From Iceland — What To Do When Disaster Strikes At Airwaves

What To Do When Disaster Strikes At Airwaves

Published November 7, 2014


Rebecca Scott Lord
Photo by
Rúnar Sigurður Sigurjóns


If you lose you wallet/phone/heirloom jewellery at Airwaves, your first instinct is probably going to be PANIC. As soon as you realize a critical item of your existence is missing, your mind spins somewhat sluggishly out of control trying to remember the last time you had it and the order of the venues you’ve visited. It could be at Húrra, or Gamla Bíó, or 12 Tónar, or Frederiksen, or god forbid, Harpa! You’ll start the trek to each place, convinced you had it in your pocket on the way to whichever venue you’re heading towards, but you’re so drunk at this point you can hardly remember all the shows you even saw.

If you lost your wallet, you’re gonna have to cancel you credit card because no doubt whoever finds it is going to go crazy in the puffin store and buy all hundred thousand stuffed puffins, including the giant one. Will the card company believe you when you say you didn’t impulse buy them and please reverse these charges???? If you lost your phone, whoever found it has stolen all of your passwords to the My Little Pony role-play site you embarrasingly frequent and they’re definitely going to post it to Facebook before you can get it back. You get to Gamla Bíó, and there’s a show playing, and they must be good because the place is packed.

You search around on the ground for a bit, getting excited every time you see a crumpled beer can because in the dark, they look like they could be just about anything. But it’s just a sea of crushed cans and feet belonging to people who just won’t get the hell out of the way so you can find your shit! You give up once people start kicking you “accidentally.” You ask the millions of bartenders if someone has returned your lost item, and hope springs eternal as they reach behind the bar only to pull out some other poor soul’s wallet. Resigned, you leave your number with the most sympathetic looking bartender, or if you lost your phone, maybe your email address.

You try to calm down as you head to the next venue. It’s Iceland, people are really friendly here and someone will definitely turn it in at whatever bar is closest. Then the real panic set in when you remember that there are hundreds of TOURISTS from ALL OVER THE PLACE, here for AIRWAVES, where the might not have much MANNERS with regards to other peoples THINGS. Some hipster American DOUCHE probably found your dead great-great-grandma’s heirloom ring from the Titanic and is going to give it to his hipster girlfriend as a sign of their LOVE that you wouldn’t UNDERSTAND. Or at the very least, your wallet full of shit or new iPhone would substitute nicely as a token of unconventional devotion. So you hustle over to Húrra double time and scour the extremely dim bench seats only to turn up nothing. Sighing, you push your way to the front of the line at the bar and try to catch a bartender’s attention to ask about your missing item, when there is it! It might as well be surrounded by a halo of light and choir of singing angels, this prodigal item of value.

“That’s my thing!” you sputter, gesturing wildly at the item in question. The bartender looks you up and down, not sure if you’re just a weirdo trying to get free shit, but when the driver’s license picture inside the wallet matches your smug mug/your thumbprint unlocks your smartphone/your dead great-great-grandma’s Heart of the Ocean ring slips perfectly onto your finger, she hands over the goods and you breathe a sigh of relief. In gratitude, you order a pint of Christmas beer and relax.

If something like this happens to you, remember: don’t panic. You’re in Iceland. Even if you make a sign saying “steal this!!!” and leave it on your bag while you go pee, it’s likely that no one will take it. They’ll just turn it over to the closest bartender, who mush be sick of all these idiots losing their shit by now.

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