Tommi Rønnqvist is a photographer. He has been at the festival since 1996 and has spent the last 4 years documenting the festival. The years before, he used to jump the fence. But since he became a righteous festival guest, it is his job to make sure that everyone at the Festival have memories to look back at, and the people who weren’t able to attend the festival can get a chance to see what it is like. We met Tommi on a sunny afternoon to talk about capturing the real festival vibe and what it is like to see Roskilde through the camera.
#1: What is your main focus this year?
I work for VICE magazine and we try to document as much as possible.
#2: How is it different from your other jobs?
It is actually quite easy to work here – everything is served and it’s just in your face. What is difficult is to filtrate all the shit because in a way everything looks amazing at the festival. Everyone is happy and have a good time.
When it’s all over it’s difficult to see what’s unique. So you have to be quite critical.
#3: Which are your best memories of capturing the vibe on Roskilde Festival?
I don’t know – I think it all fades into one big experience. It is very cool to be here for 14 days just documenting everything – from the graffiti painters that decorate the walls one week before the festival opens, the tents getting built and all the volunteers working, to the days after where everything is trashed. A photographer friend and I went one time back to the festival to look at the site after everyone had left. It looked like a nuclear warzone. We walked around and picked up funny hats and took pictures of shoes. I like the story they tell. Who walked in them and what did they experience? Do you know the ‘Roskilde blues’? When everyone feels sad when they get home? It was like that. All the life that was there before disappeared quickly and now everything was gone. But it is a shock to see all the things people leave behind.
#4: Which concert do you personally look forward to experience at the festival?
The only concert I really wanted to see was Electric Wizard but I was stuck on the train. This year I am not here for the music. But I look forward to see Omar Souleyman, the Arabic wedding singer. I am very impulsive when at a festival. I like to just observe and go with the flow.
Christina, Nanna & Tine.