From Iceland — Icelandic Musicians Unhappy With Harpa

Icelandic Musicians Unhappy With Harpa

Published June 6, 2011

A number of Iceland’s more famous musicians have expressed disappointment with the performance stipulations detailed by the Harpa music hall, with some of them saying they’d prefer to perform at Háskólabíó instead.
The music hall is not without its controversy, as the Grapevine has reported. While finances remain an issue, some of the country’s most famous and enduring musicians are unhappy with what they see as performance terms that deprive them of an income.
“The sale of CDs continues to decline,” singer and songwriter Bubbi Morthens wrote for Pressan. “Concerts are becoming more and more important for making it possible to get paid for what we do. This income is now being held hostage. In the contract [between Harpa and musicians who want to play there] it is defined that artists may not sell anything in connection with the concert.”
Singer Björgvin Halldórsson posted the article to his Facebook, prompting other musicians to chime in.
Musician Pálmi Gunnarsson commented, “When I read the contract I was completely shut down. I admit the building looks great, but compared to the noose being offered for those who want the support, I recommend rather that musicians ignore it altogether. There are plenty of other fine music halls in Iceland, e.g., Háskólabíó is quite nice.”
“I think we need to get a job,” Björgvin himself commented.

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