The legendary Orange Scene – The Orange Stage at Roskilde Festival. It is not an easy stage to play I imagine, nor is it an easy place to make pictures. It is a special, sacred place almost. The stage itself was used by Rolling Stones and Queens before Roskilde Festival purchased it in 1978. People talk about legendary, good and not so great shows on the Orange stage for decades. It must be intimidating to set foot on this stage. But then the rush of seeing 50-60-70 thousand people in front of you from the stage (well, in my case, from the photographers pit) must make you either pass out or get really high!
My Orange experience
I am a newbie and have only shot Roskilde Festival for 2 years – 2016 and 2017, so I have probably only shot 14-16 shows on the Orange Stage. The Orange Stage is special in many ways. At every other stage at Roskilde Festival, if you have the correct Photographer credentials you can just show up 15 minutes before show start and you can walk into the photo-pit in front of the stage. But there is a very limited space in the Orange stage pit and almost every photographers wants to shoot the big names of course, so the Orange Stage works on an assignment system. This was a bit messy in 2016, but the new 2017 system where every photographer used an online system to choose a 1st and 2nd priority for every day on the Orange stage worked really well.
Once you know which shows you are allowed to shoot on the Orange, you proudly wear the correct sticker (don’t loose these and try not to get them wet!) and line up for access to the magic. You walk (fast) through a maze of fences and tunnels, then you walk up a few steps and suddenly you are in this little pit right in front of the stage, very close to the artists and a great view of the insanely huge crowd. I still remember the first time I did this walk, and saw this view. I get goose bumps every time. It is a tough place to make pictures, there is limited room to move, there might be truckloads of gear on stage in the way, the artists might be right in front of you almost on top of us, or hiding behind a piano (hello Neil Young, now we see you now we don’t) – and we have very limited time. But it doesn’t matter, it is a magical experience none the less. I can get quite spellbound watching the crowd during the concert, but we usually only get 3 songs and out so I cannot stare out over the ocean of 50,000+ people for too long. I particularly love the Orange Stage at night, in the darkness, the magic happens.
I feel really lucky to have experienced this two years in a row and I really hope to add another Orange Stage experience this year. My big dream is to one day be able to actually set foot on the actual Orange Stage itself and make pictures on stage. The view from the stage must be out of this world. I know, because I am standing so very close to out-of-this-world in the pit! I do not know if it will ever happen. But I can dream!
That Orange Feeling Gallery
You can view all my photo essays from Roskilde here, in this gallery I am solely focusing on pictures of the stage or the Orange stage experience itself. I made an effort in 2017 to try and shoot some more pictures of stage, the crowd at the stage and the view from the photographers pit on the stage. I wanted to document the many moods of Orange, capture the Orange Feeling as I experience it.