The international hipster community prepares for a difficult weekend by donning wristbands, as the most important music festival in the solar system begins in Reykjavík tonight.
Beginning in 1999, what started as a little side–project for our
nemeses competitors at Icelandair has grown into, uh, a big side–project for Icelandair, bringing thousands of hipsters from all over the world to our shores for a few days of quiet introspective music appreciation. Or, as it happens, not so quiet.
Among the over 180 acts performing this year are local heroes Mugison, Mínus, Jakobínarína, Jeff Who?, Benni Hemm Hemm, Apparat Organ Quartet (pictured below, in full regalia), Ghostigital, Leaves, Stillusteypa, Mammút, Daníel Ágúst, Jagúar, Stórsveit Nix Noltes, Seabear, Sign, My Summer as a Salvation Soldier and Pétur Ben. (Also playing: lots of foreign bands that we honestly don’t care about. Just kidding!) Click here for the programme.
In a heroic gesture of investigative journalism we contacted one of our reliable sources, who claims she’s been to the Airwaves festivals from the start: “It’s fantastic because you get the variety of a major festival but the real magic is that it’s all wrapped up in tiny package. It feels intimate. You’ll recognise and be recognised by other partygoers, artists and locals alike and getting lost is a rare occurrence, dependent on how much Brennivín you consume of course.” Of course.
If you’re used to going to festivals in the summer, fear not. This is a reasonably civilized affair, with no muddy fields or freezing outdoor concerts. Instead, your festival wristband (a highly visible accessory this time of year) allows you entry to the eight official venues of varying sizes. Add to that a mix of off-venue happenings in shops, cafés, the blue lagoon and just about anywhere imaginable.
Our (very glamorous and well connected) source continues: “The organizers seem to have a nifty way of catching acts just before they explode [metaphorically, of course]. In fact, new bands from all over the shop have been offering to pimp out their grandmothers if it means they can get a gig. But aside from the great music, the whole city behaves like its Christmas, New Years, and your best friend’s wedding all rolled into one.”
For more information, just go to the Iceland Airwaves website. (Just do us a favour and pretend not to notice all the Icelandair logos).