Finally there is a proper summer in Iceland and this weekend there is a lot going on in Reykjavík. Icelandic bands are excited to be performing in the city since they usually hit foreign ground in July or play smaller festivals here on our island.
Then All Tomorrow festival is just a week away with an exciting line-up including Run the Jewels, Swans, Drive like Jehu and many more. So surely this weekend is going to be exciting. Here is my itinerary for the next three days. Wear sunscreen.
Hlemmur Square Bar at Laugavegur 105.
Just before 07:00 pm we hit Hlemmur Square Bar for our first stop of the night. Happy our ends at 07pm so we (of course) order two pints of Einstök White Ale. Hlemmur Square is a hotel and hostel located in downtown Reykjavík, by the Hlemmur bus station and the Phallological Museum, which you should really visit since you’re in the area.
On the ground floor Hlemmur Square as a decent bar, and lately they have been putting together some nice events. Tonight they have the local band Wesen which is an Icelandic super-collaboration. Loji and Júlía Hermannsdóttir, who are both well known locally for their work in the fields of art and music, have now teamed up to create something very special. Go, have a pint and see what they are cooking. Starts at 08:00 pm.
KEX Hostel at Skúlagata 26.
Second stop is Kex, housed in an abandoned biscuit factory that escaped demolition when plans to build skyscrapers in its place ran out of cash. The owners transformed the building into a chic hostel, bar and eatery, naming it after the Icelandic word for biscuit.
Travelers and locals come here to have a drink and and see a gig. One of those gigs is tonight, Thursday, when Himbrimi will take the stage. Himbrimi is an Icelandic band comprising of Margrét Rúnarsdóttir on vocal and keys, Birkir Rafn Gíslasson on guitar, Hálfdán Árnason on bass, Skúli Arason on keys and Egill Rafnsson on drums. Himbrimi offers up soft, Scandinavian pop and it is lush. Starts 09:00 pm and entry is free.
BarAnanas at Klapparstígur 38.
So, if you have had enough live concerts, go to BarAnanas. Painted in bright yellows and greens and decked out with tiki decor and palm trees, BarAnanas reminds you of a bar in a tropical resort in Hawaii. Guests might start dancing around midnight when it gets really busy. If you are in Reykjavík during a weekend, make sure you’re there at midnight with a Flamingophant in your hands (yeah, that is their speciality cocktail:)). Expect the DJ to play summer tunes All Night Long. Stay upstairs.
Húrra Bar at Tryggvagata 22.
At nine PM in the bustling and yet welcoming bar/venue Húrra the local band Halleluwah will have a gig to celebrate their newly released album.
Halleluwah consist of producer Sölvi and artist Rakel Mjöll. The two seem to be an unlikely pair but they do have few things in common. For one thing, they are both natural blondes, and for another, they both love 60‘s girl pop music like the Shangri-Las & Francis Gall. From there, they make music that blends these elements; soothing retro vocals of the kind that made your grandparents twist and shout in the old days, with dark electro and hip-hop beats.
Two local bands will be supporting Halleluwah, solo experimental artist Futuregrapher and the electro girl duet East Of My Youth. This will truly be an electrified night. Doors open at 8 pm, happy hour is until 9 pm, and Húrra has a very good variety of Icelandic beers on tap, both basic lagers as well as local microbrews.