Robert Plant to Play Secret Solstice

Robert Plant

British rock singer Robert Plant, of Led Zeppelin fame, will headline the sixth Secret Solstice festival, set to take place in Reykjavík this summer. He joins a line-up previously announced, featuring Rita Ora and Martin Garrix.

Robert, who turned 70 years old last year, is best known as the singer of rock band Led Zeppelin but since the band’s dissolution in 1980, he has performed as a solo artist. He’ll be performing at the festival with his band, the Sensational Space Shifters, who also played with him on his 2017 album, Carry Fire.

The Secret Solstice festival will take place June 21-23 and the performers that have already been announced include Martin Garrix [NL], Rita Ora [UK], Morcheeba [UK], Foreign Beggars [UK], Pussy Riot [RU], Kerri Chandler [US], MK [US], Mr. G (LIVE) [UK], Jeremy Underground [FR], XXX Rottweiler [IS], Boy Pablo [NO], Smash TV [DE], Högni [IS], ALXJ [DE], Ari Árelíus, Auður [IS], Bensol [IS], Captain Syrup [IS], Chris Hirose [DE], Clint Stewart [US], ClubDub [IS], Dilivius Lenni [DE], Doctor Victor [IS], Exos [IS], Ingi Bauer [IS], Jóhann Stone [IS], KrBear [IS], Mike The Jacket [IS], Monello [DE], Nitin [CA], Oktav DJ [IS], Pink Street Boys [IS], Ragga Holm [IS], Ricoshëi [US], Rokky [IS], Séra Bjössi [IS], Sprite Zero Klan [IS], Vibes [IS], and Vom Feisten [DE].

South Coast Swimming Pools Closed Due to Hot Water Shortage

Snow in Reykjavík

Swimming pools in Rangárvallasýsla district on the south coast have been closed due to frost and district heating in Þorlákshöfn is close to breaking point as hot water shortages due to severe colds continue, RÚV reports. Considering the weather forecast today, it’s not likely that access to hot water in the capital area needs to be restricted on Friday but the situation on Saturday is unclear.

Swimming pools in Hella, Laugaland and Hvolsvöllur have been closed. In Þorlákshöfn, part of the pool and hot tubs will be closed while the cold passes. “The heating is close to a breaking point and we’re also limiting hot water to the biggest users in the area,” Ólöf Snæhólm Baldursdóttir, public relations officer for Veitur Utilities, told RÚV.

Earlier this week, it looked like swimming pools in Reykjavík would need to be closed on Friday. “Looking at the weather forecast, it’s less likely that we have to do that tomorrow, but it looks like it will get even colder Saturday and Sunday so we might have to take some action.”

Veitur have asked people to keep their hot water use in the home to a minimum. “We think it’s working since we’ve been getting calls from people wondering what they can do to limit their hot water usage. We’re seeing the increase in usage slow down, “Ólöf said. In order to limit hot water usage, people are asked to keep windows and doors closed, and lower the temperatures of radiators when they open windows. People should also make sure radiators aren’t covered by heavy curtains or furniture.

According to the weather forecast, the weather will warm up after the weekend.

Proposed Ban on Plastic Carrier Bags by 2021

A bill proposed in the Icelandic Parliament by Minister of Environment Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson will ban all plastic carrier bags by 2021. If the bill goes through, businesses will not be allowed to give plastic carrier bags to customers for free. By 2021, businesses will not be allowed to hand out any plastic carrier bags, whether for free or for payment.
Businesses will still be allowed to have plastic carrier bags for sale on store shelves, but bags will be banned at checkout points.
The bill plans that individuals should use no more than 90 plastic bags on average per year from the beginning of 2020, and no more than 40 from the beginning of 2026.
The proposed bill goes to further lengths than European Union guidelines on the reduction of plastic bag usage state. The European Union allows states to exempt the thinnest of plastic bags from the ban, which will not be the case in Iceland.

Iceland is a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) and therefore has access to the inner market of the European Union and the so-called four freedoms of the European Union. Being a member of the EEA, Iceland has to follow European Union rules which affect goods, services, capital and persons.

School Bus Collision on Single-Lane Bridge

Collision on the single-lane bridge over Tungufljót river.

No one was hurt in a collision on the bridge over Tungufljót river yesterday when a rental car collided with a school bus, but both cars are badly damaged. According to the school bus driver, the reason for the collision was that the driver of the other car was not familiar with single-lane bridges.

Yesterday afternoon, first responders were called to the bridge over Tungufljót river, on the road between two popular tourist attractions, Gullfoss waterfall and Geysir. Margeir Ingólfsson, the driver of the school bus, posted on Facebook that the drivers didn’t realise that the bridge could only accommodate one car at a time and instead of waiting for the school bus to pass, drove on to the icy bridge, only to collide with his bus. No one was harmed during the incident but both cars are likely destroyed. After the collision, Margeir claims the other driver asked why there was so little space to meet on the bridge.

Single-lane bridges have been in the discussion lately, following a recent fatal accident on the Núpsvötn bridge as well as increased traffic due to tourism. Speed limits on 75 single-lane bridges around the country were dropped to 50km (31m) per hour following the accident.

Collision on the bridge over Tungufljót river
[/media-credit] The single-lane bridge is on the road between Gullfoss and Geysir, a route popular with tourists.