ICELAND AIRWAVES 2017
Ever since the first festival in 1999, Iceland Airwaves has become one of the premier showcases for new music, Icelandic as well as international. Known for its intimacy and party spirit, Airwaves features several local and visiting artists playing venues all around the Reykjavík city centre. Local artists include the very young and incredibly successful duo of Jói Pjé x Króli, the electro ensemble GusGus and the synth-fuelled FM Belfast. Among the visiting artists this year is Scandinavian pop-queen Sigrid, the soothing Seattle-band Fleet Foxes and Irish sensation Bonzai.
TIPS & TRICKS
Tag Your Photos
There are 2 key hashtags you’ll want to use during your stay in Iceland. The first one being #WhatsOnRvk, which is us right here, the second is of course #airwaves17, which is Iceland Airwaves!
The festival is held in ICELAND at the beginning of November so no doubt it will be cold. But keep in mind that the venues are usually packed and you’ll be hot and sweaty after dancing. The key here is layers!
Use the App
The official Iceland Airwaves app is your best friend during the festival. Check out info on the bands, follow recent news, discover new artists and most importantly plan ahead and make your own schedule.
Most of the artists playing at the festival are not big names but rather up-and-coming artists. We recommend checking out the line-up before to know which ones you want to see.
Do something during the day!
Nobody’s saying you have to wake up to go wormhunting with the early bird, but when you do manage to roll out of bed, go see a museum, the Blue Lagoon or the Golden Circle. They’re worth it, I promise!
Don’t Plan Too Much
The great thing about a festival like Iceland Airwaves is the experience of seeing something new and unexpected. That band you’ve never heard of that is playing next could be awesome. Remember that Of Monsters and Men were discovered at this festival!
Don’t Miss the Off-Venues
Don’t have a ticket? Off-venues are open to everyone. Are two of your favourite acts playing at the same time? Check out if either one of them is playing an off-venue gig as well and go see them both!
VISITING ARTISTS YOU MUST SEE
This Norwegian starlet is the undisputed synth-pop queen of Scandinavia. Recently signed to Island Records, her hit single ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’ has received rave reviews. Sigrid Solbakk Raabe is only 21 years old but it sounds like she’ll be around for some time yet.
The soothing indie folk sounds of this Seattle band have enthralled listeners ever since they first started out in 2006. They are back after a three-year hiatus and of course they came to Reykjavík. There is no better way to get cozy after standing in a rainy queue than with the soothing voices of the Fleet Foxes squad.
Mura Masa is quite possible the best thing to come out of Guernsey (No offence, Guernsey!). His trap-style electropop gets your hips moving in ways you didn’t know were possible. His banger ‘Love$ick’, featuring A$AP Rocky, sits at a cool 111 million plays on Spotify. Yup. Get your dancing boots on, punters!
This Irish native’s music has been described as a mix of Destiny’s Child, club sounds, rave attitude, and indie hooks. She lists her influences as MIA, Santigold, FKA Twigs, and Sade. Alright, I think we all know who we are going to see at Airwaves… Show up, turn up!
Drum machines and synths galore! This Copenhagen based duo is a throwback to the 80s as Niels Juhl’s vocals and Theis Vesterløkke’s synths will have you asking what decade it is. Their soundscape really is something to behold so close your eyes and dance to their soothing beats.
Michael Kiwanuka is a North London native and a heartbreaker. Since first stepping on the scene in 2012 he has charmed audiences all over the world with his smooth and soulful voice. His soul style has been compared to artists such as Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, and Otis Redding. Not bad company!
ICELANDIC ARTISTS YOU MUST SEE
JÓI PÉ & KRÓLI
Trust me, you don’t want to miss out on this show. This young duo (born in ’99 and ’00) have taken the hip hop scene by storm in the last couple of months. Their sound is a refreshing 90’s boom-bap throwback while pop and trap hits are also in their repertoire.
If you didn’t go and see GusGus – can you really say you went to Iceland Airwaves? The electro ensemble will close out the Saturday night at the Reykjavík Art Museum. Active since 1995, they are known worldwide for their electro hits. GusGus always puts on a fantastic show – expect fantastic vocals, crisp synths, and a visceral experience.
The girls in Cyber have promised the wildest show that Airwaves has ever seen. Fresh off the release of their first full length album ‘Horror’ – Cyber is as fierce and ready as ever. Expect spandex, alter-egos, breakneck rap, crazy visuals, and lots of Aktu Taktu burgers. Yes… You have to be there.
FM Belfast is practically an institution in the Reykjavík party scene by this point. The Iceland Airwaves regulars always put on a synth-fuelled, crazed performance which gets the crowd going. One of the best live bands in Iceland, it’s impossible to stand still at an FM Belfast show!
Palestinian-Icelandic rapper Alexander Jarl has an unmatched sound in the Icelandic hip hop game. He spurts out spitfire lyrics and is supported by one the best beatmakers in Iceland, Helgi Ársæll. The duo has been kicking butts and taking names since 2015 and their shows are always energetic. Check out the banger ‘Láttu Í Friði’.
The members of Vök have been busy creating the finest indie-electronic in the country since 2013. The group lists Portishead, Air, and Massive Attack as their main influences. They are fresh off a European tour to support the release of their highly anticipated debut LP ‘Figure’. If you are into indie then Vök is a must see.