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Idiots Not Allowed!

The Eistnaflug music festival is underway for the twelfth time in the town of Neskaupstaður in East Iceland, reports RÚV. The festival slogan, ‘Don’t be an idiot’, is meant as a reminder to festivalgoers to behave themselves, or risk the festival being cancelled.

Eistnaflug has grown from a one-day metal festival starting in 2005 to a four-day festival today that encompasses metal, hardcore, punk, rock and indie music, according to the festival website, and attracts world famous names in heavy metal.

Eistnaflug started on Wednesday and will continue until the early hours of Sunday morning. “Everything’s going really well. The best thing is that the weather forecast has worked out, so we’re having just awesome weather. That changes everything,” enthused Stefán Magnússon, organizer and spokesperson for the festival.

Brazilian heavy metal band Sepultura takes to the stage tonight. The band was founded by brothers Max and Igor Cavalera in 1984. Since then, the lineup has undergone many changes and today none of the original members are left. However, Sepultura remains one of the world’s biggest heavy metal bands, and its legacy is its indisputable influence on the heavy metal genre.

“This is by far the biggest night we’ve had at Eistnaflug. That is quite clear, and as much as I’m looking forward to seeing it happen, I’m also looking forward to it being over. I just hope everything goes off without a hitch,” explained Stefán and laughed.

Stefán describes Eistnaflug as a mix of a family festival and specialist music festival. “There are both people coming here with their kids and people who enjoy slightly different music.”

The number of festivalgoers ranges from 2,000-2,500, including those performing as well as other staff. The involvement of private companies within the municipality has also increased in recent years as the festival has expanded. Fishing company Síldarvinnslan in Neskaupstaður became a sponsor of the festival this year and in future, the organizers plan on offering weekend festival passes at special prices. The festival organizers are making a particular effort to attract local residents in the East, who could grab the opportunity to attend the event. “We’re kind of striving to make people especially here in the east who are maybe not coming want to come and check us out,” said Stefán.

The festival slogan is ‘Don’t be an idiot’ and the festival has attracted attention for how well-behaved the festivalgoers are, in comparison with other popular music festivals around the country. Stefán himself has declared that Eistnaflug will be shut down completely in the event that a serious incidence of crime ever comes up. “[The slogan] helps us all, people behave even better, it’s perverse,” stated Stefán. When asked what people should understand from the concept of ‘not being an idiot’, Stefán responded: “It just means don’t cause any trouble, don’t steal things from the stores, don’t engage in any kind of bull in the area. Behave yourself and help others out to do the same.”

Stefán was interviewed in a morning program on RÚV’s Rás 2 radio station today.

Information about the festival including this year’s lineup and how to purchase last-minute tickets can be found on the official website.

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