Drangey Music Festival: Beautiful Scenery, Beautiful Music - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Drangey Music Festival: Beautiful Scenery, Beautiful Music

Drangey Music Festival: Beautiful Scenery, Beautiful Music

Published June 24, 2015

Hannah Jane Cohen
Photos by
Drangey Music Festival

A music festival on Drangey? In Skagafjörður? Yep, later this month, Drangey will host the first ever Drangey Music Festival with top acts like Emilíana Torrini, Jónas Sigurðsson, Magni, and Contalgen Funeral. We got in touch with festival organiser Áskell Heiðar Ásgeirsson to learn more about it.

A festival on Drangey?

I started a festival ten years ago in the East of Iceland called Bræðslan, which has been fairly successful. So I wanted to do something new this year. I actually live here in North Iceland, in Skagafjörður, so that’s the reason for the location. So yeah, really some friends of mine and I decided to give it a try and see how it goes.

Woah! You live all the way up there? What is Drangey like?

Yeah, I live in this area right by the coast. Drangey is actually an offshore island that nobody lives on. The festival will be held in June when we have 24 hours of sunlight so the scenery will be great: It’s a beautiful location with beautiful scenery and we just wanted to add to it with beautiful music.

Beautiful scenery and beautiful music —Emilíana was a great pick then.

[Laughs] We go way back. We’ve known each other for a long time and she was with me when we started the festival in the east ten years ago so I thought she’d be the best pick to start something new. And of course she’s a wonderful singersongwriter so I think her music will be wonderful in this atmosphere, in these surroundings.

Another friend of mine called Jónas Sig is playing as well. He has a great band with him. They have brass and greats beats. Then there are some local artists too to go with them. It will be good fun.

What can visitors do between sets?

There’s a great campsite right by the stage so we want people to come join us for the whole day and night. Hopefully we will light a bonfire by the shore at midnight and have a good party.

So what are these rumours I’ve heard of hot springs?

Well, Drangey is fairly well known in the Icelandic Sagas because the Sagas say that one of the best-known outlaws in Icelandic history, a man called Grettir, actually lived on this island. He lived here, swam all the way to shore, and relaxed in hot pools right down by the ocean. Some decades ago this pool was renovated, so now there are natural hot water pools that you can enjoy as well. So yeah, after the concert, before the concert, or even during the concert [laughs] you can go swim.

The concert is held in collaboration with something called Lummudagar right? What is that?

It’s a fairly small community festival here—very easy-going, not complex, yeah? Lummudagar is mainly just people enjoying themselves, having a barbecue in the streets, seeing each other. We just wanted to add to that experience to the festival, because Lummudagar is a time when a lot of people that have moved away come back. We just wanted to add something new to their Saturday night. Just make a good weekend even better.

Drangey Music Festival will be held on June 27 in Skagafjörður. Tickets are 6,900 ISK and can be purchased here.

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