If you read any other blogs or news about Iceland, you will have noticed that a lot of the talk at this time of year is about the upcoming Airwaves music festival. Many of the foreigners like me who are “into” Iceland are really into the music and this is reflected in the large number of tourists who go to the festival.
I’m probably one of the few Iceland bloggers who would say NOT to go to Airwaves.
There’s a lot that I don’t like about music festivals generally – crowds, drunk people, you’re miles away from the band, there’s mud, sleeping in tents – ok, that’s pretty much everything. Airwaves is different and has bands mostly playing indoors and mostly in small places and it’s the one time that you get to see just about every Icelandic band at once and then hang out with them in the bar afterwards. So to be fair, it’s the one music festival that I can’t apply the usual negatives to. Here are my grumpy reasons for not going:
1. You can see great bands in Reykjavík throughout the year. There are so many bars and clubs that even if you have a limited knowledge of Icelandic music there might be someone playing that you have heard of and if not you will still hear good music.
2. For some reason the organisers have pushed it back by a few weeks this year. I think it’s to generally spread out the presence of tourists more, but that few weeks makes a big difference in daylight hours and potentially the weather. It’s just a nothing time of year – in my opinion you’d be better off going up until mid-October when the days are longer or around Christmas when there is a festive atmosphere. It also happens to be a time when it would be really inconvenient for me to be off work (don’t the organisers take this into their planning??).
3. Finally there are going to be way too many young, hip and glamourous people all gathered in one place during this time. If you are over 25 you will feel like their mother and worry about whether they are staying out too late and how they are going to get home – and these are just the bands!
I might be a bit jealous when I start reading about everyone’s experiences but I will console myself by
watching X Factor while drinking hot chocolate listening to KEXP who are broadcasting live for 8 hours a day. You can also check out this playlist from the Grapevine.
Basically, I think I’d rather just be there without the crowds and paying more for the privilege of being there when something is “on”. Are there any popular events that you have a similarly grumpy view of?