Press release: Roskilde Festival donates large sum to Freemuse

1 March 2010

Roskilde Festival Charity Society donates DKK 500,000 (approximately € 67,115) to Freemuse for its work for musicians’ rights and against music censorship.

Freemuse is the only organisation in the world that works internationally with documentation and information about attacks on musicians and composers’ freedom and right to express themselves.

“To restrict artistic creativity is also to restrict development, diversity and tolerance. It’s limiting the human right to express oneself. Unfortunately, these are the conditions for many musicians all over the world. Freemuse is doing great and important work for creating awareness about and remedy the problem. That is why we have chosen to support them,” says Roskilde Festival’s spokeswoman Christina Bilde.

She hopes that the donation will help shed light on Freemuse’s work and hence the need to support them.

“The donation from Roskilde Festival Charity Society means that we can continue our work for musicians’ freedom of expression. Many of the musicians, whom Freemuse has defended, are persecuted because they function as mouthpieces for the weakest in society. We hope that this donation can inspire more foundations and donors to recognise music’s impact on man and society — and not least the social and political role that many musicians play in the development of democracy in totalitarian regimes,” says Marie Korpe, executive director of Freemuse.

Positive effects of Freemuse’s work
There has already been positive effects of Freemuse’s work. Peter Hvalkof, booker of world music for Roskilde Festival, says:

“Each year at Roskilde Festival we present music acts from the poor part of the world — and often we run into visaing issues where it is difficult for musicians to be allowed to enter the country. In this matter, Freemuse’s presence has been highly appreciated. They partly function as watchdog, partly point out actual errors in case handling procedures. This has meant that bands that otherwise would have had to cancel their festival concert, could play after all.”

Peter Hvalkof is also much involved in WOMEX, the world’s largest international conference and exhibition for world music. Because of Freemuse’s efforts, WOMEX 2009 had no cancellations because of visaing issues — for the first time ever.

“In connection with WOMEX 2009 in Copenhagen, Freemuse published a note about visaing issues, which meant that the Immigration Service in Denmark became more aware of the problem. It has led to a direct and very positive dialogue with the agency,” says Peter Hvalkof.

In need of support
Roskilde Festival has previously donated means to Freemuse. Financial support is necessary for Freemuse to exist as an organisation.

Freemuse is headquartered in Copenhagen, but the organisation has not received official Danish financial support since 2006. It receives funding from SIDA (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency) — but because of the low exchange rate from the Swedish currency, the funding loses value when converted into Danish currency, and it primarily covers administration costs rather than actual activities.

More about Freemuse
Freemuse is a non-profit organisation that fights globally for musicians’ rights to express themselves. The organisation supports persecuted musicians, documents, debates and informs about music censorship and musicians’ rights, publishes reports and books about music censorship and runs — the only global website that documents and analyses music censorship and attacks on musicians.

More information

Roskilde Festival Charity Society
Christina Bilde, spokeswoman
E-mail: christina.bilde [AT] roskilde-festival [DOT] dk
Telephone: (+45) 4074 7222

Marie Korpe, executive director
E-mail: marie.korpe [AT] freemuse [DOT] org
Telephone: (+45) 3332 1017

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