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Nordic Playlist # 13 – Stefan Gejsing from Roskilde Festival

Stefan Gejsing

To celebrate the release of the full line up for Roskilde Festival 2014, we have a very special Nordic Playlist in place this week - curated by none other than the festival's chief booker!

Mar 2014
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Stefan Gejsing has been inviting incredible bands to grace the stages of the legendary Roskilde Festival since 2007, and has now revealed the full line up for the much anticipated 2014 edition.

Alongside internationally renowned artists such as The Rolling Stones, Arctic Monkeys and Major Lazer, you’ll find some outstanding Nordic talent from artists such as Lykke Li, Trentemøller and our previous curator Jenny Wilson!

Find out how Stefan picks the bands for the event, and read more about the artists announced to play this year’s festival in our exclusive interview – and tune into his Nordic Playlist now, made up of 10 fantastic artists set to play Roskilde Festival 2014!

How long have you been working with Roskilde Festival, and which has been your favourite edition so far?

I’ve been working for Roskilde Festival since 2007 – it’s really difficult to pick one festival over another. It is like your little baby and you work with it for a whole year, and it is the best little baby until you start all over again.

Can you tell us about what we can expect from Roskilde Festival this year? Are there any big changes in store? Which events are you most looking forward to?

This year we made quite a few changes. We have a whole new stage (Avalon), we have moved the Upcoming stage Pavilion Junior to the camping area and given it a new name (Rising) and as always are looking forward to seeing what people say about these changes. It is always difficult to change anything at Roskilde.

People have many favourite places and have had good experiences that mean a lot to them, so when you change something, there are  always a lot of feelings involved. We have a really active crowd at the festival and they will tell us if they love or hate an idea you have. That is really rewarding in my work.

This year we made quite a few changes. We have a whole new stage (Avalon), we have moved the Upcoming stage Pavilion Junior to the camping area and given it a new name (Rising) and as always are looking forward to seeing what people say about these changes. It is always difficult to change anything at Roskilde. People have many favourite places and have had good experiences that mean a lot to them, so when you change something, there are  always a lot of feelings involved. We have a really active crowd at the festival and they will tell us if they love or hate an idea you have. That is really rewarding in my work.

Can you tell us a bit about how you choose the artists that you invite to play at the festival?

At Roskilde we have a group of 7 people who decide what is going to play at the festival. It’s a mix of volunteers and people working full-time… we meet once a month and have long discussions about which artists we want to invite to the festival. Sometimes the discussions can go on for weeks with very good arguments and dialogue. Our main task is not only to pick the best but to pick what we think suits the festival’s music profile. Often we would like to have more bands and artists than we have room for…

There’s always a strong new music presence at Roskilde, especially for Nordic artists – where do you like to find new music, and new artists to invite to the festival?

Most of my job is doing research online and listening to music that people send to me. I try to go to concerts, festivals and I have people around me that keep me up to date with what is going on in Nordic music. It is really very rewarding to work with these guys, and I never get tired of hearing something new and exciting. I think that the most important thing in my job is to keep being curious.

Can you tell us about some of the tracks that you’ve picked today and why you selected them?

Lykke Li I saw many years ago in a small club in Copenhagen. She had just released her first single and things started picking up for her at that time. She visited the festival that year and ever since that year I have seen her as one of the biggest names in Sweden. Her new record sounds like the soundtrack to a movie shot in the cold Scandinavian winter, and I think she will ram home her status as a great artist.

The Awesome Welles I discovered through their booking agent. He kept saying that I need to see this band live and finally I had the time to do so. They have an energy and a tightness that you normally only see in bands who have played together for many years. I am really looking forward to their record which will be out later this year.

Dark Buddha Rising I’ve wanted to put on Roskilde for years. They are one of the best bands in the Doom metal genre. This year we’re presenting a small package of doom bands, and the show from these Finnish guys is one concert I will be at.

The Nordic Playlist is all about discovering music from the Nordic countries, so can you tell us about a Nordic artist/album/event that is particularly special, or has been particularly influential on you?

One of the first things I did when I started at Roskilde was to go to by:Larm in Oslo. It was a great way to watch a lot of Nordic bands in a few days. Ever since that I have come back every year and I use the festival as a very important event in my work.

Who should we make sure we don’t miss at Roskilde Festival?

It is difficult to point anything out in particular. I would say that you should try to come on the days where the Rising stage and Apollo Countdown is on, (30 June to 2 July). There you will see all of the upcoming artists from all the Nordic countries and I promise you that all the bands see their concert as one of their highlights in their career so far, and I think that you can feel that vibe when attending the concerts. You will be surprised and see a lot of happy bands and musicians doing their best. What’s not to like?!

www.roskilde-festival.dk
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