Icelandic Music Sales On the Rebound

Lucky Records, Reykjavík.

Sales of Icelandic music are making a rebound after more than a decade of decline, according to Eiður Arnarsson, director of IFPI Iceland, the country’s association of record makers. Eiður shared the results of a recent study of the local market on RÚV morning radio.

Eiður says Icelandic music continued to sell well during a global drop in music sales, which began at the turn of the century when listeners started being able to access music illegally for free. By 2010, however, sales of Icelandic music were also dropping like in neighbouring countries.

Recently, however, CD and vinyl sales have been going fairly well, even among young listeners. “[Vinyl sales] have definitely turned around,” Eiður stated. “Libraries, for example, in the capital, have been loaning out records diligently [and] that awakens young people’s interest in vinyl records and they start buying them.”

Nevertheless, streaming services like Spotify are now many music fans’ preferred method of listening to music. Spotify was first introduced in Sweden in 2008, coming to Iceland in 2013. Eiður says many Icelandic musicians now enjoy significant income from streams on the platform. “Spotify became what the market was always asking for,” Eiður remarked.“That is to say, nearly unrestrained access to nearly all music, but with good service.”

Trophy Hunters Slammed for Shooting Puffins in Iceland

Atlantic puffin

British trophy hunters are paying as much as £3,000 ($3,700/€3,300) for puffin hunting trips in Iceland, according to a recently published article from The Independent. On such trips, hunters reportedly kill up to 100 birds at a time. The Atlantic puffin is protected in the UK but it remains legal to hunt the bird in Iceland.

Over half of the world’s population of Atlantic puffins breeds in Iceland, numbering some 8-10 million birds. In 2018, BirdLife International declared the Atlantic puffin in danger of extinction. The puffin’s conservation status was also recently rated as vulnerable by the IUCN. Puffin hunting is legal in Iceland, and the bird is served as a local delicacy at restaurants around the country.

Erpur Snær Hansen, director of Nátturustofa Suðurlands (The South Iceland Nature Institute), says puffin numbers have dropped since 2003, though they remain the largest stocks of any bird in Iceland. Experts reported that puffin numbers in Iceland dipped significantly last year due to various environmental factors. They appear to be on the upswing in some areas of the country this year.

Temperature Record Broken Two Days in a Row

Nauthólsvík geothermal beach.

 

The summer’s hottest temperature of 25.9°C (78.6°F), recorded in Ásbyrgi, North Iceland only two days ago, did not hold onto its first place ranking for long, RÚV reports. It was surpassed the very next day in two locations in South Iceland. Temperatures of 26.9°C (80.4°F) were measured at Hjartaland yesterday, while at popular tourist site Geysir, temperatures reached 26.7°C (80°F).

The aforementioned temperatures are the highest recorded in Iceland this year. According to the Icelandic Met Office, however, they are not the hottest ever to be recorded in the country. The standing record is 30.5°C (86.9°F), measured in East Iceland on June 22, 1939.

Though they are admittedly milder, Iceland is currently feeling the effects of the heat wave gripping mainland Europe. Meteorologists say temperatures will stay high in the coming days.