The Secret Solstice festival is by now an established part of the social season in Iceland. For the past few years, the festival has taken over Laugardalur valley during the days of the summer solstice and thrown the biggest party of the summer.
With huge international artists and the crème de la crème of the Icelandic scene taking the stage underneath the Icelandic midnight sun, you can prepare for a music festival you’ll never forget. The Secret Solstice planners are known for creating unique experiences and if you’re coming to Iceland for the festival, you might want to check out some of the side events planned by the festival, such as a boat party under the midnight sun, a concert inside a tunnel in a glacier and another one inside a lava tunnel cave. The unique nature of Iceland is an integral part of the festival experience, so make sure you use your time in Iceland to explore the island to its fullest.
Of course, the music is the main event and the festival line-up won’t disappoint. As usual, the festival features several heavy hitters, most of them playing in Iceland for the first time. If you’re more interested in hearing up-and-coming acts, several interesting international artists are lined up to perform, as well as the best and the brightest of the Icelandic music scene.
Slayer is the headliner of this year’s edition of Secret Solstice. It’s the American trash metal band’s first performance in Iceland. It will also be the band’s last performance on the island, since they have announced that this world tour marks the end of their almost forty-year career. With their slashing and fast metal songs, like Raining Blood and Seasons in the Abyss, Slayer will be sure to treat the audience on a hellish trip down memory lane.
Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler, known for her raw and husky voice, is performing at Secret Solstice on Thursday May 21. In 1978, her single It’s a Heartache reached number four in the UK and number three in the US. Total Eclipse of the Heart, released in 1983, is among the bestselling singles of all times, with over six million sales. Her latest album, Rocks and Honey, was released in 2013, and is described as a tribute to the eighties, on which Bonnie Tyler does what she does best.
Stormzy is a grime and hip-hop artist from South London. As main influences he names Wiley and Skepta, and also Frank Ocean and Lauryn Hill. His most successful song to date is the platinum-selling Shut Up. Stormzy received the Brit Award for album of the year for his 2017’s Gang Signs & Prayer.
Gucci Mane is an American rapper, known as one of the originators of trap music. He released his debut album in 2005 and has released 12 studio albums since. In the past, he collaborated with names like Mariah Carey, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, Selena Gomez, Drake and Marilyn Manson. He also starred in Birds of a Feather and Spring Breakers, and has his own clothing line.
If you’re in the mood for hip-hop, check out Reykjavíkurdætur. This multi-member, all-female hip-hop group is known for their empowering lyrics and impressive stage-performance. Members have described their music as a mix between the Wu-tang Clan and Spice Girls, with a little bit of Björk and Cardi B. Most of their songs are in Icelandic, and a few are in English. They rap about corrupt politicians, body shaming and feminism.
Teitur Magnússon is well-known and much loved artist in the Icelandic music scene. You might know him from the reggae band Ojba Rasta, formed in 2009, but he also performs solo under his own name. He plays a mix of spacey pop, indie-folk and rock. His second album was one of the most anticipated releases in Iceland this year. His performance at Secret Solstice is going to be a mix of older and newer songs, some of which has never been played before.
JóiPé x Króli
New kids on the block JóiPé & Króli are a talented young duo that has earned their spot in the Icelandic hip-hop scene with their single B.O.B.A. They have also produced their first album GerviGlingur. They write songs about teen depression and anxiety, showing that there is a softer side to hip-hop. They impressed the crowds at Iceland Airwaves, Sónar Reykjavík and Aldrei fór ég suður and are now ready to conquer Secret Solstice.
Between Mountains is a band formed by two teenage girls from the Westfjords. They won first place at the Icelandic Music Experiments in April 2017, a contest won in previous years by bands such as Of Monsters and Men and Samaris. Currently, they play soft indie-pop, but they prefer not to be placed in a box and they like trying out different styles. Their name is inspired by the place they grew up in, in the middle of the mountains and fjords of the Westfjords. We expect great things from these girls.