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Redesigning An Outdoor Music Festival, So It’s Not A Mess Of Sunburns And Mud

Anders Grivi Norman & Victor Serrander created a design for Denmark’s Roskilde Music Festival that lets concertgoers feel like humans instead of cattle.

Redesigning An Outdoor Music Festival, So It’s Not A Mess Of Sunburns And Mud

Even when I was young enough to be the target audience for such things, I never understood the appeal of live music festivals: Why would I pay for the privilege of being trapped in a scorching hot, filthy-as-sin arena with unsanitary facilities and inhumanely priced water just to hear badly soundmixed bands that I probably can’t even get a good sightline on? Evidently the Berlin-based architects at Re-Make/Re-Model had the same questions when they submitted their designs for the main pavilion at Denmark’s Roskilde Music Festival (“Copenhagen’s answer to Coachella,” according to my worldly editor). Their award-winning design, cheekily titled “Why Don’t We Do It On The Stairs?”, aims to salve music-lovers’ suffering by boxing up key services and meeting spaces into the stadium seating risers themselves.


[Hacky sacks and devil sticks are MANDATORY]

“By creating two large stairs offering seating with views of the festival grounds and filling them with activity boxes where anything can happen, people can always find spaces that suit their mood — whether they want to learn how to make music, dance, kiss, meet other people, play boardgames, sleep, read newspapers or just sit down and look at people,” write architects Anders Grivi Norman and Victor Serrander. To their credit, they also admit that music festivals like Roskilde don’t always turn out to be the Age of Aquarius-esque wonderlands they’re advertised to be. So their designs offer ample space for simply sitting your tired ass down or taking shelter from the unanticipated rain or brutal sun, without having to leave the main festival grounds.


The designers’ contribution may seem rather minimal when the whole festival grounds are seen from the air as in the photo below (you can see the two stair structures at the top end). But this still looks much more humane than anything concertgoers tend to have here in America. Danish rocker-outers will be enjoying Norman and Serrander’s designs from June 30th to July 3rd. If the structure performs as well as the architects hope, maybe they’ll send a version of it across the Atlantic.

About the author

John Pavlus is a writer and filmmaker focusing on science, tech, and design topics. His writing has appeared in Wired, New York, Scientific American, Technology Review, BBC Future, and other outlets.