Christmas concerts are a staple of the Icelandic holiday season. Such is their popularity that even the rappers – notorious opportunists that they are – have begun cashing in. Every year, when the market seems completely saturated, some new concert series is announced. Below you will find a list of seven concerts that we recommend, the first of which will be held tomorrow.
Jülevenner Emmsjé Gauta 2019
When: December 22 and 23
Where: Háskólabíó (West Reykjavík)
Tickets: ISK 4,990 – 6,990
Two years ago, Icelandic rapper Emmsjé Gauti – looking to capitalise off the Icelandic Christmas-concert season – held his first official Jülevenner (Danish for “Christmas Friends”) in Gamla Bíó. The first concert sold out quickly. In light of the favourable reception, Gauti moved the show to Háskólabíó (a bigger venue) last year. This year, Gauti will be continuing the tradition by holding a total of four concerts on December 22 and 23. He will be joined on stage by a live band along with performers Aron Can, Salka Sól, Friðrik Dór, Páll Óskar, Bríet, and others. If you’re looking to get into the mood before the concert, we recommend Gauti’s Strákarnir. It’s a certified classic. Click here for more information.
Sigurður Guðmundsson & Sigríður Thorlacius' Christmas Concert
When: December 16 and 17
Where: Harpa Concert Hall (Downtown Reykjavík)
Tickets: ISK 4,990 – 9,990
Two of Iceland’s most beloved singers, Sigurður Guðmundsson (Hjálmar) and Sigríður Thorlacius (Hjaltalín) will be holding their annual Christmas concert at the Harpa Music and Conference Hall on December 16 and 17. The records Nú stendur mikið til, which Sigurður Guðmundsson released in 2015, and Jólakveðja, which Sigríður Thorlacius released the same year, will be the focus of the concert. Additionally, the two singers will be performing other classics, both as a duet and on their own. Click here for more information.
Auður and Band at Gamla Bíó
When: December 27
Where: Gamla Bíó (Downtown Reykjavík)
Tickets: ISK 4,500
Icelandic pop star Auður released his sophomore album Afsakanir (Excuses) in November of last year. The album subsequently won Record of the Year at the Icelandic Music Awards. The musician has performed in various venues around Iceland this year, and at the Roskilde Festival this summer. He intends on finishing the year in style with a final performance at Gamla Bíó in downtown Reykjavík on December 27. He will be joined on stage by a live band. For more information click here.
Ylja Christmas Concert
When: December 12
Where: Brygjan Brugghús (Old Harbour, Reykjavík)
Tickets: ISK 3,000
The Icelandic duo Ylja will be holding its annual Christmas celebration at Bryggjan Brugghús on December 12. The date coincides with the arrival of Icelandic Yule Lad Stekkjastaur. This is not a coincidence. They claim to be the illegitimate children of Leppalúði (Stekkjastaur’s mythological father). Ylja was formed in 2008 in Reykjavík, Iceland, by Gígja and Bjartey: two friends who are equally passionate about vocal harmonies as they are about the acoustic guitar. For a taste of Ylja’s magic, What’s On recommends the song Út. Their harmonies are amazing. For more info click here.
Jólagestir Björgvins (Björgvin’s Christmas Guests)
When: December 21 and 22
Where: Harpa Concert Hall
Tickets: ISK 5,990 – 14,990
Singer Björgvin Halldórsson has been celebrating Christmas by way of an annual concert series since at least 2007. Keeping to this tradition, Björgvin will be holding four concerts at the Harpa Music and Conference Hall on December 21 and 22 (there are few tickets left). This year, Björgvin will be joined on stage by Auður, Birgitta Haukdal, Svala Björgvins (his daughter), GDRN, along with a string orchestra, a choir, and more. Björgvin’s most famous Christmas song may be Þú komst með jólin til mín.
jólastuð 2019: samúel jón samúelsson big band
When: December 18
Where: Gamla Bíó
Tickets: ISK 6,990
The Samúel Jón Samúelsson Big Band will be performing at Gamla Bíó on December 18 at 21:00 (doors open at 20:30). Special guests include Júníus Meyvant, Bryndís Jakobsdóttir, Bogomil Font, Valdimar Guðmundsson, Magga Stína, Kraftgalli and Þorleifur Gaukur Davíðsson. The band will perform a potpourri of Christmas Songs by artists like Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Ella Fitzgerald, Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra and others, alongside of a few “funky Christmas” instrumental tunes. The band is comprised of 14 first-rate musicians.
Brothers Jón Jónsson and Friðrik Dór at Bæjarbíó
When: December 13, 14, and 15
Where: Bæjarbíó (Hafnarfjörður)
Tickets: ISK 3,990 – 5,990
Brothers Friðrik Dór and Jón, sons of Jón, are Icelandic pop musicians. They are also some of the most personable human beings around. As personability and musicality are the prime ingredients for a good show, the brothers make a good team. On December 13, 14, and 15, the brothers will be performing at their first big collaborative concert in Gamla Bíó in Hafnarfjörður (their hometown). They will be performing their best-known songs, separately and together. What’s On recommends Frikki Dór’s Fröken Reykjavík and Jón Jónsson’s Ljúft að vera til. For more info click here.