Wisdom From The Broken Hearts of Roskilde Festival

"The festival is just one big field of raw emotions that you can either hide in or mirror yourself in at any given time. Despite being a million people out here, there’s space to feel all feelings."

Written by Sarah Goldstein

Amidst all the drinking, dancing and general debauchery at Roskilde Festival, the field is left littered with achy breaky hearts. We’ve all been there, and navigating the rawest emotional minefield can be daunting. We sat down for a talk with two ladies and semi-veteran Roskilde Festival goers about their experiences and advice. Here’s what they had to share.

Anna
32
17th year at Roskilde Festival

Sara
31
17th year at Roskilde Festival

So Anna, I understand that you’re currently stomping these grounds with a broken heart?

Anna: Yeah… My boyfriend and I just recently broke up and he’s out here as well actually.

Have you run into him?

Anna: No, not yet… I’m kinda dreading it too… Even worse would be seeing him with someone else.

Do you think being at the festival with a broken heart is a good distraction?

Anna: I mean, it can be. But sometimes getting drunk in this state can enhance the “wrong” feelings. Instead of getting happy drunk, you risk getting sad drunk, and that’s kinda hard to turn around in the moment.

Do you think there’s any way of avoiding that?

Sarah: Sometimes it helps clearing the air before throwing yourself into alcohol. Talk it out, share your pain before trying to numb it can sometimes make you feel more ready to cope.

So immediately throwing yourself into partying with your friends is not necessarily the shit with a broken heart?

Anna: Partying with your friends can fix a lot, but at the end of the concert and mayhem, you go back to your tent alone while they others go home with their significant others. It can feel a bit lonely.

But isn’t the festival an ideal place to meet people? New people?

Anna: Sure! You just also have to be open to it…. I don’t think I’m there yet.

And Sara, 17 years at the festival, you must have had your fair share of heartache out here?

Sara: Yeah, I remember breaking up with my boyfriend many years ago right before the festival and running into him several times here.

How was that?

Sara: Awkward! Kinda hard to flirt with others when your ex is crying on your shoulders! But I did want to be there for him.

I can imagine! Hard to get away from the heartache out here it seems?

Sara: Well, not always! I was out here with a broken heart in 2016 and just felt like everything was shit. But volunteering out here on the building team helped get my mind off it, and I actually met my boyfriend that year!

So you threw yourself into work instead of music and alcohol?

Sara: Yeah, building stuff out here kinda forces you to think about something else. It’s intense work and long hours, so you bond with people quickly. That helped me very much then, but the festival is a different place before the crowd descend on it. 

Anna: I don’t have that same experience, not having worked here, but it also helps that there’s room for all emotions out here and that you can find an outlet in all the music. You can wallow with R&B, rage out with heavy metal or dance it all away to a great pop concert.

The music can be very therapeutic?

Sara: Yeah, but it goes beyond the music. The festival is just one big field of raw emotions that you can either hide in or mirror yourself in at any given time. Despite being a million people out here, there’s space to feel all feelings.

Anna: Yeah! I feel that there’s a different sense of community out here, that we’re all in this together, even if one can feel a bit alone at times. There’s always something waiting to happen just around the corner.

Having both attended this festival for 17 years and gone through some breakups along the way, do you feel it gets easier? Like now you know the dos and don’ts of getting over someone out here. Is it different than getting over someone in “the real world”?

Sara: It’s almost as if everything happens faster out here, like you face your issues and hurt at warp speed. The alcohol and lack of sleep probably contribute to that.

Anna: I feel my emotions have grown up in a way. Running around the festival as a teenager in love or heartbroken, the emotions felt so big. Now it’s like you know your hurt better, if that makes sense?

Yeah, it does! All in all, the festival itself is a therapeutic community?

Anna: Definitely. One big body with an open heart and arms.

Do you guys have any sage advice for others who come here trying to mend a broken heart?

Sara: Take it easy! Don’t rush to get drunk cause that shit can backfire hard!

Anna: Don’t be afraid to feel what you’re feeling. Own it, talk about it and then listen to some great fucking music!

So you leave the festival in better shape than when you arrived with a broken heart?

Sara: I know I did in 2016!

Anna:  Sure, but then again, leaving the festival is a whole different type of crushed heart. It’s a different mourning process, but the same aching heart. The festival blues is no joke!

You kinda wish you could stay out here longer?

Sara and Anna: NO!

Sara: I need my own bed and a looooong shower!

Anna: Me too.