From Iceland — OKAY WTF JUST HAPPENED HERE? An #Airwaves15 recap.

OKAY WTF JUST HAPPENED HERE? An #Airwaves15 recap.

Published November 21, 2015

Photo by
Art Bicnick

So that’s that. With a lot of heat, whirlwind and flash, Iceland Airwaves 2015 has passed. Actually, not so much passed as hit the entire Grapevine writing team full on, leaving our bedraggled, mangled, booze-soaked, twitching, grinning bodies in its glitter-covered wake.

As we tried to pick up the threads of our former lives and stood puzzled, staring at the blinking lights on our washing machines, and such, we also thought we’d pull a few favourite festival moments out of our ass in order to relive it for just a few minutes longer.

So here it is: our hyper-abridged Airwaves recap.


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1. Milkywhale, the “winners of Airwaves”, won our hearts, minds and dancing feet.
This new band, who were little-known Airwaves debutantes at the start of the festival, had four shows that were so utterly engaging that half the office fell head over heels for their energetic, heartfelt pop music, and basically stalked them throughout the festival (even keeping a Milkywhale Watching blog and coining the fandom/hashtag #hvalmjólkurmennirnir). So, we invited them to play at the Grapevine party as a last minute addition. The gig was one big ball of love. Obvs. Thank you Milkywhale! (P.S. you can get a free track here.)

Another shot of @bjork at today’s Protect The Park press conference. Read the full story on our website. Pic: @moussti. #Airwaves15

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2. Björk called out the Icelandic government, and asked the entire world to help.
Somewhere amidst the festival chaos, the queen of Icelandic music (Björk, duh) decided to use the fact that scores of útland journalists were in town to launch an all-out assault on the government’s plans to mar the highlands with fugly, environmentally damaging power stations. Needless to say, she got an instant meeting offer from the minister of the interior. Björk penned a response in an open letter last weekend.

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3. QT lost her luggage, charmed everyone to death anyway, and then stashed some cans of “THE DRINK” around Reykjavík.
We interviewed the odd and otherworldly nu-pop star QT just before Airwaves. The mysterious Quinnton claims to be the CEO of a new energy drink, also called QT. Some say “THE DRINK” is a joke. But when QT’s luggage finally got to Iceland after being stuck in Paris, she started dishing out cans around town and leaving clues on Instagram (via @drinkQT). She also gave one to us. It remains ornamental and, as yet, unopened. But it’s definitely a real thing.

This time last week… #Airwaves15 #QuietWeekend

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4. Grísalappalísa earned their stripes on the big stage.
After years of being confined to the grimy rock bars and stunning hung-over off-venue crowds, one of Iceland’s most manic and theatrical rock ‘n’ roll bands was afforded a shot on the festival’s biggest stage in Harpa Silfurberg. And they didn’t disappoint. It was fucking awesome. If you weren’t there, then, basically, wtf were you thinking?

See more of Grapevine’s Airwaves coverage here.

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