From Iceland — Brrrr! But, Those Northern Lights Are Beautiful

Brrrr! But, Those Northern Lights Are Beautiful

Published November 9, 2014

It's a tough life out there!

Saskia Vallendar
Photo by
Saskia Vallendar

It's a tough life out there!

Having spent spent the first three days and nights of the festival getting blown away by the wind, we were subjected to a wonderful surprise on Saturday, when the temperatures dropped below 0°C. Damn

The coat problem

Normally I would just tell everyone to layer up and put on a woolen hat and gloves. But hey, we’re at a multi-venue indoor music festival, which means it’s cold outside but warm inside.

Leaving your winter coat on at the gig just so you don’t have to carry it around will most likely end up in you getting uncomfortably hot and sweaty. If you do decide to take your layers off and hold onto them during the gig in the middle of a dancing and raving crowd, you’ll probably get annoyed as you can only throw one arm up in the air— the other has to hold onto your coat. And the later it gets at night after having consumed quite a few alcoholic beverages, there is the possibility that the coat you were holding at some point of the night, isn’t in your possession anymore.

At Harpa at least, you have the option of using the cloak room. The venue’s decision to charge 300 ISK for guarding your coat, has incited many a rant from Airwaves veterans, who wistfully long for the Airwaves of yore, when the cloak room was open to everyone and you could just go in hang your coat and pick it up later. Those not from here are probably wondering, “is it safe?” According to Icelanders I polled on the subject: yes it is. And they are absolutely furious about having to pay. Well, at least our belongings are safe. However, even the cloak room isn’t ideal for those few smokers amongst us who will always have to line up if they want to have a quick smoke in between shows and not freeze to death. O,  if you’re late for the concert anyways, you will first have to be in line to drop off your coat before being in line for the show itself. Pleasing us all is SO HARD.

Wear less, drink more

At Húrra, a non-cloakroom venue, I overheard a group of young revellers complaining about the cold. Each of them had already lost an item during the course of the festival: hats, jumpers, jacket— everything that would keep them warm. They decided not to layer up anymore (probably because they had lost all their layers), and just bring themselves to the gigs. When the question about how to survive the freezing temperatures came up, their solution was to just drink more. Cheers, guys!

But despite freezing temperatures, the Northern Lights were hovering above Reykjavík last night. At 1am, several party people came to Arnarhóll, the hill next to Harpa, to enjoy the lightly green shimmering lights in the clear sky with Harpa’s colourful façade in the background. The Northern Lights surely made up for the cold last night. The weather gods shall be forgiven…for now.


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