There is something special about experiencing a music festival like Roskilde. Tucked about 30 miles on the outskirts of Copenhagen, this event is something unique, weird, awesome, and utterly unforgettable.
On a normal day, the town of Roskilde is a sleepy Danish town and is home to about 50,046 Danes. But during the week of the festival, that number swells to 160,000 people (volunteers, festival goers, media, and artists).
The 50-year old event has its own infrastructure, including small villages, a tent city, commerce, a startup ecosystem and excellent almost entirely organic food options. The organizers pride themselves on their mission of sustainability, recycling and a head nod to saving the planet.
I guess if I had to describe this experience I would say it’s like Lollapalooza and Burning Man mated and had a beautiful Viking child. It’s both a traditional and nontraditional mash-up of bands and artists from all over the world. The vast venue offers festival goers access to 5 stages. It’s hippy and edgy and there are a lot of beer bongs and drunken people, as required at these things.
This event lasts for 8 days and 8 crazy nights. Musically, there are a lot of options. Take, for example, a roster of performers reflecting my taste: Bob Dylan. CardiB. The Cure. Tears for Fears.
And those not reflecting my taste because I’m too damn old to be at this festival anyway: Death Grips. DJ Koza. Heave Blood and Die.
Regardless, and I say this with a critical eye, there’s a lot of stuff for everyone: food, music, community, art, and drunk people. And it’s Denmark so there’s no shoving or rude behavior.
Up until this year (2019) the only thing this self-sustaining musical event lacked was bathrooms – especially bathrooms for women. The lines wrapped around themselves and the ladies were forced to drop trou and pee in the bushes, camper style. It was becoming quite a problem and a common complaint.
To the rescue: a Danish startup, called LaPee (and winner of the CBC Global Finals, thank you very much). LaPee bills itself as a female urinal for large events and venues. It’s a pink potty with not a lot of privacy, but when you’re in an emergency, who gives a flip. The urinals are made of recycled — and recyclable — material and are dropped into these large events. Each unit offers three potties – for peeing. There is no pooping (although, clearly, someone didn’t get that memo in the stall I used).
The goal is pretty obvious – more peeing for more women at concerts. I fully endorse this mission. The challenge, from my perspective, is the actual act of using one. While you are blocked from the waist down by the walls of the pink potty urinal, at that point, frankly, everyone knows what you’re doing. I tried to shield my face and I don’t know why. Dudes don’t shield their faces. Next time I won’t shield mine, either.
It will take some getting used to, but the combination of the creativity of LaPee against the backdrop of the excellence of Roskilde just kind of worked (even if I covered my face that first time).
Full disclosure: Roskilde is a partner of the Creative Business Cup