The Roskilde Festival campsite opens this week (June 25) in readiness for the weekend’s massive influx of music fans, volunteer festival workers, bands and crew, doubling the city’s population and making it the fifth-largest in Denmark.

The eyes of the live music industry (apart from those of the crowd, the thousands of unpaid festival workers, 3,000 band and crew members and the 4,500 media and industry people) will be focused on the festival after nine people died last year following a crowd surge.

Leif Skov from the festival’s management team said, “Naturally, many things have been settled later than in previous years. Ticket sales also started with a hesitancy from audience and parents but, once the care and risk assessment was approved, sales really got going.

“We wish for the festival to be bringing back the smile and the great musical experiences and to recreate faith in safety and care. If choosing between economy and life, our first priority is obvious,” he added.

An impressive list of international acts includes Robbie Williams, Neil Young, Beck, Nick Cave, The Cure, Bob Dylan, Faithless, Grandaddy, JJ72, Placebo, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Stereo MC’s.


Last year, it wasn’t only a Dour Festival but a very damp and depressing one as well due to the torrential rain that lashed down for virtually all of the four days.

That didn’t deter the crowds as more than 20,000 per day flocked to the 25,000-capacity site. Despite late cancellations from Amen, Experimental Pop Band, Paul Eliott, E-Town Concrete, and Dilated Peoples, the organisers of this year’s July 5-8 event are confident of a sell-out crowd for a bill that includes Luke Slater, The Orb, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Iggy Pop, Run DMC, Therapy?, Horace Andy, Tim Simenon, and The Damned.

With only days to go, promoter Herman Schueremans is confident the weekend’s Rock Werchter Festival (June 29 – July 1) will complete a hat trick of sell-outs, as all 70,000 tickets have been sold in each of the last two years.

The acts attracting all the attention this year include Queens Of The Stone Age, Deftones, Tool, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Ash, Wheatus, David Gray, The Black Crowes, Beck, Sting, Placebo, Faithless, and Roxy Music.

Also this weekend (June 29-30) is the 12th Couleur Café Festival, which is held on an old industrial site near the customs and excise sheds by the Willebroek Canal in Brussels.

The 17,000-capacity event not only celebrates world music but also world gastronomy as one area, which is known as Rue du Bien-Manger, has food from more than 40 different countries.

The acts include Afro Celt Sound System, Sinsemilia, Lucky Dube, Baaba Maal, and Burning Spear. The festival also has a huge market and for the first time this year, there’ll be an exhibition called Viva La Muerte, based on how some countries treat funerals as a party celebration.

Macabre items on the bill include coffins from Ghana, mummified heads from Mexico and sundry photographs of funerals. There will also be some craftsmen on site to make coffins to order on a while-you-wait basis, hopefully not taking so long that the coffins aren’t needed before they’re finished.


Another generation of Finns enters the arena. Neil Finn’s teen-age son Liam and his Auckland-based band Betchadupa have signed to Rupert Murdoch’s Festival Mushroom Records. Neil (of Split Enz and Crowded House fame) said his other son, Elroy, has no interest in music as he is too obsessed with playing soccer. In fact, Elroy provided the title of Neil’s One Nil album. Elroy got the winning goal in the last game of the season last year, a one-nil result, which got his team in the championships.

Western Australia’s Censorship Minister Jim McGinty signaled that he was not about to ban concert-goers who are less than 18-years-old from live performances by Eminem and Marilyn Manson.

The issue was brought up by Cheryl Edwardes, the strict Censorship Minister in the previous government. McGinty dismissed Edwardes as too prudish, that censorship was “a throwback to the ’50s.” He added, “If we banned everyone who was offensive, we’d live in a very strange world – and not one I’d like to live in.”


House of Blues Concerts Canada is presenting Edgefest II. The festival, which according to a HoB spokesperson has become a brand which offers cool alternative Canadian and international acts, will be staged August 25 at Toronto’s Molson Amphitheatre

The event features Blink-182, New Found Glory, Sum 41, Millencolin, Jimmyeatworld, and Good Charlotte. More will be announced. The only other Edgefest concert this year will be the annual Canada Day celebration July 1 at Molson Park in Barrie, Ont., including such bands as Tool and The Tea Party.

Finger Eleven has pulled the plug on its national summer tour, A Big Noise, with Clutch, Unified Theory, and Blinker The Star. The House of Blues Concerts Canada presentation will be rescheduled for the fall. Meanwhile, the Canadian rock band, signed to Wind Up, will make a video for “Bones & Joints” and continue working in the studio on new material