Iceland Airwaves “tremendous success” Skip to content

Iceland Airwaves “tremendous success”

By Iceland Review

The eighth annual Iceland Airwaves Music Festival, held in Reykjavík October 18 to 20, was, according to organizer Eldar Ástthórsson, the best ever.

“It was a tremendous success,” he told “Everything went really well, it was the best festival ever.” Iceland Airwaves was held for the eighth time this year.

“People are already asking when they can buy tickets for next year’s concerts,” Ástthórsson said. “So we’ve started putting the program together.”

Ástthórsson said the atmosphere had been great, but different from club to club. “It was quite mellow in Thjódleikhúskjallarinn and more rock-n’-roll in Gaukurinn and Nasa,” he said.

This year the organizers had decided to sell only 4,000 tickets, fewer than last time, because they didn’t want people to be stuck in queues all night.

Half the tickets were bought by foreigners, mostly from the USA and the UK, but Ástthórsson noticed an increase in concert goers from Scandinavia, Germany and France.

American actor Harrison Ford had secured himself a ticket, as did a senior editor of Rolling Stone. Ástthórsson said more high profile people from the music business had come to see the concerts.

“I was particularly happy with the Icelandic bands,” Ástthórsson said. “There are a lot of young talents out there who are doing amazing things.”

Icelandic artists included Benni Hemm Hemm, Frae, Apparat Organ Quartet and Jakobínarína. Foreign performers included Kaiser Chiefs, The Cribs, Wolf Parade and Brazilian Girls.

Iceland Airwaves started in 1999 as a talent show for foreign record company executives. Today, it is seen as a vital part of the cultural life in Reykjavík. Many Icelandic artists such as Quarashi, Minus and Sigur Rós were first noticed at Airwaves.

To read more about the festival, visit

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