Like a winter without Christmas

The role of internal interaction rituals and the alignment of social order following the disruption of the Roskilde Festival
17 marzo 2022
Orario di inizio 
Palazzo di Sociologia - Via Verdi 26, Trento
Meeting Room Ist Floor
Comunità universitaria
Ingresso libero


  • Annette Michelsen la Cour - University of Southern Denmark


  • Andrea Brighenti -  University of Trento
  • Chiara Bassetti -  University of Trento


The 2020 cancellation of the second largest music festival in Northern Europe, the Danish Roskilde Festival, represented a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore the social, cultural, and symbolic meaning of festivals. This chapter draws on a mixed method survey distributed in the summer of 2020 and a single-case study of a self-organised festival in 2021. It explores the emotional and social reactions to the cancellation through Collins’ theory of interaction rituals and Boyns and Lurie’s addition to said theory. Out of the 807 survey respondents, thirty-one per cent planned to organise replacement festivals or engage in other festival-related activities in the period that the festival was supposed to take place. Likewise, the two focus group interviews from a self-organised replacement festival revealed conscious use of Roskilde Festival rituals to create social order and internal solidarity in their camp community. Both survey respondents and focus groups interviewees make use of high EE-creating activities and traditions as a strategy of alignment to establish resonance in the face of disruption. In making up for the unfulfillment of EE due to the cancellation, respondents create their own “time out of time”, ensuring continuity.