Frequently asked questions

What is Iceland Airwaves?

Thats easy: Just take a look!

I looked. Still have no idea what an ‘Iceland Airwaves’ is.

OK. Yes. It is a large party thrown in celebration of teenagers in bear costumes. Do you like crowdsurfing? Then bring your own bear costume to the shindig – wearing one greatly increases your chances of surfing some sweet crowd waves.

Oh. OK. It’s a music festival. A pretty goddamn great music festival, if we say so ourselves. Every year, the most exciting and current acts stop over in Reykjavík to play for the hard partying Airwaves crowd, where they share a stage with some of Iceland’s best and brightest. Read more about the festival and its history here.

Where is it?

The festival happens in downtown Reykjavík, Iceland, and is spread over a plethora of venues that are all within ten minutes walking distance from one another.

When does it happen?

In 2014 it takes place November 5-9 – five days (starting on Wednesday, ending on Sunday).

What are some of the main venues?

Go here for a list of all the Iceland Airwaves venues. It’s quite descriptive, too.

What kind of music can one hear there?

Fresh, new and from all over the place.

Who’s playing?

Awesome people, some in bands and some solo.

How can I score a ticket?

You can either stand around hoping someone will give you a ticket, or just go buy one online right now. The age limit for Iceland Airwaves is 20 years. You can also buy a package deal with Icelandair by clicking the Packages button on top.

What about that Blue Lagoon Chill, how can I get there?

Tickets will go on sale soon. There will be buses stopping at most of the Reykjavik hotels.

Where should I get accommodation if I want to be close to everything?

Reykjavik is a small big town. Everything is close to everything. Hotels, hostels and guest houses in the 101, 107 and 105 postcodes are closest to the festival activities, though.

I have a great band. Can it play?

How come we haven’t heard of it if it’s so great? JOKE! Yes, you can play, probably. If you guys are as great as you maintain. You’ll need to submit an application through our website and our team of experts will listen to it and deem if you are suitable for the festival (and the festival is suitable for you).

Why isn’t my band playing this year?

Well. See. There could be any number of reasons why your band isn’t playing this edition of Iceland Airwaves. And it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the quality of your band or your music, either.

See, Iceland Airwaves is a multi-venue festival, where bands of different styles and genres mix things up on the same stages. Programming wise, we aim at each act on the bill complimenting the next one (and vice versa), so if you play, say, Drum ‘n’ Bass-tinged Grunge Folk Revivalist Chillwave BroCore, it might not fit in on any of the line-ups we’ve created. Or there might be too many bands like that on the bill. Who knows?

Anyway. Apply again next year. If you really want to play this year, though, you might try and score a slot at one of the off-venue shows.

What’s an off-venue show, then?

During Iceland Airwaves, downtown Reykjavík fills to the brims with all sorts of music related activities. It’s like some crazy music carnival, really, with live music blaring from every corner of the compact 101 area. Bands and musicians perform shows at bars, restaurants, bookstores, coffee shops, fashion boutiques and… anywhere that can fit a band or musician, really.

Some of the downtown establishments have taken to organizing a special off-venue program throughout the festival (it only takes place during the day, though). They will often submit a finished program to us, which we then print in our schedule – for your convenience!

Off-venue shows are often unconventional – small, intimate concerts where your favorite metal act might all of the sudden start blaring out acoustic numbers, to name an example. We highly recommend visitors to Iceland Airwaves pay attention to the off-venue schedule and try and attend some of the shows.

Can we play there?

Probably. We don’t know! You’ll have to try to find someone that’s organizing an off-venue show and ask them if you can play. Alternatively, you could try to set up your own.

I am a journalist/photographer /blogger. Can you give me a ticket?

Short answer: not really. Long answer: sort of, maybe. Click here for all your media accreditation information needs.

Is photography within the venues allowed?

Sure. If you’re not an ass about it.

What sort of currency do Icelanders use?

Hah. We call it a “króna”, it’s worth half of what it was worth a couple of years back, and the coins have pictures of fish on them. It is maybe not the ‘best’ currency out there, but you gotta admit those fish engravings look pretty sweet.

What’s the price of a pint in that, then ?

‘A pint’ will set you back around 900 ISK, which translates to around 6-8 US Dollars and 4-6 GBP (you’ll have to look up the current value of the ISK on-line – it often changes).

How about lunch? How much does that set me back?

Anywhere between 500 and 2.000 ISK (depending on your needs and tastes).

And dinner?

Anywhere between 500 and 20.000 ISK (depending on your needs and tastes).

What sort of clothes should I bring?

Dressing in layers is a good idea. So bring clothes you might layer all over your body. Rain gear is a good bet, as is a good overcoat. Hiking boots, if you want to go hiking. A woollen cap and some mittens probably aren’t a bad idea.

Look, just bring plenty of clothes. You can always leave them in your hotel room if the weather’s really nice (which it often is).

But try and dress smart, will you? There’s quite enough tacky tourists around.

Are there other things than seared sheep heads, rotten shark and whales available at restaurants? Or will I have to bring my own food?

No, there are lots of other things. Like ram’s balls. Plenty of those to go around.

You guys have internet, right?

Yes, we have the Google!