Visitors to the music festival Iceland Airwaves in Reykjavík in October increased by 23 percent compared to the 2010 festival. When only foreign guests are taken into account, their number increased by 26 percent year-over-year, as stated in a report conducted by Tómas Young for Icelandic Music Export (IMX).
The Young Knives at Iceland Airwaves in 2008. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
The festival’s managing director Grímur Atlason said guests from 50 different countries, ranging from the Nordic countries to the Far East, were in attendance this year and on average they spent one day longer in the country than attendees in 2010, Morgunblaðið reports.
Festival goers spent a total of ISK 450 million (USD 3.7 million, EUR 2.8 million) during Airwaves, which is a 44 percent year-over-year increase in turnover.
Next year the festival will be held later than usual. “It has always taken place in the third weekend of October but next time it will run from October 31 to November 4,” revealed Grímur.
“Turnout has become so high that we are going to try to leave all other tourists out—it has become too much!” he commented.
Grímur reasoned that with a later date it is easier to accommodate festival goers, there is less competition for airplane tickets, for example.
“Of course we can’t take a great risk, because of, for example, the weather, which is why we’re only pushing it back by two weeks. But this year the weather was actually better in early November,” he added.
“We have received significant coverage all over the place, last by Spin Magazine, one of the largest lifestyle and music magazines in the world, and Rolling Stone has published articles about us,” Grímur said of the attention Iceland Airwaves has garnered.
Click here to read more about this year’s festival.