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Monday, 04 July 2011 12:28

Festival guest of the day #4

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Andreas is 34 and lives in Copenhagen. I knew he had to be festival guest of the day when I heard that this year is an anniversary for him, and quite an impressive one as well. This year is Andreas' 20th year in a row at Roskilde!

Andreas is here for the atmosphere. He wonders if he would go only for the music, but thinks that he wouldn't - although, as you an imagine, is it hard to separate music and atmodphere after twenty years at the festival. "Even when the music program is weak, I still go, and I still have a good time," he says. When asked to describe Roskilde Festival in three words, he says "time warp" (you can literally forget what time it is when all you do is go to concerts, drink beer, and eat burgers), "all-embracing" and "intense". His best Roskilde memory made me green with envy: "Back in 1996, I was right in front of Orange Stage when Rage Against the Machine played. It was right when they were most succesful, and they are notorious for their live performances. Right after the concert, I stayed in front of Orange Stage, and Aerosmith went on. That was a crazy day, music-wise." However, Andreas thinks it is hard to determine one favorite Roskilde memory - because really, it is always the same, at least the atmosphere - and thank God for that!

 

Now that the festival area is open and the first concerts have been played, you really get to see what Roskilde is all about. Because of course, even though all the different and exciting initiatives that I have written about earlier blogs are important, Roskilde Festival always have been and always will be a music festival. As one guy put it: "Of course, it is fun to party during the warm-up days, but I don't believe that a festival could attract 75,000 paying guests if there were not music, and really good music too."

Saturday, 02 July 2011 21:10

Wired in #18: John Ghost

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In today's Wired in we present the Ghent-based band John Ghost! They play in an ensemble of ten musicians, all of whom study music at the famous Ghent Conservatory in Belgium. Jo De Geest writes their music (hence the name John Ghost) - but the band arrange and refine the music during their many rehearsals. The John Ghost musicians are influenced by jazz and progressive rock, taking their music to the next level by including atmospheric sounds and fascinating improvisation. Check out the interview with band member Wim Segers and if you're in Belgium try to catch them at one of their upcoming shows in Ghent!

E&M: You have a bunch of shows coming up and you're also playing the prestigious Ghent Jazz festival. What has working with this band been like since you founded it last year?

JG: In the beginning it wasn't always easy to rehearse with six musicians. Everyone had their own opinion about making music. There are also a lot of ideas behind John Ghost. After a while though, we all grew into the same direction. That's also when we were all starting to want to get across the same message. And when we started to have fun playing it. People could hear that I guess, because we got the first gigs then too.

Granted. There is quite a bit of waiting when you are at a festival like Roskilde, waiting with thousands of other festival guests. First, you wait in line to put up your tent. Then, you wait in line to buy a beer. In the morning, you wait in line to go to the toilet. Perhaps the most important wait of the festival is the wait for the actual festival area itself to open. Thursday at 5, the gates open from the camping area to the festival area - and the festival has officially begun.

This is certainly a wait that people take very seriously. I talked to some guys who had defied the rain and waited in line for two hours for the festival area to open. "It's just fun to be one of the first," Thomas said, "and when you've been in the camping area for five full days, you become impatient and really want the music to start," he adds.

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