There is something so appealing in the idea of leaving everything you own and moving to a remote spot in the countryside to grow potatoes for the rest of your life. No air pollution, free Northern Lights tours every night, zero traffic, and the sense of liberty that comes with being able to walk and sleep under a nearly limitless sky.
Certainly that feeling of freedom was right on top of the list when artist and rock star Svavar Pétur Eysteinsson of Prins Pólo and his wife Berglind Häsler took their belongings and moved to a small farm in Berufjörður, in the east of Iceland. “I was always in the countryside when I was a child. All I wanted to do was roll in the grass,” Svavar tells me. “Then later on I tried to avoid the city during the summer, and when I began to feel like that about the winters too there was nothing left to do but move.”
Despite having relocated so far away from the city, the couple has not abandoned their passion for art and music. On the contrary, creativity is still their driving force even when it comes to farming. Havarí, their establishment in Berufjörður, is an organic farm that produces food and snacks like potatoes, beetroot crisps and vegan sausages which are made with a handful of organic ingredients and are only minimally processed. “Organic farming requires creativity because you constantly need to find new ways to go about it,” Svavar explains. “It’s a challenge, but what you get straight from the soil is just so much better than anything else.”
Rocking the Fjords
Being far from the city has not stopped the duo from pursuing their careers in art. The idea of organising concerts and events at their farm almost came naturally, but this year the couple decided to turn it up a notch.
Havarí Summer Festival will rock the fjords from June to September with a lineup that includes the likes of sóley, Lay Low and Úlfur Úlfur, plus Prins Pólo. In addition, Havarí supports lesser-known local musicians and provides a space for visual artists such as Sara Riel to showcase their work for new audiences. Havarí wants first and foremost to be a party for friends and strangers alike, but also the ideal creative platform for someone who has a story to tell and the talent to do it right.
Svavar and Berglind’s creative baby, Havarí was born in Reykjavík almost ten years ago as an art gallery, record store and creative platform. When the hotel industry started taking up every corner of the city, however, Havarí was uprooted and replanted in other fertile soil, ready to blossom again. “We come straight from the artistic scene, Berglind and I,” Svavar tells me with enthusiasm. “Our roots are in music, design and photography so actually we are just continuing our work. It’s what keeps us going: doing creative things with creative people.” Honestly, it doesn’t get more liberating than that.
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