From Iceland — Roro Baby (Don't Read This): Hannah Jane's Secret Solstice Diary Day 1

Roro Baby (Don’t Read This): Hannah Jane’s Secret Solstice Diary Day 1

Roro Baby (Don’t Read This): Hannah Jane’s Secret Solstice Diary Day 1

Published June 17, 2016

Hannah Jane Cohen
Photo by
Timothée Lambrecq

Hi guys! So everyday I’m going to give you a rundown of what’s going on at Secret Solstice. Welcome to Hannah’s diary. Stay awhile.

This is my second year at Secret Solstice. Last year was a treat—I got to watch Bam Margera make a fool of himself onstage and only hours later watch my future best friend Gísli Pálmi beat him up. Then I wrote an article that was so successful that now when you Google my name, a picture of Bam and I come up! You know how I know that? Because I Google myself! Roro.

Anyway, with such a banger last year, how could this year possibly top it? I was skeptical, but Leon Hill assured me it was going to be great. I’m hesitant to trust anyone though–maybe it’s my Daddy Issues—but nonetheless, I came to Solstice with an open mind and a large wallet. Seriously, have you seen the price of beer there?

But now that we’ve gotten my preconceived notions out of the way, let’s start at the very beginning, which I’ve heard is a very good place to start. My night began with a walk around the campsite. No, I don’t camp (though I sometimes glamp) but I like to check out the scene. The last time I camped at a festival I watched a drunk Australian stick a cicada up his ass before he burned my tent down. That’s a true story.


Not my friend, but seems like a nice guy.

Anyway, the campsite was pretty barren but still seemed like a nice place to chill. Many large party palaces precariously balanced in the gusting wind next to multicolored tents and discarded beer cans. I was instantly reminded of the moors in Wuthering Heights, not that I’ve been there, but you know, fantasies and stuff. I’ve heard of many Secret Solstice romances and I believe the campsite would be an A+ location for them. In fact, one of my best friends got married at Solstice last year and this year the guy came back to visit for their anniversary. Congrats Þorbjörg and Nile!

But that’s a digression—Shades of Reykjavík was playing promptly at 18:00 and I had to see them. I’ve previously written about them twice (here and here) so I’m pretty well-acquainted with their antics. I have to give it to the guys though, they have, in every way, matured. Seeing them here felt like watching seasoned performers. They were so professional and lively. To be blunt, in the past I’ve felt like I was in some guy’s weirdo basement and we’re all really high when I watched Shades, but this time I felt like I was in a movie theatre watching Lynch. They were perfect. I was even tempted to get one of their infamous SOR tattoos. (Can we arrange that?


I’m a slut! La la la!

As well, I’ve also never seen them have a crowd so active. During “Drusla”, I’m going to say literally everyone except the foreigners sang along. I was standing next to a girl who knew every word to every Shades song and rapped them along loudly. It was truly impressive. If they need a female member—that’s not Leoncie—I’d vote for her.

Here are my other Shades-related observations:

  • Puzzlingly, Elli Grill (of Shades) was wearing a Svartidauði t-shirt. (You might remember them from our black metal feature.) This was so confusing to me that I kept mentioning it to people beside me. Is he a fan? Does he like black metal? Why don’t they do a crossover album? I could arrange that.
  • On that note, how many bucket hats does Elli Grill own? Where does he buy them?
  • There was a girl in a latex bodysuit walking around with what looked like a Simpsons mask on. Questions? I have them.
  • Shades has a new member (I think?) who has a face tattoo. I’m so digging it.

So yes, I enjoyed Shades. They were such an amazing act to start off the night with. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

Next up was Flatbush Zombies, all the way from Brooklyn. I watched them up until one of them said something along the lines of, “Where are my titties in the audience?” I swear that’s a direct quote. Yea, it was time to get a drink.

But after a bit, I reconsidered. A friend of mine declared that flashing them would be a fabulous idea, and at that time, I totally agreed. We pushed our way through the crowd and I put her on my shoulders but we could never seem to get their attention so she could flash them. It was a shame. They missed out.


Where the titties at?

Also, ok, this is a little bit controversial, but I always feel a bit awkward when I’m in an audience full of white people and they are all screaming the N-word along with a song. Like, is that OK? What are the rules for that? I never know what to do in these situations.

But I don’t know, I kept feeling like Flatbush Zombies was just disappointed in Iceland the whole time. They kept commenting that no one was smoking weed in the audience. I swear, if you’re reading Flatbush, people were smoking weed but maybe we in Iceland aren’t all like 420 BLAZE IT about it. Maybe we are demure and classy. I mean, have you seen my favourite Icelandic song ever? We are demure and classy here. (Why am I using “we”? I’m not Icelandic.)

Overall though, they were a fun act. I danced and threw up my middle finger a lot which always makes me feel like Marilyn Manson. I’d do it again.


Cut yourself on all that edge, buddy.

After that, I walked around the festival for a bit, intrigued by the fashion and status of it all. I’m constantly impressed by Reykjavík style and this year didn’t disappoint. In general, the à la mode items this year seemed to be tasteful facepaint, Stüssy, Adidas, and snapbacks. It was like an athleisure orgasm. I was into it.

As well, this year—unlike last—I was hanging out with only Icelandic people. Because they were locals, it took ages to get anywhere because at any point in the night, someone from my group would see someone they knew and run over to say hi. That’s the beautiful thing about Secret Solstice. Everyone goes. It’s like a reunion.

Well here we are. We’re here. You’re reading this. I hope someone does. It’s time to talk about him. I’m already swooning. Give me a minute to calm down.


The next artist up was none other than my man Gísli Pálmi.


Slo Mo


Why is he wearing a backpack? What does he need to carry around?

Jesus Christ, he’s so good. He’s literally the best. Like, God in heaven only listens to GP. He told me, or at least he would, if I was the messiah. I think GP’s the messiah. Can you imagine that testament? (I just had to Google testament to figure out how to spell it, that’s how Jewish I am.) All hail GP. Amen.

But back to the show. He was amazing. Just amazing. It was absolutely the best performance I’ve ever seen of him—and he killed it last year at Solstice. I don’t even know what else to say.

That said, if anyone reading this saw me during Gísli Pálmi, please forget everything you saw. I was white-girl-One-Direction-dancing, 1990s-Backstreet-Boy-Dancing, Beatles-Coming-To-America-Dancing, but it was fine, because everyone around me was also excited. Even the cool-aloof-101-kids were rapping along with every lyric. If you’re reading this and you don’t know who GP is, check out his new song “Roro”, which is totally *fire emoji*.

But anyway, let’s get personal, GP: Why haven’t you accepted my friend request on Facebook? I sent it like two days ago. We’ve met like many times, but you never remember my name, and I think I’m very memorable. So it’s obviously personal. Whatever, I don’t need you. Did I mention I’m totally drunk right now writing this review? Could anyone tell? It’s like 8 AM and I’m still up and I’m totally professionally hammered. Please don’t fire me, Helga. I had to drink while watching GP. It was a music festival. I swear I’m not on any hverfinu


I don’t fuck with you, hjc.

Jesus, I hope GP never reads this ’cause I’ll be so embarrassed. Please forget you ever saw this and no one show it to him. Seriously, no one show it to him. I’m not a stalker, which is totally a thing a stalker would write, but seriously I just think we should be friends. I need to go to sleep. If I see GP tomorrow I will run 100% the other way. I’m already embarrassed. The worst part about writing for The Reykjavík Grapevine is that when you write bizarre stuff like this, they actually publish it. Whatever, I’m done with GP, Aron Can is now my favourite. Did I mention he’s 16? Is it pedophilia if I have a crush on him? Can I be arrested for writing that down? Whatever unlucky soul is forced to edit this article, look that up before you publish this. I can’t go to jail. I’m so delicate. (Aron, my Facebook is right here baby.)

Now that this review has devolved so far into the ground, I’m going to end it. If you see me around the festival tomorrow, buy me a drink. And follow me on snapchat (hnnhjane) to watch me in action.

I’m going to go Roro myself.

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