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Music in Roskilde

Lonely Planet Denmark, 8th edition

IN SCANDINAVIAN mythology, Ragnarök was the violent end of the world. In the mid-1960s, the music kids listened to was thought by some to likewise herald the end of days, but we got over it. Now “Ragnarock” is the name of a highly interactive museum in Roskilde, 30 kilometres west of Copenhagen, that blares the history of rock and roll.

The 8th edition of Lonely Planet Denmark calls it “spirit-lifting…and often humorous.” There are walls of headphones to listen to songs on, a stage for trying out dance moves and a hole you can stick your head in “that tries to suggest what an acid trip might feel like.” The curious can also learn “why toilets were integral to Danish music production.”

Ragnarock (www.museumragnarock.dk) is an outgrowth of the Roskilde Festival, begun in 1971 and “Denmark’s answer to Glastonbury.” Held in mid-July, it’s northern Europe’s largest music festival, “a week-long binge of bands and booze.”

More than 160 bands play: everyone from Neil Young and Arcade Fire to Iggy Pop and the Foo Fighters has been, but “the promoters are also astute at trend-spotting, so expect to catch hot new acts that haven’t yet come into the spotlight.”

Because it’s a 30-minute-or-less train ride from Copenhagen it can be done as a series of day trips, but there’s also onsite camping and the chance to enjoy a swimming lake, food workshops, art events “and even a naked run!” Tickets go on sale in October and all 75,000-plus of them are usually sold out by June. www.roskilde-festival.dk

Roskilde, at the head of a fjord, is also known for its Viking Ship Museum (www.vikingeskibsmuseet.dk), whose highlights are five authentic 11th-century Viking ships as well as several floating, functional, modern reconstructions.

 

www.lonelyplanet.com

 

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