From Iceland — Buddy Up With Ívar: A Reykjavík Music Walk

Buddy Up With Ívar: A Reykjavík Music Walk

Buddy Up With Ívar: A Reykjavík Music Walk

Published July 27, 2017

Photo by
Johanna Eriksson

DJ and FM Belfast band member Ívar Pétur Kjartansson stands in his natural habitat, behind the counter surrounded by vinyl records and CDs amidst the music mayhem that is Lucky Records. “I actually don’t work here, I’m just helping out,” he says, as we sit down to talk about his latest project.

In a city where guided tours are hardly scarce, it’s surprising that an alternative approach, focussing on Reykjavík’s vibrant music, art and cultural life, actually is lacking. Until this May, that is, when Ívar debuted his atypical and personalized “On Tour with Ívar,” which takes you down the hip back streets of central RVK. “I did a lot of research, and there’s nothing that focusses on basically what’s nice, and that’s not just a gimmick of ‘Get an Icelandic experience’ or something like that,” he says. By way of explaining his motivation in starting the tour, he continues: “I’m also a hopeless 9-5 worker, since I always need to ask for days off to go on tour. And when I’m not touring, there’s no income. So I wanted to create my own job.”


On Tour with Ívar takes visitors around a circuit of Ívar’s favorite gems. It’s like stepping into someone’s everyday life, and Ívar seem to be homies with most people we meet. “He’s the doorman for the facilities where me and my friends plays basketball, just over there,” Ívar explains when an older man greets him enthusiastically at the start of our tour, and points across the road. And that’s how it goes for the next three hours, as Ívar makes sure we’re fed, watered and entertained, while introducing us to the cultural scene and his acquaintances within it.

It’s easygoing and it’s fun. Although Ívar started off our conversation claiming he would treat me as a tourist rather than a journalist, I feel more like a buddy. By the end of the tour I know, for example, that Ívar has a legit phobia of flies that he’s trying not to pass on to his three-year-old son, and that his snowboarding obsession is next-level stuff, since he dreams about it almost every night. Cool rider, that Ívar. Find out for yourself.

On tour with Ívar costs 9900 ISK, with food and drinks included. Book it here.

Book your tour
Support The Reykjavík Grapevine!
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!

Show Me More!