Published: December 21, 2022, Edited by: Mads Hobye

2023: The Challenge

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Participate at Roskilde Festival 2023 with experimental and co-creative cultural experiences

By Roskilde Festival and Roskilde University as a part of Innovation Process and Living Laboratory for student training

How to participate and important dates

For you to be able to mature your project for the final submission, we have a kick-off and a hackathon.

To participate, do the following:

1) Read the details about the challenge and concept below

2) Join (Facebook group to be created) to be able to receive new information and ask questions, find people to work with etc.

3) February 17th 1000-1400: Kick-off event at FabLab RUC, building 9: A general introduction, a place to brainstorm and work on your idea. Bring your idea, develop it, get feedback on feasibility and formulate your application. There are experienced participants and representatives from the Roskilde Festival present who can give sparring, feedback and practical advice.

4) April 14th 1000-2000: Hackathon at FabLab RUC: The hackathon is a full work day. Finish your prototype in the FabLab and get feedback on durability. At the end of the day, you should have a functioning prototype (physical projects) or well-fleshed-out idea (research, interventions etc.) so you are ready to apply:

5) April 22nd: Deadline for submission of applications to Roskilde Festival. It is important you include the name, email, and mobile of all group members.

Submit your application through this form

6) May 1st: You will be notified whether your project has been selected for Roskilde Festival 2023.

7) May: there will be a build week in FabLab where you will get help with battle-proofing your installation and getting the final bits and pieces in order

8) June 24th to July 2nd: transport, setup, participation, takedown, Roskilde Festival. It is vital you can participate on the 24th and 2nd (takedown), and run the project throughout the week to the extent/hours agreed with the festival.

As a part of your project, we advise you to plan and participate in the above dates. This will allow you to mature your concept and have a solid solution to try out at the festival.

See projects from previous years on the front page

Challenge: Arts and culture as driving forces in circular development

Giving young people a voice, a space to develop, and the courage to engage and make a difference in the development of a circular society is a core value of both organisations. The circular agenda is constantly changing, and new generations have different norms, ideas, and values than previous generations. Therefore, festivals must renew themselves and be changeable from year to year. One way to address this challenge is to be spacious and provide room for new experiments, music experiences, and other activities attracting the participants. Therefore Roskilde Festival and Roskilde University invite students to contribute to the development of experimental and co-creative experiences for the participants at the Roskilde Festival. The challenge is:

Design and testing of experimental experiences, in which co-creation as well as art and culture in a broad sense, invite reflection on circularity and sustainability.
Breaking the boundary between organisers and participants
with the experience based on participation from the participants.

In this collaboration, we have a wide understanding that: 1) art and culture can take on a variety of expression forms, for example, architecture, technology, music, and social intervention, 2) sustainability is seen in its broadest sense, both in terms of social, environmental, economic, and cultural aspects, 3) solutions can be specific technical designs, process-oriented courses, games, workshops, etc.

Inspirational questions: Co-creation and dialogue

At Roskilde Festival physical constructions can be useful as beacons to find your way or as spaces inviting you to stay and socialise. Examples are:Light from sustainable sources, lanterns, attractive furniture, activating urban spaces, circular temporary buildings, sound as a marker, light installations, and eye-catching materials. Below we present a few inspirational questions addressing dialogue and reflections on circularity that your project could use as a starting point:

  • How can we in practice perceive the four bottom lines of Roskilde Festivals sustainability concept: environment, social, art, and economics?
  • How can we inspire participants to be more involved in caring for the emerging communities and/or give them opportunities to engage and get involved with each other socially?
  • How can we offer inclusive spaces and communities to guests and participants with special needs, diverse cultural backgrounds, functional capabilities, and identities?
  • How can we prevent abusive behaviour and encourage a supportive atmosphere?
  • How can we ensure that physical constructions are sufficiently robust to meet the wear and tear from users around the clock using them in challenging and sometimes untraditional ways?
  • How can nudging be applied to affect user behaviour?
  • How can we support new friendships, e.g., games, room for reflection, and facilities for dancing?

Format: Locations and ways to participate with a project

RUC student projects will belong in the BAZAR area which is situated in the western part of the festival area. The intention with the BAZAR area is circularity, i.e., everything must be built from recycled materials and all materials must be recyclable. Furthermore, some of the festival's major sustainable physical activities will take place in this area. The idea is to offer an area, where participants can rest or join various activities addressing sustainability and circularity.

There are 3 concrete ways that you can contribute with a project:

  • As a permanent installation on a light pole. This format ensures that you have power, that you have a solid base to mount your installation on and the possibility to mount parts of it out of the participant's reach. Here it is expected that the installation works on its own and that you maintain it during the music period.
  • As a temporary workshop/demo. By the base, within the festival, it will be possible to present and experiment with workshops, installations, and demos in which you are present and facilitate the experience. Here you are expected to unpack and pack down into a storage container for each session you run.
  • As pop-up projects. If your projects allow you can create experiments around the festival or camping area. In this case, it is expected that the materials for your project are easily portable in a back-pack or on a Cristiania bike.

About: Roskilde Festival as Living Lab

Roskilde Festival is the largest music event in Northern Europe with about 125.000 guests and volunteers during the festival week becoming of a similar magnitude as many major Danish cities. The urbanity is intense, and the festival life can be compared to life in a large cultural city.

Roskilde Festival serves as a cultural and artistic playground, test platform, or launch pad for new circular ideas. Roskilde Festival is a unique opportunity to gather experience and inspiration in the development of new services and products. From our point of view, Roskilde Festival can be seen as a so-called Living Lab. Two main elements characterise Living Labs: (i) a real‐life test and experimentation environment, and (ii) users who are aware of being involved in the innovation process. Living Labs are often described as a possibility for testing prototypes and design solutions, which can indicate whether an idea has the potential for further development and testing in other environments.

Criteria for selection of projects to Roskilde Festivals Living Lab

After the Hackathon, we will select the projects to be implemented at Roskilde Festival. The selection will be performed by a group of representatives from Roskilde Festival and Roskilde University, and you will be notified immediately after. If you are interested, please send an email to NN including a prototype or a brief description of your project along with email addresses and phone numbers of all group members.

We do emphasize, that participation at Roskilde Festival is not mandatory, but a possibility to obtain experiences from testing in an authentic context.

We have developed a set of criteria with the intention to ensure relevance and quality of the selected projects:

  • There must be a potential for improvement of a specific activity at the Roskilde Festival. We are looking for results to be applied in the future at the festival as well as in more permanent contexts.
  • There must be a contact person at Roskilde Festival who finds the project relevant and who can support the project in finding an appropriate location.
  • We are interested in projects with the potential to be a student-driven start-up.
  • Professional quality with regard to the learning objectives of the current educational activity.
  • The project must be realistic and feasible. We welcome a simple visualisation or prototype as part of the project description.
  • The financing of the project needs to be considered and be realistic.

N.B. The selected project groups are themselves responsible for building, dismantling, and staffing their own project at Roskilde Festival for a period agreed upon with the organizers.

Contact persons

Roskilde Festival:

Birgitte Rasmussen,

Roskilde Universitet:

  • Mads Hobye, Computer Science (academic)
  • Nicolas Padfield, Fablab RUC (practical)
  • Allan Grønbæk, Rektorsekretariat eksterne samarbejder (collaboration, contracts etc.)