouldn’t be able to run.  It’s really cool that I can be a part of the contribution to make sure that people have a good ti

Aglen prefers the volunteer experience to that of a paying festival goer. She is volunteering as part of an organization called Roskilde Guard. Her responsibilities include standing by the East entrance to check wristbands and walking around East to make sure people are okay.

“As a volunteer, you get up close to situations where you are actually making a difference.”

Aurora also enjoys the sense of community that she finds in Denmark as a Norwegian.

“Being able to communicate in Norwegian is also very helpful as a volunteer since there are many Norwegians here and it allows the Norwegian participants to speak in their native language.”

Like many others at the festival, Aurora feels the effects of the Orange Feeling.

“Everyone at the festival is just so happy. All of sudden they’re so open, talking to everyone and it’s not weird. It’s a part of the festival. It’s this big community.”

Foto: Kaitlyn Jefferson og Jessica Cavallaro.

Simon Donk, 26, moved from Holland to Copenhagen six months ago to study architecture. This year is his first year at Roskilde Festival.

One of his friends, who is a both a Roskilde Enthusiast and a 2016 RF Hero, convinced him to volunteer at Roskilde Festival this year.

“She is so energetic about it; her energy spread to me.”

“She is so energetic about it; her energy spread to me.”

After he made the decision to volunteer, Donk convinced four of his international friends living in Copenhagen to volunteer with him.

He is volunteering at the Reload Charging booths in Get A Tent Central, and so far his experience has been good. He appreciates how his team leaders allow the volunteers to have a lot of freedom.

“They are all very trusting within the first 10 minutes of meeting them, which generates a good feeling among the volunteers.”

Donk was motivated to volunteer by both the financial savings and the promise of an amazing experience, but mainly by the enthusiasm and excitement of the friend who convinced him to go.

“Roskilde Festival is unlike any other music festival I have ever been to. I’m always looking around, being amazed by people getting drunk really fast and being very committed to do so.”

Of the approximately 130,000 people who attended Roskilde Festival last year, only 16 percent were international attendees.

30,000 volunteers co-create Roskilde Festival, but the number of internationals at Roskilde has been gradually shrinking since 2004, when approximately half of the attendees were international.

Johnny biked here from Amsterdam – is this the new American Dream?

Seven years is a long time to spend on a bicycle. However, for American Johnny Deeb, it’s the only way he knows how to live.

At 19, Deeb met a man, Paul, with a theory that changed his perspective on life. Paul told him, “If you work three months, two jobs, and save as much money as you can then after those 90 days, you could use that money to go travelling.”

After settling in different parts of Europe – making candy, nannying, organic farming, meeting new people – Deeb decided to continue his journey. Six weeks ago, he got back on his bicycle.

Foto: Inez Dawczyk

His plan was to do a whole trip around the Baltic Sea, starting in Amsterdam and ending in the Baltic countries. However, chance derailed his progress and brought him to Roskilde. One of Deeb’s Dutch friends, Tim, saw on Facebook that he was in Denmark, and told him to turn around and head to the festival.

Deeb’s friends connected him to the tent set-up crew, but when he arrived he was disappointed to discover that the position did not include a ticket to the festival. However, his story and work ethic were quickly passed down through the crew to the person in charge of the division, who found Deeb a wristband and a job building more tents.

“I can tell you stories after story after story of these random laws of attraction that pull me in different directions and to different people… it’s beautiful. Freedom.” Deeb has volunteered at quite a few festivals in the past, including Lowlands in Amsterdam.

Foto: Inez Dawczyk

However, for Deeb, the way Roskilde Festival treats its volunteers makes it stand apart from the rest. “Roskilde seems really organized; everything seems dialed in. The thing I especially like here is how the festival organizers really takes care of the volunteers. At other festivals I’ve been to as a volunteer, you have to cook your own food, do your own thing. But it feels like without volunteers, there’s nothing going on here.”

Deeb felt a sense of community as soon as he arrived at Roskilde Festival. “It feels like Minnesota to me. It feels like home… The friendliness and the openness. We work hard and we help each other.”

Deeb’s volunteer job is building tents in a test area. Companies are testing five different kinds of luxury tents for festival goers to pay to stay in. As a bonus, Deeb gets to stay in one of the tents with his friend Tim. “When you are a volunteer, you feel more with it, the beating heart of it. You meet so many creative characters, it’s just lovely.”

Foto: Inez Dawczyk

Deeb prefers volunteering to paying for the festival ticket. “Work hard, play harder. When you work hard and you earn something, the beer tastes better.” he cannot remember anyone he has met at the festival, both volunteers and campers, that has not volunteered at least once for the festival.

His volunteer group at Roskilde has been working together for the last 20 years. “They come together every year to do their part. It was great to be able to work with such a close-knit group.”

After the festival wraps up, Deeb plans to continue on with his ride around the Baltic Sea. “Everyone should try life on a bike to see what happens and see all the beautiful things you meet and the people. Things like this happen to me all the time, because I’m free. The more open you are, the more happens.”

Deeb has spent the last 17 years living according to Paul’s theory. Based on his math, Deeb figures he has spent six of those years working and 11 of those years traveling. During the first three months he worked to save for his first test-run of the theory; Johnny made his apartment in Minnesota available on CouchSurfing.

One of his guests was Sergio, a Portuguese man cycling from New York to Vancouver to Chile.  He had no more than 500€ to his name, and relied on CouchSurfing to accommodate him each night of the six month trek.

Johnny was inspired by Sergio’s bike, gear and overall lifestyle. “When I told him how much money I had saved, he told me I could cycle for 20 years with the same amount. So seven years ago I had left my hometown in Minnesota to bike all around the world and here I am now sitting with you guys.”