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Pearl Jam
{ Roskilde 2000 }

Wed Nov 1 14:14:56 CST 2000
Promoter: Leif Skov
Security: Fair, reasonable
Where: Roskilde, Denmark
When: 6/30/2000
Stage: outdoors

By now, lots has been written and said about the concert that turned sour. So as not to repeat alot of details that we already know about, I will cap what I experienced and I just want to say how I feel about the whole ordeal and how it has affected me. In 1992 I was lucky enough to attend my first Roskilde. I'm blown away at how bitchin' the whole event was!!! I saw Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Faith No More and mega amounts of bands that I never thought I would see all in one event. I still remember seeing Pearl Jam.... I was in a state of PURE bliss. It was intense. The show was unbeleivable! It is forever etchhed in my brain, a show I will never forget. A memory that I relive all the time. Almost like a religious experience. That was close to 9 years ago, and I have attended all the festivals since then. This year was no exception. I traveled to Europe from San Diego so as not to miss this years. PEARL JAM! I was going to see PJ again!! My excitement was hard to describe..... I was to relive my first Roskilde. Talk about anticipation. So the shows started and the weather wasn't too bad and all was good. Thursday night we saw Bush. What a show that was, except for one thing....people seemed to be a little more out of control than previous years. Seems like the youth are a little out of control, I remember thinking to myself; as I was kicked in the head by a little to eager concert crowd surfer, I confirmed my suspisions. I really started to wonder, why doesn't everyone just chill a little and no shove so much. Well, it got worse. I remember yelling for everyone to 'take it easy', in my best Danish. THEY DID! People actually mellowed out around us. Hard to beleive but it was a little better after yelling that out. That anyone heard me over the loud music was amazing. Then, the guy that had kicked me in the face while surfing actually found me and apologized for it!! Even more amazing!!! That show was great. So of course I anticipated Pear Jam to be pretty wild and maybe even a little out of control. It was. I was about 20 feet from the front, a little off to the right. I had my California flag with me on my 25 foot long telescope pole that I always have at the festival. It is impossible to miss me. You can see the flag from hundreds of feet away. I know Eddie could see it. Once again, 10 minutes in the show, everyone started pushing. Like the night before, I yelled for my neighbors to chill. They didn't. I was never really scared or anything. I was standing next to one of the wave breakers, the poles intended to mellow the pushing and shoving of the crowd. As in previous years, they work!!! They have come under alot of criticism. They were not the problem. I have seen way to many shows where all has been OK thanks to them..... I don't beleive they contributed to the hell of that evening. So the show continued and I was actually enjoying the show as I did so many years before. I started to enter that feeling of bliss again, an 'even flow'. Little did any of us know what was really happening just a few feet away to our left. I won't go into all those details that others have written about. Rolling Stone actually described the show itself well. I don't need to repeat the events after the show stopped. Read the article or other peoples acounts. It is pretty much all the same. The show stopped, Eddie begged, told us to fuck off and cried. Once I realized that people were hurt, I went into denial. As the crowd started to move back and I could see some lifeless bodies being picked up and brought to the front....... I didn't want to beleive it. I was right there! I was witnessing history. A terrible fact that I am not too proud of. But I had no choice. This was to change me forever! As I said, we all know what happend after the music stopped. As I stood and watched in SHOCK as my bliss turned sour I didn't want to beleive. After 20 minutes of mouth dropping awe, I remembered that Underworld was starting in the green tent. 'We are outta here!', I said. We then hurried out of this mess and saw the last band we would that evening. I was in pure denial. When that show was over we heard the announcement from the orange stage that confirmed people lost their lives. A huge darkness came over me. I refused to beleive what had happened this rainy June 30, 2000. We hung out at the campsite and drank beers and just stared into space. I just wanted to sleep. When I awoke and found out that 8 of my fellow Roskilde brothers were gone, I just sat down and sobbed. Never had I hurt SOOOOOO bad. It was indescribable. I discovered that 3 of the brothers were members of my tribe, Swedish. -Oh man!!!... As I write this, Light Years just started playing on the radio. Just another reminder...... figures. I can't even cry anymore. I am dry. Eddies voice cuts right through me..... woes me. Anyways, I am Swedish and I lost 3 of my fellow vikings... it hits close to the heart and home so to speak. I stayed and grieved the remainder of the festival. A beautiful vigal on the last night. A solo artist played the horn to commemerate the gone. I brought 200 incense and handed them out to all gathered around the makeshift memorial. I cried with 100,000 other people. We let it out. We all hugged and held our heads down. We will never forget. As I left Europe, sitting in Copenhagen airport, I leraned of the death of the Aussie that was to be the 9th victim. I openly sobbed there in the airport. People watched me. I did not care. I hurt. I still was in awe, in shock of all that happened. I wanted to go home, and I did. Now then. During the show, I snapped off a roll of film. I photograph all the shows. I was almost scared to see my photos. I have a photo that was taken about 2 minutes prior to the stopping of the show. It says it all. The shot is totally STUNNING!!!!! I was offered alot of money for my film by the media. I turned them all down. No way was I gonna make money off this! The photo I have though of Eddie screaming into the mic as Daughter wailed out of the speakers is incredible. Time to make my point..... in this picture, you see a lot of feet and people horizontal. TOO MANY CROWD SURFERS!!!!!!!!!!! They say that the volume is to blame. They say that PJ is to blame. They say that Leif Skov is to blame. They say the security is to blame. You know what.... we as individuals are to blame. All those that think that climbing over others to surf above the rest is OK are wrong. I beleive these people to be the culprits. The responsibility is on us all. I want to let everyone know, crowd surfing kills. I welcome all and any comments. PEACE!... (and please be careful. Thank you.) Be good to each other- Gustaf Rooth planetrooth@earthlink.com

Gustaf Rooth

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