For the 2021 iteration of our Grapevine Music Awards, we decided to forgo one of our usual categories—Best Live Band—and replace it with something more fitting to the last 12 months. So it is with great honour that we present the inaugural Grapevine Best Livestream award to two fantastic and radically different projects: Iceland Airwaves’ Live From Reykjavík stream and the Post-Sessions series by Post-dreifing. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you both for keeping Icelandic music alive during this difficult year.
Best Livestream: Live From Reykjavík by Iceland Airwaves
“They went big. I appreciated the spectacle,” one panel member said of the Live From Reykjavík by Iceland Airwaves livestream, which featured high-production big numbers by artists like Hatari, Of Monsters And Men, JóiPé & Króli and more, over a two-day celebration. The panel enjoyed the ambition and execution of the project—with no Airwaves, it felt like a fitting tribute to the loss of the festival this year.
“When it became clear that a physical iteration of Airwaves 2020 would be impossible, we didn’t want to slouch away,” Will Larnach Jones of Airwaves told us. “Icelandic bands had been forced to cancel all their touring plans; so many of them had also released new music. We wanted Live from Reykjavík to be a chance for some of Iceland’s bands, venues and crews to connect with the rest of the world at the end of this challenging year. We had been mindful that there had been a ‘stream fatigue’ as the year ended, and for Live from Reykjavík to stand out, we’d have to raise the bar in regards to production and performances.”
They subsequently teamed up with RÚV to make their masterpiece and raise the bar they did, with the stream spanning genres, venues, and aesthetics. “With no option to host audiences for the shows it meant that there was a chance to capture performances as intimately as possible,” Will continued. “The approach was ambitious and required a lot of forward planning and flexibility—not least due to Covid and PPE requirements and distancing measures—but we were really happy with the outcome, and I hope that the bands and audience were too.”
For the panel, one of the biggest highlights was Hatari’s Motorcross-themed show as well as gugusar’s intimate set, which you can watch above. “This might sound weird,” one member concluded. “But I kind of wish I had been able to pay for it!”
Best Livestream: Post-Sessions by Post-dreifing
“The Post-Sessions that Post-dreifing did are fantastic. They are also a great contrast to the Airwaves livestreams in that they are totally DIY,” the panel determined. The sessions, filmed in cosy venues across the city, showcased the best of Icelandic music in a totally lovable manner. There are currently 13 out, featuring live performances interspersed with interviews where they ask the real questions, like “What’s your favourite pizza topping?” You know, the important topics!
“The initial spark of the project came when we were postponing our music festival Hátíðni. We were inspired by many streaming projects popping up in our environment but were interested in getting a better focus on things happening in the scene around us (important venues, bands etc.) and to also challenge our organisation skills,” the Post-dreifing community said in a statement to the Grapevine. “We put together a small group of talented people that eventually became very big, with the goal of recording as many acts as we could manage over the summer to document some of the people and places that make the music and culture we love. Just wholesome vibes.”
The series was, in true Post-dreifing style, a truly collaborative DIT (‘Do It Together’) experience.
“We had no idea what we were going into. Someone googled the Wikipedia page ‘Film Crew’ and we just learned by doing from there. The culmination of the efforts is produced by many different and diverse hands, from stage and lighting designers, video editors, sound engineers, stage technicians, photographers, writers, graphic designers, artists, not to mention the amazing bands that we managed to feature,” the group explained. “This could not have happened without the amazing generosity and helpfulness of countless individuals and we want to dedicate this award to them.”
“The sessions felt homey. It felt like you were at a real show or hanging out backstage,” one panel member raved. “It was something that was needed here. We needed to remember the local scene.” The last Post-session, which featured Skoffín, was just released, and you can watch the entire back catalogue on their YouTube channel.
“There are too many things too good to tell,” the collective said, when asked to recall a particularly special moment. “It’s also very difficult to look back at this project since at the time of writing this, we are still working on putting out the last two sessions. But it is difficult to overlook the energy everyone brought with them to the first session recorded in Andrými. We played football, had group hugs, cooked delicious food for each other, made up creepy dance moves, smelled the flowers and worked tirelessly into the night. And when it was all over we went and got a beer at Vitabar.”
Check out the rest of the awards here.
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