Christian Hoard, Rolling Stone
I have tons of great memories from past festivals. Like the time in 2005 when I lost a drunken bet (something to do with someone eating a large quantity of Icelandic hot dogs) and had to get an Icelandic word I still can’t pronounce tattooed on my shoulder by a large modern Viking-looking fella. Several Icelanders got the same tattoo the same day—and I’m still friendly with almost all of them. This will be my fifth trip to Iceland. Mostly what I look forward to when I come back is seeing familiar faces and exploring the terrain. I love you guys’ constant good nature, deadpan sense of humour and beautiful countryside. See ya soon.
Sindri Már Sigfússon, Seabear
My favourite Airwaves moment isn’t one thing in particular. Since I started going to the festival about ten years ago, it’s been hanging out with my friends—having drinks and going to lots of shows together.
Doug Levy, Flavorpill
As for a favourite Airwaves memory, it would have to be seeing Björk at Harpa last year. I had just flown in from New York and I was completely sleep-deprived, so everything seemed a little bit surreal. With all the amazing, custom instruments, the video screens, the choir, and the giant Tesla coil, it was one of the coolest things I had seen in a very long time. Plus, the music was great too, naturally. It was the perfect welcome to Iceland and to Airwaves, and it set the tone for an amazing musical journey that I’m very much looking forward to repeating this year.
Kamilla Ingibergsdóttir, Iceland Airwaves PR/Marketing Manager
Sometimes it’s not only about the perfect show you saw but that cute guy you met, the conversation you had with a new friend, or the awesome party you went to after a series of those perfect shows. High on my list is an after-party at Sirkús in 2006, where the floors of the already tiny bar had been raised, making it the smallest bar in Europe! You could actually touch the ceiling while you were dancing. Shit like this only happens during Iceland Airwaves.
Donald Gislason, Musicologist
Just before midnight, a massive trailer truck pulled up in the middle of a downtown intersection, its side panelling slowly lifting up to reveal a bizarre collection of costumed characters who exploded into a chest-thumping wall of chaotic heavy-metal thunder. An elephant-masked hulk strewed yellow left-handed dishwashing gloves over the crowd. Beside him a spindly-legged Ottar Proppé in sequined pink stretch pants, cowboy hat and fringed leather jacket struck manly rock poses at the mic while a T-shirted muscleman with a lit torch spewed mouthfuls of liquor into flame against the night sky. It was DR. SPOCK!
Megan Horan, Artist Manager
As an Airwaves virgin, I am hoping to revel in the general chaos of the whole thing. I remember Dan Zilber from Fbi Radio (Sydney) talking about coming to Airwaves last year, and being green with envy. Now I find myself living here and being part of it, it’s all rather surreal. Highlights I am looking forward to include: The Dirty Projectors, Úlfur, Ben Frost, Sudden Weather Change, Django Django and… and… Who am I kidding? I am really looking forward to all the cute band boys milling around town in their ridiculously skinny jeans…. Be still my beating heart.