By Yuliia Mishyna, photos by Guki Giunashvili and Kankanit Wiriyasajja
Numerous acts, locations all over Aarhus and thousands of visitors: during the gloomy, rainy, snowy and sunny, yet definitely very energetic beginning of May, SPOT Festival celebrated its 25th anniversary and raised the bar for the years to come.
Now, after three days of rocking, talking, chilling and dancing, it’s time to turn the spotlight from the performers to those whose work made the festival happen. The volunteers, security guards, stage builders, and many other people have worked daily to ensure that every single visitor is enjoying SPOT Festival.
So, who are these all these people behind the scenes and what they are actually up to?
As you enter the festival locations, the first thing you have to do is check in. Johann, a 16-year-old student from Copenhagen, is smiling proudly while talking about his new experience of being a check-in volunteer. Only one minute ago he won over his fellow in the “battle” of rock–paper–scissors and now speaks on behalf of the whole crew — four people altogether.
“I have been here for only one hour or so and already registered the guy from X-factor! That is so cool!”, he says astonished. Like many other high school youngsters, Johann is volunteering at SPOT and gets the free entrance to the acts instead. “I know some of the bands and hope I will not be working when they are performing.”, he laughs. After such a good start Johann will probably come back here next year. “The festival is cool, so I hope there will be a possibility next time.”, he says.
Johann’s fellow volunteer Athalie is also very excited over the acts. “I moved to Aarhus one year ago, and since that time all my friends have been constantly saying how cool is SPOT, that it has a good vibe and that I must come here. Well, and here I am!”, she says while checking the wristband on the bypassing person.
Athalie’s workplace is located in the SPOT Plus zone in Radisson Blu Hotel where all the discussions are taking place. “Sometimes we have to disappoint people and send them back to the registration. It’s a long way, but these are the rules.”, she explains.
In 30 minutes Athalie’s shift is over and she is going to explore what is going on at the stages. “What I see is that here all the people are in a great mood. You just grab a beer and spend the time with a friend. It’s also hygge,”, she smiles.
On the backyard of the Radisson, in the middle of the concert ground, stands Selim. He looks around thoroughly, trying to notice any possible danger. However, there are not many people here now, so he comes back to his fellows. Now they have a couple of calm hours before the first act of the day hits this ground. Then the hard work begins.
Usually, the security team works in groups. One person is checking the bags at the entrance, another stands between the stage and the first rows so that people do not jump on the stage.
“We are also surrounding the whole perimeter and make sure that any stowaway is jumping over the fence.”, explains Selim and continues: “Fortunately, people are not cheating that much — my colleague caught only one yesterday. And I guess, that’s it.”
If someone breaks the rules, the security will immediately take this person out of the festival ground or the territory. “Even if somebody is naughty, we make sure he or she is out in a nice way. We are super polite.”, Selim convinces smiling.
Emma and Karoline are also working on the festival ground. Their volunteering responsibilities include cleaning the trash bins and collecting the litter after the concerts when all the people have eft. “The work is not really hard. But it is enough to make you get sweaty fast, that’s true.”, Emma laughs.
Girls have just picked up the empty bottles and are going to sort them into the bags. Emma and Karoline are heading to the back entrance of the building where their fellow volunteers are already finishing the packing of the bottles. It seems that the teenagers are having fun on this improvised sorting station.
Before joining their friends, the girls share their plans for today: “After the shift, we are going to check out the performances. It’s the last festival day, we should use it.” Karoline says. Her colleague continues: “SPOT festival is really fun. It has something for everyone, whatever taste you have.”
They say it takes a village to raise a baby. Well, it takes an entire city to deliver a great festival such as SPOT 2019 was. To ALL the people who made this extraordinary experience possible, we, the journalists at Jutland Station, THANK YOU!