Thursday, 30 June 2011 10:14

Roskilde: Game City

Written by Juliane Schmeltzer Dybkjær

Roskilde Festival is buzzing with activity today. Different areas, or 'agoras', as they are called here, present different types of activity - from reggae infused chill out at the bathing lake to some social awareness activities in the east of the city. I spent the day on a lighter note - in the Game City over in the western part of the Roskilde.

Here, are all kinds of games are being played. You can join a chair dance, otherwise known as musical chairs, where there's always one less chair than people and if the music stops, you have to sit dow. If you are the unlucky one to not get a chair, you are eliminated. This children's game results in a dramatic and thrilling finale with only two people creeping around one chair and all the other contestants cheering them on.

Photo: Juliane Schmeltzer Dybkjær
Vector lounge by night  

I walk from the chair dance to a giant climbing wall. Just as I approach the wall, a guy reaches the top and starts rappelling down the huge structure. The guy is Silas, who is partly responsible for the event and an avid climber in his free time. His climbing club, Nørrebro Klatreklub, is hosting this event in collaboration with Environmental Education Media Project. They call the event Climb for Hope in a Changing Climate. I ask Silas why he wanted to join the project: "Well, first of all, I really enjoy climbing and thought it would be a great event to have here at Roskilde," he says, but quickly adds, "and of course, if it can help raise awareness about an important issue, that is equally attractive for my participation."

The climbing wall is not the only environmental project Silas is involved with at the festival. I follow him down to his camp, which is called 'Vandret / Lodret' (Horizontal / Vertical). Like many other camps, the guys have brought a huge sound system and host nightly raves during the warm up days. But unlike many other camps, the sound system at Vandret / Lodret is partly powered by solar panels that recharge battery cells during the sunny days.

Like many other camps, the guys have brought a huge sound system... and it's partly powered by solar panels.

I am warmly greeted, and the guys soon decide that I need to try out their special ritual. Blissfully ignorant of what is about to happen, I agree. I am handed a beer, and in literally seconds, five of the campers lift me up over thier heads! People are cheering them on, and although I'm a bit surprised, I really enjoy this little ritual.

As I head down towards Game City again, another event catches my eye. If you are not into being quite as active as the rock climbers, Game City also offers shows that you can watch from a distance. Vector Lounge is one of those events. It is basically a battle of graphics. Two teams of graphic designers are given an assignment and the crowd can follow their progress on screens as they create their interpretation of the task. It's like being at a football match, but for intellectuals. In the end, the winner is elected by the crowd. But this is just a small version of Vector Lounge - in reality, it is a pan-European project where designers from Berlin, London, Copenhagen, and Paris battle each other at different events. The final is later this year and I cannot wait to see the results!

Photo: Juliane Schmeltzer Dybkjær
Solar panels that fuel the soundsystem in this area of Roskilde. 

Game City is all about turning well known games and sports on their head and adding a new perspective, a European focus, a cause, and just simply having fun - which is very much in the spirit of Roskilde Festival.

Juliane Schmeltzer Dybkjær is an accredited reporter for E&M at Roskilde Festival 2011.

Last modified on Friday, 01 July 2011 21:24

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