Everyone who’s anyone who was up for an award was at the 14th annual Icelandic Music Awards on March 18. The President, the Mayor of Reykjavík, and anyone who may have had a chance to carry home a trophy were sure to make an appearance at the Reykjavík City Theatre that Tuesday night, and the hall was at intervals consequently halfempty.
The pre-drink in the lobby was embellished by the presentation of awards for film score, video, and album cover of the year, the first of which went to Pétur Ben for the score of the film Parents, and the latter two going to Mugison’s latest release, Mugiboogie. Patrons stocked up on drinks and headed into the theatre’s main auditorium where a range of camera crew and equipment, including giant spider-like cranes, awaited the tobe- broadcast live show.
TV personality and former children’s show host, Felix Bergsson, was the night’s ringmaster and talking head, setting the tone for the evening with his unwavering twaddle recited from the giant teleprompter screen planted at the top of the auditorium. After a few embarrassingly generic pop-culture references, including an irrelevant recitation of a line from the Wiggle Wiggle Song, the awards for songwriter and lyricist were handed out, with the obvious favourites, Högni Egilsson of Hjaltalín and Bergur Ebbi Benediktsson of Sprengjuhöllin, each beating the iconic Megas in their respective categories.
In the transition Felix really capitalised on the cheer in the air. “Yeah, that was fun! Terrific.”
The festivities continued royally, Sprengjuhöllin performing Verum í sambandi which, ten minutes later, won them pop/rock song of the year. “Super,” continued Felix, “just great. Isn’t this just so much fun?” Yes, the fun truly abounded, and the comeback of the year, Páll Óskar, picked up his first of three awards of the night, procuring his second Singer of the Year title since 1995, saying, “I turned 38 on Sunday, and I’m still fucking gorgeous.” The audience heartily applauded.
Ceremonial awards followed, including a Patron Recognition Award granted to billionaire Björgólfur Guðmundsson and an Honorary Award and tribute medley given to pop-king Rúnar Júlíusson for his 40-year plus contribution to the Icelandic music scene. The ceremony began drawing to a close but the crowd remained glued to their seats as Páll Óskar suddenly appeared with what seemed the first communal excitement-charged moment of the night, and with a wave of his hand and a flash of his glittering white suit took over the entire stage. “All for love,” he sang, and for a moment, with the life that suddenly buzzed through the crowd after the sterile two-hour ceremony, it seemed like it just might be true.