Roskilde Festival Day 3 & 4: Review

There’s a theme for Roskilde Festival 2024: Ointments and illness. We’ve made it through more than 200 festivals with a blister on the toe at worst but this year is different. The first day, ear problems; the second day, serious back problems and paying a visit to the local chiropractor (who suggested more beer and ointments); the third day, a vicious cold and a fever and another visit to a doctor (who suggested even more beer, medication, and dressing well – is this how Denmark made it through the pandemic?). Let’s say that Roskilde Festival 2024 is different from anything else we have ever visited or covered before.

Photograper: Kim Matthäi Leland

Monday started in horror and that weird feeling of getting sick last night just before bedtime turned out to be true and the day started with serious throat problems and a fever. As it grew worse during the day another visit to the doctor was unavoidable and just like yesterday he suggested more beer because it would make me feel good, dress well and take some medication regularly (well, more beer and regularity isn’t a good combination, let’s say that). Instead of taking part in Camp Vienna’s reputed Amplified Jam Session at the campsite, I decided to walk around the festival area and listen to new rising stars in the music scene.

First out was doom/sludge metal band Katla, a band we got stuck with after their two Warmongering Luciferians EP’s back in 2020 that maintain gritty productions, and an old-school style tone to the guitars, plus some creepy synths, reinforcing the overall sludgy, ugly vibes. I can best describe the live experience as a sort of electrolysis bath for the soul. The sonic intensity of the low frequency barrage runs through your body, entering through the chest, shaking off the germs that have colonized your body and helping to refresh your soul. Well, with all that said, it was a great way to forget about the fever and the cold for a few minutes and just enjoy music (and beer). As a bonus, I ran into my hometown neighbor who gave me a frozen margarita because ‘It will kill the germs in your body’. Since it was the third person in two days who gave this type of advice I just thought it must be valid scientific knowledge and just let go.

A beer later I was back at the GAIA stage and the exciting band 802, the band that released their debut single at the same time as they released a short art film. On record, it sounds nothing like it’s described on the festival’s website – no metal, but synth-driven layers coated in reverb-drenched guitar riffs. But on stage, the band looks like an extreme thrash metal band! The aesthetic doesn’t really fit the music, not at all. Despite the mismatch (who cares anyway?), it’s a solid performance although people in the audience didn’t really get the music and left halfway through the set. Music-wise 802 have much to offer and if they continue on the same path as on their first single, it will make up for a great debut album, but maybe they have to work on their live aesthetic – or maybe it will be the new thing in the future, to not look like the music you perform.

After the gig, I ran to the EOS stage to meet up with a friend and to catch a glimpse of Ella August. Again, I’m not going to review the show because pop music isn’t my thing, I got it confirmed once more, but she had a huge crowd which I take as a sign of popularity no matter what I think about it. Radio pop is for some people but not for others.

I made it back to GAIA again to watch Fochs Koshka and their techno set. There was a time when the world was spoiled with amazing techno acts like Cari Lekebusch, Adam Beyer, the brilliant Thomas Krome, Henrik B, and many more but that time is over. It wasn’t really the type of techno that got me going and I left early in the set, went back to my tent, and tried to sleep off the fever and cold – it didn’t work.


Day 4 started with an even worse fever and cold and another visit to the doctor who gave me more medication and recommended beer (you gotta love the Danish healthcare system – meds and beers!). This time I got a shot of a magic medication, made it to Camp Vienna United’s yearly badminton tournament and did my job as the referee, and then my day was over. I just had to go back to sleep to give the body a chance to heal up until the real festival starts tomorrow. 

About J.N.

Music researcher with an unhealthy passion for music and music festivals. Former studio owner, semi-functional drummer and with a fairly good collection of old analogue synthesizers from the 70's. Indie rock, post rock, electronic/industrial and drum & bass (kind of a mix, yeah?) are usual stuff in my playlists but everything that sounds good will fit in.