No further annual celebrations held by groups and workplaces that are labeled árshátíd in Icelandic will be held in Harpa, the new concert and conference hall in Reykjavík, as these are known for excessive drinking and have disrupted concerts.
Harpa. Photo by Geir Ólafsson.
“It isn’t good to have [loud partying],” Thórunn Sigurdardóttir, chair of Ago, Harpa’s operating company, told Fréttabladid, basing her opinion on bad experience.
“There was much interest in holding árshátíd in Harpa and we wanted to see whether this was possible. Our experience determined that it is not,” she said.
At one such party, which took place outside the Silfurberg concert hall recently, a series of Abba songs interrupted one of the lower-key parts of Björk’s concert.
“There was a leak of sound for a few minutes and that isn’t supposed to happen,” Sigurdardóttir confirmed. “It is unacceptable that Björk is disturbed by party music in the house. That clearly doesn’t work.”
“We cannot have everything going on in the building at the same time. Annual celebrations where there is much drunkenness don’t fit in. It’s just the way it is, Icelanders go to such celebrations to have fun,” Sigurdardóttir concluded.
The square in front of Harpa was recently named best public space in the Nordic countries.
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