Faktorý, a popular club and concert venue in Reykjavík, is to close down on August 11 this year. The venue opened mid-summer 2010. According to the city’s land-use planning, Faktorý is to be replaced by a hotel.
“This is pathetic. I speak as a music producer and concert organizer, and this is a huge loss to the Icelandic music scene. We are very upset to see this happen, especially since the venue has done really well, and we have been very ambitions in its management,” Haraldur Leví Gunnarsson, event organizer and music manager at Faktorý, told visir.is.
The outdoor area at Faktorý Club.
“You can compare it to the closing of the club Nasa. So many bands and musicians have started out in these two clubs, bands such as Retro Stefson and Of Monsters and Men. There is a reason the latter did a series of concerts here in January to show their gratitude. Their roots are here and one wonders where these bands would be today if places like Faktorý and Nasa didn’t exist,” Haraldur added.
Demolition permits are in order and demolition will commence as soon as the club closes down.
Haraldur and his partners are going to bid farewell to the club in style and a diverse program is scheduled to take place there every single day until closing (to see the program go to Faktorý’s website).
Musicians too are grieving.
Unnsteinn Manúel from Retro Stefson urges city authorities to change their policy. He also suggests a new music venue in the Harpa concert and conference center for smaller bands , visir.is reports.
“A successful band like Retro Stefson can barely afford to perform in Harpa as it is, so smaller bands trying to make it cannot afford to,” he stated.
Unnsteinn also refutes the idea that the city cannot afford to run a music venue. “Retro Stefson plays in venues all over Europe run by ambitious music managers every week, all of which are owned by the state or the city,” he adds, directing his words to the city council. “One by one, these small venues are disappearing: Hemmi og Valdi, Faktorý, Nasa and a few more.”
“As a professional musician in Iceland, I find myself playing in stranger and stranger venues clearly not meant for musical performances. There is a shortage of venues,” he commented.
“Very few venues are left in Reykjavík to perform. People are both for and against [their closures]—I think we need fresh ideas,” he concludes.