Voluntary heartbreak.

I’m still wearing my Roskilde wristband. I always let stuff like that linger. Heck, I’m still wearing my NorthSider wristband as well. Two great festivals, both as a volunteer. I’m feeling more and more like this is the way I should go. That what I should focus on in my life is voluntary work. That’s not to say that I should make voluntary work all through my life, but that it should be the focus point. It should be the area into which I educate myself.

And finally I find myself following the shadow of my sister again. This is what she specialized in, and her job now is handling volunteers. From time to time I realize how similar we are, albeit from very different approaches. I’ve always looked up to her, maybe even idolized her a bit. She did everything well, she still does. But come high school I tried to take a different approach, and it was definitely the right choice for me. It wasn’t just because I wanted to try something different from her. I took to the humanities where she took to the business side of life. I think it was her sense of responsibility that led her that way, she has always been much more responsible than I have, and I guess she sensed – already then – that it would be the correct choice for the kind of education she wanted.

Now I want the same education that she has, business communication, and I come from a very different background. But I don’t think it will be too difficult. I think it will only help me, and the most important thing is that I have now find something that I really strive for, and that it is something that is meaningful for me to go through an education for. It will give me opportunities to get the jobs that I want. It will let me get into the positions I want to be in, where I can make a career for myself at a place such as Roskilde Festival. I can’t imagine myself not being a volunteer at Roskilde ever again, as I was last year, but at the same time I really want to “move up” in the system. I know I’m quite new compared to some others. 4 years of volunteer-experience is nothing compared to some people who have just volunteered at the festival for their 10th, 20th, 30th year. But I feel like this is the time for me to try to make a move. I’m young and full of ideas. I have fresh experience; I know what is working and what isn’t for the volunteers out in the sun and the rain doing the work, making the festival happen.

This year really was a tremendous year at Roskilde. The weather was so, so very kind to us. The Sun shone bright and high all through the days and way into the nights. It shone so much that we at last ended up wishing it would maybe dim just a bit. But of course it didn’t, and of course when it did the festival was over, and the timing had been perfect; a perfect week at the start of July, boxed in by rain on both sides, rain that didn’t affect the festival.

The music this year was amazing. I have an ongoing conversation with one of my best friends whether the programme gets better each year, or whether we just grow more confident in our tastes; just become more certain which concerts to go to and which to leave behind. We long ago left most of the concerts at the main stage to the average audience (I sound so elitist), who come for a day in the sun, sit on their chairs and drink their beer. That’s not for us. We seek the surprises at the small stages, and we gladly run from one stage at one end of the festival to another in the different end to make both concerts in time. I had an average of 7 concerts a day for the seven days where music played. That was a pretty good run, 49 concerts in total. And I’d say that probably 30 or so of them were memorable. 20 were very good, 10 excellent and 5 concerts brought me to some of the best places I’ve ever been to. So a really, really solid music year. And so much of it was new artists shining bright on the smaller stages. So much of it was kept away from the mass audience. That’s my ongoing love/hate relationship with music. That we seem to be so few who really want to dig deep into the music, who want to find out what is truly there. And I pity the artists, ’cause they give us their all, but most of those brilliant musicians on the smaller stages won’t ever reach an audience much bigger. And at the same time I love the way it is, because that means I can keep seeing them on the smaller stages – and smaller stages are just superior. Both sound and intensity is of a higher order on the smaller stages. I wouldn’t want to change that.

This year’s festival also brought with it some exercise for my heart. Of course. Especially one girl, whom I only know by first name, is stuck in my mind. On my last shift guarding the gate (a shift where I checked Kendrick Lamar’s wristband – just saying) we were critically understaffed. We were just two guys in a period where we ought to have been five or six. It was pure mayhem all through the night, running wild to make sure we could cover all areas – and drunk people not thinking about the workload we were handling. But in the middle of the night, after shifting help from some of the more “official” Roskilde Festival volunteers, we were finally getting help from 2 girls who were working by the stages, making sure the toilets were sort of clean. They had time to come and help us for a couple of hours, and one of them, Victoria, was just the sweetest person I’ve met in a long time. We clicked instantly and had so much fun even though it was 3 o’clock in the middle of the night, and it was at the end of the festival, so everything from the feet and up was hurting. We found each other’s company such a delight in the night, and she shared her banana with me, we took shifts taking bites. But suddenly they were off duty, two hours before my partner and I, and we hugged goodbye and goodnight, and that’s the last I saw of her. And I have regretted not getting her number ever since. Or her last name. Or anything, any kind of clue to find her. And then I come home and watch How I Met Your Mother, the episode where Ted meets the girl at the wedding, and they decide to try to make a perfect, untainted memory of a wonderful wedding date where they won’t exchange last names or numbers or any kind of information that could lead to their whereabouts – and her name is Victoria as well, and I just throw myself around in my bed, sighing one of my great big cry-sighs at the world. But Ted found her. So now I’m optimistic, as always. That’s why I never ask for a number. Because of my stupid faith in the universe to bring me back to the girl again.

But I’m home, and I’m feeling good despite missing out on getting to know her. And I’m writing songs again. I hadn’t written songs for quite some time. And I have all sorts of new music to listen to as well. And then of course I’m lying in my bed listening to The War on Drugs, like always. Because Lost In The Dream really is the only album anyone ever needs to listen to, and they played it so beautifully live at the festival. And I had been looking forward to seeing them again ever since I saw them in Copenhagen last year. And everything is pretty good, and the album ends now. And I should probably get some sleep.

I’ll write again when I’ve found Victoria. (and probably quite a few times before then)


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