But first, anti-corporate pranksters The Yes Men outraged festival-goers with announcements that the fest would steal, store and share data from their texts, conversations, and Internet activity while on site.
The prank was engineered in collaboration between The Yes Men, Evil Twin Booking Agency, Edward Snowden, and Roskilde Fest, the largest music fest in Northern Europe, in order to elevate the discussion around digital surveillance to a broader scale.
The hoax was revealed in a conversation between Edward Snowden (live from Russia) and the Yes Men.
The crowd of 5,000 people sang happy birthday to Edward for his 33rd birthday.
(Thanks to Jacob Fuglsang Mikkelsen for the video!!)
STAND UP FOR YOUR RIGHTS
While the action pushed the trust of the festival guests and media to the limit, it was uplifting that so many people took an active stance on privacy. It would have been worse if everyone accepted intrusive digital surveillance as part of the background of our lives.
For The Yes Men, their second collaboration with former NSA official Edward Snowden made perfect sense.
Surveillance is nothing new to The Yes Men. Emails leaked by WikiLeaks from the private intelligence firm Stratfor reveal the chemical industrial giant Dow Chemical monitored every move of activists around the 25th anniversary of the Bhopal chemical disaster, the 1984 gas leak that killed around 25,000 people.
Of particular interest to Dow were The Yes Men, who pulled off a famous hoax that led the world to believe Dow had finally taken responsibility for the Bhopal tragedy, and launched a greater global debate of corporate power.
The Yes Men’s project with Edward Snowden is part of Roskilde Festival’s focus on equality and human rights, this year under the theme ‘Stand Up for Your Rights’. The project brought attention to the right to privacy, and how those rights are being eroded by digital surveillance.
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Roskilde Festival is 100 % non-profit and created by dedicated volunteers. All profits are donated to cultural and humanitarian purposes by the Roskilde Festival Charity Society.