NASA, the boarded-up concert hall on Austurvöllur square, is a legendary venue. It was once a firm favourite amongst Icelanders—generations of whom had school dances there—and foreigners, who got their first taste of Airwaves party chaos within its hallowed walls.
Its 2012 closure, ostensibly to be redeveloped into a hotel, was met with disappointment and despair from concert-goers, concert organisers and the general public alike. This new lease of life for the much-needed city-centre culture space is welcome news for the people of Reykjavík, and not least, long time NASA event organiser Inga (pictured).
“We’re going to have some concerts this summer,” says Inga. “They asked me to help. I was there for twelve years so I know a little bit about doing it. They’re going to rebuild the house, starting at the end of September, so I’ll be there until the end of August.”
Inga, like many others, feels a strong connection to the building.
“I’m very excited to back there—it’s like home to me,” she says, brimming with emotion. “There were a lot of people that were upset it was closing down. I was one of them – I was very upset. It was not just a business for me. It was love. I loved to do it every day—for eleven and half years I never thought of stopping. You can imagine the smile on my face now.”
Some big events are already in the works, with acts like Pál Óskar, Ulfur Ulfur, MC Gauti, Agent Fresco and Skálmöld, and more coming soon.
“I’ve been very quiet about all these things happening,” says Inga, “But I believe now other bands will start calling me up. The dance floor is still there, and we just polished it! We’ll also screen Euro 2016, starting with the Iceland-Portugal game—people can come for free and perhaps have a couple of beers if it’s raining outside.”