Once again, the whole of Reykjavík, nay Iceland, braces itself to welcome the annual Iceland Airwaves festival and the plethora of young and exciting musical talent it brings, both local and international. The festival has steadily grown ever since its inception as a means to promote Icelandic dance legends Gusgus in 1999, and has seen some now-revered musicians off to greater fame. Now being held for the eighth time, Iceland Airwaves boasts what can likely be called its most impressive line-up ever, with nearly 200 artists performing at eight venues. And that’s not counting the numerous off-venue events taking place all over 101 Reykjavík.
For the visiting music enthusiast, Airwaves offers many prospects to broaden one’s horizons. Visiting artists such as Kaiser Chiefs and the Go! Team offer up a serving of what’s often referred to as ‘hot’ in the outside world, but it’s the local talent that should be the real cause for excitement and what will most likely give participants the defining moments of their visit. Iceland has a thriving music scene going all year with concerts happening all over the country regularly, but the truly good thing about Airwaves is that it offers a chance to witness the cream of Iceland’s crop serve up its finest offerings non-stop for five whole days.
Judging by past experience, the safest plan to experience what Airwaves can offer at its chaotic best is to forego expectations and plans altogether, opting instead to wander randomly around the venues and the city, taking in what catches your eyes and ears at any given moment. HM
Iceland Airwaves takes place at various places in 101 Reykjavík, October 18-22. For a full festival schedule and further info, visit: www.icelandairwaves.com.