From Iceland — Innipúkinn: Outdoor Festivals Are Self-harm

Innipúkinn: Outdoor Festivals Are Self-harm

Published July 27, 2017

Innipúkinn: Outdoor Festivals Are Self-harm
Steindór Grétar Jónsson
Photo by
Art Bicnick

As thousands of people leave the capital area on Merchants’ Weekend, filing off to outdoor festivals around the country, those remaining in Reykjavík can experience the best of both worlds. “Innipúkinn is of course the only real music festival taking place this weekend in Iceland,” says Ásgeir Guðmundsson, one of the event’s organisers.

Innipúkinn—the name means, “indoor demon,” slang for the American “couch potato”—will take place August 4-7 at Húrra and Gaukurinn and, paradoxically, outdoors on the street they’re both located on. “It’s the biggest camping weekend of the summer and therefore some folks in the countryside put on camping festivals with some questionable entertainment, warm beer and horrible weather,” says Ásgeir. “Meanwhile, us ‘Innipúkar’ like to stay in Reykjavík, inside proper venues with quality PA systems, easy access to a good bar and first and foremost some world class live music.”

Any bed will do

“Our lineup this year is quality stuff and not loyal to any one genre or gender for that matter, as it seems other happenings this weekend are,” says the outspoken Ásgeir. “Don’t quite get why some country folk promoters are so afraid of women being on stage. In my mind the choice is easy and you‘ll never find me cramped in some overcrowded muddy campsite during the busiest weekend of the year. Why would people do that do themselves, it is self-harm in some way.”

Now in its 16th year, the festival has remained popular with those who choose not to travel during this hectic weekend and, especially in recent years, holidaymakers in town from abroad. “Innipúkinn, historically, is basically a counterstrike aimed at these camping festivals, providing an option for people who would like to do something special this weekend but stay in Reykjavík and sleep in their own bed, or someone’s bed, or just a bed at least,” says Ásgeir.

“Don’t quite get why some country folk promoters are so afraid of women being on stage. In my mind the choice is easy”

The festival, which has been held in various locations across the city centre throughout the years, has historically featured up-and-coming talent, mixed with bigger names. “We have a lot of young hip-hop/rap artist like Smjörvi X Hrnnr and Cyber, plus some indie favorites like sóley and then all the way over to some metal bands including Dimma,” says Ásgeir. “Also this year closing the festival we have the widely successful FM Belfast and on Saturday we have the legendary Sigga Beinteins. She will join the very cool dance and disco music group Babies who will put a new spin on all of Sigga’s best songs from her time with Stjórnin and beyond. That is something not to be missed.”

Free outdoor party

Despite taking place indoors, the festival provides an ambitious outdoor area, which is free to enter without a festival ticket. “The Innipúkinn square is a paradox that we happily provide to those who just have to smell some grass this weekend,” says Ásgeir. “We are closing down the street, Naustin, outside the venues Húrra and Gaukurinn for the weekend and putting some grass down along with some furniture and stuff to play with. Also we have some food trucks, arts and crafts markets and a few DJs as well. Should be good and as always the weather in Reykjavík will be amazing.”

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