Roskilde Festival is held south of Roskilde in Denmark and is one of the two biggest annual rock music festivals in Europe. It was created in 1971 by two high school students, Mogens Sandfær and Jesper Switzer Møller, and promoter Carl Fischer. In 1973, the festival was taken over by the Roskilde Foundation, who has since run the festival as a non-profit organisation for development and support of music, culture, and humanism.
It being Denmark's first real music oriented festival, originally for hippies but today covering more of the mainstream youth from Scandinavia and the rest of Europe. Roskilde Festival 2006 had more than 170 performing bands and gathered more than 79,000 people paying for the concerts, more than 21,000 volunteers, 5,000 media people and 3,000 artists - which means almost 110,000 people participated in the festival.
Traditionally the campsite opens the last Sunday of June, which gives the festivalguests plenty of time to settle down and "warm up". The festival officially starts the following Thursday at the Animal Showgrounds (in recent years simply known as the "Festival Site") and lasts for 4 days.
Until the mid-1990's the festival attracted mostly Scandinavians, but in recent years it has become more and more international (with an especially large influx of Germans, Australians and Scots). A Scandinavian alternative remained in the Midtfyns Festival, until that closed in 2004 following declining ticket sales.