Ozzy Osbourne concert – Drugs ARE bad

At the Ozzy Osbourne concert He stands in the middle of a hotly lit stage looking confused. Three young ‘rockers’ nearby hold their instruments and watch with anticipation, he simply stares into the crowd rocking on his feet. It seems as though his black knee length boots are the only thing keeping him upright. With mouth slightly open he blinks, two pixellated clones on large flat screens which flank the stage blink shortly after he does. It is obvious that his brain is trying to catch up with his body, he is trying to figure out how he got on this stage and what he is meant to be doing now that he is here.

A large sweaty lady with muddy boots eyes me from in front and starts to back her substantial backside uphill toward my shrinking frame. I am trapped by a group of drunken students behind but fight to avoid this coquettish bump being slowly delivered. Thankfully the large rump stops its searching when its owner hears the figure on  stage yell; “I CAN’T FUCKING HEAR YOU DENMARK” Ozzie Osborne has come to life, unwittingly saving the day when he realises that he is standing on the centre stage at the Skanderborg festival. He is being paid a large sum to visit a forest in Denmark while 60, 000 eager fans both mock and cheer him on. He has to sing. I have to get out of here.

Lotte and Peter, Jette’s sister and brother in law have kindly invited us to spend a day at the Skanderborg festival with them. Jette’s work has kindly allowed her two days off to do just that. The three usually spend a whole five days camping together and watching music in this forest festival just out of town. This year however Jette is saving holidays for our Asia trip and has only allowed one day for festival activities. Lotte and Peter however, are spending the whole five days as per tradition. They are camped just out of the festival arena in a large paddock which after days of solid rain and footsteps is now a mud bath. On top of the mud and due to the rain the whole paddock smells like piss as drunken revellers simply urinate right outside their tents. Can’t say I blame them really, but I don’t want to slip in the mud that is for sure.

Jette and I arrive in the late afternoon and relax in Lotte and Peter’s tent before we brave the weather for a walk in the forest. A forest with 60, 000 people, three stages, countless restaurants hastily set up and toilet and beer stalls filling every spare spot. For the first two hours I follow Lotte and Peter, open mouthed and clutching Jette’s hand for security. The scene is amazing. Tall trees look down patiently on the festival as if waiting patiently to have their serenity returned. The mobile infrastructure set up here is something to behold. Lotte and Peter, fully acclimatised to the spectacle after four days, spend the afternoon showing Jette and I around. “There is the Pubmarine, there is the waterfall”. A one storey high, artificial waterfall has been set up, “oh, there’s the pink trojan unicorn” Of course. We sit on some stairs between the drinks robot and the full size wind turbine planted in the ground. I drink a beer and watch people clamber with rubber boots onto the five meter tall trojan horse. This whole thing flies in the face of my previous forest experience. I once spent four days Tasmanian forest without seeing a single person and now I am in one with jacuzzis set up  where you can unwind and drink champagne. The constant hum of people wafts through trees behind us as we watch the Olsen brothers sing about love. The earthy smell of mud contrasts with the smell of spilt drinks and alcohol on passing jeans.

Once I find my feet, it takes about four hours, Lotte and Peter leave us to explore. Jette and I wander through the forest as a muffled roar comes between the dense leaf cover. Ozzie has hit the stage. We make our way to the main stage and peering over the crowd see a black lego figure bouncing around on the stage like a caffeinated toddler. Ozzie Osborne, famous singer from Black Sabbath, even more famous degenerate father from the reality series “The Osbornes”. One in four people we pass yell out “Sharon” mocking Ozzie’s famous call for help to his wife on the show. By the time we reach the relative calm of the Hippy Bar Jette and I are in stitches. Despite having an amazingly enthusiastic backup band Ozzie manages to kill his long popular hits with a confusing mumbling of lyrics. Between songs he stops to jump up and clap with a clear “I can’t fucking hear you Denmark” Seeing Ozzie enjoying himself so much while I hear the crowd jeering and laughing behind me makes me feel sorry for this fossil of rock. A lifetime of drug abuse has left him a target with a parkinsonian gait. I truly do not think he realises as he grins and murmurs his way through his set. However, I suppose it is a win/win situation. Ozzie gets paid to do what he clearly loves, we get to see a true rock legend, (the title legend is clearly forgiving of bad timing and fried grey matter), the festival organisers have a big name to add to the promotional flyers. I fight my way to the front of the very drunk crowd, of course people are polite to me as I bump my way past. This is where the large lady spots me and causes me to beat a hasty retreat.

A lifetime later I find Jette who reports being stared at by a lone stalker since I left her. Jette thinks he has taken drugs, I just think he must be an excellent judge of character. I am growing tired of the crowds and of watching this walking advertisement against drug use

We meet the others and we decide to wander to the Blues tent. This is an open entry tent where up and coming bands play for free. The atmosphere is more agreeable than the crowded main stage area.

A few more beers sees Jette driving (and me drunkenly rambling) in one very muddy little Fiat Punto. We were going to camp the night but, despite having endured worse tenting weather on other missions, we decide to drive the short hop home to Aarhus.

Jette and I plan to visit this forest in the still of winter, I want to apologise for all the people intruding on her peace and to see the area in its natural state.

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This business partnership has expired.” Ben has no idea what adventures are in store when he sets out to discover what lies over that next mountain.

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