Monday, November 04, 2019

Iceland Airwaves 2019 …

… or, “I’m Not There.”

I wish I was.

The good news is that there are now over twenty off-venues. More good news is that Harpa is not a venue. The not-so-good news is that Þjóðleikhúsið (The National Theater) is not a venue this year—they are staging a musical version of Shakespeare in Love Wednesday the 6th and Sunday the 10th and Halldór Laxness’ Atómstöðin the 7th and 8th (both highly recommended!)

That won’t help you get your Airwaves fix, however. This post might.

 Wednesday is usually a good day to find undiscovered acts. With the exceptions of Gróa at the KEX hostel (16:30), Between Mountains (below) and JFDR at Slippbarinn (17:30, 18:30) and Svavar Knútur (everywhere!) I’m not familiar with them but here is a good guide for the new Icelandic acts (with videos.)

Between Mountains, The Current

Thursday’s off-venue schedule is good again at Slippbarinn  with Sóley (above) at 16:30. A revamped Between Mountains is at Fríkirkjan (19:50) and Hjaltalín commands the stage at the  Reykjavík Art Museum (21:50). If Páll Óskar shows up for a cameo in their set there will be complete pandemonium.

The ever-evolving JFDR will perform in Gamla Bio (22:20):

Friday’s best bets are the line-up at Fríkirkjan in the early evening and Iðno later.

On Saturday afternoon you can catch Ateria (above) at Lóa Bar-Bistro (16:00), not the best venue for three moody teenagers, but they are well worth it (you can also see them at Hard Rock Café at 20:10 followed by Between Mountains at 22:00).  Fríkirkjan’s Saturday night has another solid line-up. The big show is at Vashöllin, a stadium about a kilometer from the city center, where you catch Agent Fresco (20;25) and Of Monsters and Men (23:45), both of whom do great shows. Sólstafir at Iðno (00:00) may be the best metal show of the festival (bring earplugs!):


One off-venue that is listed but not yet scheduled is the senior home Grund. They have had a 10 a.m. show on Wednesday the last couple of years; last year Sóley gave a heroic performance with her dad (and had an introduction by the President of Iceland!) It was the emotional highlight of the festival:

The Minnesota radio station The Current will have live video from Hresso on Friday and Saturday starting at 12:30 GMT (06:30 CST).

Dillon has music for seven days, starting tonight (Monday) and going through Sunday.
Most shows are open but some (Wednesday—Saturday evenings) need a wristband/or admission.

If you have a hankering for Icelandic rockabilly, you can’t do any better than Langi og Skuggarnír, Lucky Records, Thursday, 17:00

KEX Hostel has radio broadcasts by Seattle station KEXP—they are consistently great (and crowded) and start in the afternoon on Tuesday. This year you will need a wristband to attend (come early!)

The Nordic House (south of the pond, across Ringbraut) also has consistently exceptional performances in what is arguably the most intimate venue (Notables: Bláskjár, Thursday, 18:15, Nising, Friday, 15:00.)

Ólöf Arnalds is at Iðno Saturday, 21:00, I saw her there in 2004(!) and in Seattle in 2011. She is a knockout—a triple threat of singing, playing and songwriting. Perhaps she’ll be one of the “special guests” at KEXP, Friday, 21:30?
Full Airwaves schedule is HERE.

(all images from 2018 Iceland Airwaves)

By Professor Batty


Blogger jono said...

Already another year has passed. If only we had been born rich instead of smart and good-looking we would be in Reykjavik now.

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