Rain Cost Roskilde $1.5M

The torrential rain that turned last year’s event into a quagmire has cost Roskilde Festival almost US$ 1.5 million, according to figures released April 1.

"We have used more than 7 million Danish krona fighting the rain and the mud, money that we – if the sun had been shining – could have used for charity," said festival managing director Henrik Rasmussen, revealing that profits were two-thirds down on the record-breaking DKK 15.9 million (US$3.3 million) it made in 2006.

Rasmussen said he’s saddened that the profit and the donations are down, but said he’s also very happy that the festival did at least make some money for charity.

"Roskilde 2007 was a rough one, but the final profit shows that our dedicated audience kept the flag flying all the way through. And it shows that our fantastic volunteers gave all they had in them to ensure that our audience, despite unreasonable weather conditions, had a blast.

"We are proud to donate the profit to cultural and humanitarian purposes," Rasmussen explained in a statement.

Flemming Schmidt from Live Nation’s DKB Concertpromotion said after last year’s July 4-8 gathering, "I was there early on the Friday afternoon and from the main stage I could see 10 vacuum trucks sucking up the mud.

"After that, it poured down for the next 20 hours. The ground was already soaked with the rain from the previous four weeks. They made one hell of an effort to keep that site as clear of mud as they possibly could."

In the days immediately after the festival, the Danish papers began speculating on the costs of having the vacuum trucks clearing the site, the other extras needed to cover the general clear-up and the possibility that the entire area would likely need new grass.

One or two major dailies suggested the extra money needed may mean Roskilde’s annual charitable donations and funding for social projects may be severely curtailed over the next 12 months.

The event has still come out ahead DKK 4.9 million (just more than US$1 million) and has already announced charitable donations totaling DKK 1.2 million (US$ 250,000) to various charities.

Among the main beneficiaries are A Race Against Breast Cancer, SOS Children’s Villages, Victims Of Crime, Morning Cafe For The Homeless and the Danish centre for alcoholism and other addiction illnesses.

This year’s Roskilde July 3-6 has The Chemical Brothers, Radiohead, Neil Young, Slayer, Kings Of Leon and My Bloody Valentine.