While Airwaves is a rather fun and fabulous time for most, it’s possible that at one stage or another you, or one of your friends, might find yourselves at the wrong end of a flying elbow or taking a dive after one too many cold ones.
Grapevine asked the good doctor Haukur Heiðar Hauksson, of Dikta superfame, for some top tips on how to get through Airwaves safely or what to do should you find yourself in need of some serious TLC.
What are the general injuries the ER receives from festivalgoers?
Mostly knocks to the head and injuries from falling over outside of venues. Some years we have snow and slippery ice, so that leads to sprained ankles, and we’ve had some broken legs. Sometimes with the amount of alcohol people drink they can fall and get wounds that require stitching. We usually let people sleep the alcohol off in the hospital and send them home in a taxi the next morning.
What are the main ways to avoid injury?
1. Have fun, but do try be sensible and not get completely drunk.
2. If there’s ice or snow about, like there has been previous years, watch your step and try not to slip.
3. If you’re at a packed out gig and it all gets a bit crazy, just be aware of yourself and others. Try to avoid getting really squashed, it can get pretty crowded.
4. If it’s very cold, don’t stand in lines for too long, go see something else, there’s always something happening.
5. Don’t engage in fights with other people; show love and happiness and hug people if you have any problems.
What you can do if you get injured:
1. There’s no clinic open at night-time, so for major injuries you’ll have to go to the ER at the main hospital, Landsspítali, just outside of 101 Reykjavík.
2. If you’re bleeding profusely, call an ambulance and go to the emergency room.
3. If you suspect a broken limb, again, call an ambulance and go to the emergency room.
4. For bumps and general knocks, if you want to see a doctor then your best call is to take a taxi, or get a friend to give you a lift. Otherwise, see how you are in the morning—if you’re still worried, check into a clinic.
5. There is an ER/ambulance fee charged to foreigners, but you can claim this back on your personal medical insurance.
So aside from doing a great job looking after the health of your brethren, you are also member of one of Iceland’s most popular and hardworking bands, Dikta. How does that feel?
That feels pretty good. We’ve been doing quite nice the last year, I mean we’ve been at this for eleven years now and we’ve put a lot of work into, it so it feels nice to finally be reaping the rewards for our hard work.
Do you have plans to build on your current wave of success?
Well we’ve been taking a bit of a pause from the Icelandic scene recently, although we are doing the odd show to keep busy. We’ve mainly been concentrating on building our profile abroad in different territories. Our last album is coming out in Germany in the New Year, so we’re going to follow that up with a tour there.
So what can fans expect from Dikta at this year’s Airwaves?
Well we’re playing twice this year and they’re pretty different shows. The first one is in Sódóma, which will be really small and intimate, and then a big show at Listasafn, the Art Museum.
Are you gonna give us something extra-special?
Yeah, we’re gonna play brand new song. We’re practicing it at the moment, but our bass player is in China with his other band, Bang Gang, and he gets back the day of the gig so there’s gonna be a last-minute crazy practice session when he returns, to finalise the song!
Please note while the good doctor will be happy to help out should he come across any festival patrons with arms or legs hanging off, he will not be available for on-street consultation regarding what one should do about their acne or any other general medical musings.
Stay safe kids!