According to Iceland Airwaves, a group of people has contacted the artists playing at the festival and asked them to boycott the upcoming festival. The group aims to pressure Icelandair, which is the main sponsor of Iceland Airwaves, to deny the Icelandic government the ability to book flights for individuals who are refused asylum in Iceland.
The official statement of Iceland Airwaves reads: “Iceland Airwaves is not a money maker. It runs on passion and the support of Reykjavik City and private sponsors. Icelandair is the founding sponsor of Iceland Airwaves. Without Icelandair’s long-term commitment to supporting the festival, it could not exist. It’s as simple as that.”
As stated, the Icelandic government buys flights like any other customer. Icelandair can refuse a passenger to be on their flight only if they pose security risks.
“Iceland Airwaves is not in any position to change any of this. Without musicians, there is no festival. So it is unclear what precisely the demands are here or in whose interest it is to bring the most important festival in Iceland to its knees. And it’s hard to see any other consequences because, in reality, these actions would not affect the Icelandic government or Icelandair in any way,” reads the statement.
The group behind the boycott of the festival is reportedly an organisation called No Borders. Their latest Facebook post says: “We can state that no one wants to cause harm to the music festival or the Icelandic music life, or keep anyone from performing or enjoying the festival—however, we imagine that the festival would be (not only) so much more fun for all of us if the main sponsor respected the values that the fundamental human rights are based on, as it is the values that we assume that both the festival itself and the artists participating have in common.”
It is unknown if any of the artists have agreed to boycott the festival.
Iceland Airwaves returns to Reykjavík on November 3-5. Read our interview with the festival director Ísleifur Þórhallsson here.
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