Eistnaflug chief Stebbi Magg is desperately clinging to the notion that the festival he spearheads isn’t exclusively a metal festival. That the roster includes rocks indie- and punk- as well. “Just look at our line up. There are bands playing from every corner of the Icelandic music scene, pretty much, at least every corner that has a guitar in it,” he says to me over the phone, and he is right. The line-up for Eistnaflug 2008 is remarkably varied, and thoroughly exciting, and includes established punkers like Innvortis playing alongside legendary doom-metallers Sólstafir, grindcore hellions Forgarður Helvítis and the Kings of Icelandic Metal themselves, HAM.
That doesn’t change the fact that the festival’s name, Eistnaflug, literally translates to “Flight of the Testes”. And that only metalheads would be so adorably juvenile as to choose that as their moniker (indie bands have no balls by definition, and punkers are more into bodily fluids). So while Eistnaflug isn’t a metal festival proper, it is most definitely a festival in the spirit of METAL. And that is the best spirit you can base a music festival on, for The Spirit of Metal is a friendly, happy and welcoming one.
“When we first did the festival, the people of Neskaupstaður [the small East Fjord town that’s been home to Eistnaflug from the beginning] were really surprised when this huge crowd that looked like it had been shat out by Satan himself turned out so friendly and polite. But that’s metalheads for you, they get out their aggression elsewhere than with violence.”
Set to take place the weekend of July 10-13, Eistnaflug 2008 features one of its most epic line-ups in the festival’s four year history and is a must stop on any rock-inclined travellers schedule. “Neskaupstaður is an hours drive from Egilsstaðir, and an eight hour drive from Reykjavík. It is one of the most beautiful towns in the country, and the festival is world class, even if you don’t know any of the bands. So pay us a visit,” says Stebbi. Those without transport should check out the car-pool section of festival web-site www.eistnaflug.is or the amazingly convenient www.samferda.net