Iceland Airwaves Conference

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November 3-4 2022

Iceland Airwaves is a globally recognised brand with an outstanding reputation for shining light on new music talent.

This year’s conference welcomes music industry delegates and press from all over the world with great speakers and opportunities for networking.

The conference is held in collaboration with Iceland Music, Reykjavík Music City and Business Iceland.


Presented by Iceland Music and Reykjavík Music City

Networking Breakfast

Kick off the conference with breakfast, coffee and networking.

The Changing Tides of Management

The role of the artist manager has undergone massive transformation over the last few years. The ongoing revolution in the way music is made, released, distributed, marketed and consumed means modern managers have to wear ever increasing number of hats, and their responsibilites and creative input is as varied as the artists they manage. In this panel we will discuss the opportunities and challenges of the modern day music manager and try and answer where the role is heading? Will the artist manager one day become the only necessary point of contact? A one stop shop for artists? A strategic partner to create opportunities?

Dan Potts (Manager, Red Light Management), Ali Raymond (Director, BEATNIK Creative), Nick Knowles (Managing Director / Artist Manager, KxKn Management), Christiana Sudano (Owner, Do Less Management), Maria Torres (Artist Manager, Mother Artists)

Paul Bonham (Professional Development, MMF)

The Online Fan: How fan culture survived the algorithm

In a world where active listening is almost archaic and algorithmic playlisting is geared towards never rocking the boat, there is still a huge space for fan culture for the artists that are willing to carve it out for themselves. Somehow, the rise of the mood playlist seems to be able to coexist with an equal rise of the niche and this panel is focussed on the importance of that space. The niche artists and brands, their fans their surprising resilience in the age of the algorithm. How do artist and industry professionals navigate the delicate balance of retaining authenticity yet utilising modern marketing techniques.

Pierre Hall (Label Manager, Speedy Wunderground), Aidan Grant (Director, Different Sauce), Þura Stína (Artist, Daughters of Reykjavík), Megan Burns (Kælan Mikla Manager)

Árni Hjörvar (Artist, The Vaccines)

Are we all Pop Divas? Challenging queer sterotypes in music

How do queer stereotypes help or hinder the artist in the construction of their art? Is the label of ‘queer artist’ helpful or burdensome? Are there stereotypes attached that may need to be challenged and if so, how? How have queer identities shaped music and culture, and how does a queer identity influence the art of making music? These are among the questions “Are we all Pop Divas?” asks as the panel’s aim is to discuss identities and music creation from the artists’ perspective.

Samantha Togni (Founder and Director, Boudica and Flesh Festival), Heiðrik á Heygum (Artist, Kóboykex), Hulda Kristín Kolbrúnardóttir (Artist, Huldaluv), Sigríður Eyþórsdóttir (Artist, Systur)

Magnús Bjarni Gröndal (Artist, Mighty Bear)

Networking Lunch

Join us for tasty treats and great chats at the networking lunch. Book your spot during the registration process.

Curating for the masses: The label's identity in the age of the hyper-digital

This panel looks to explore the weight a label carries at the age of DSPs. It asks how important is curation and identity of the label when listeners never see it. Where do indie labels’ and label service companies’ strategies converge and how do they differ?

Jacek Kozlowski (A&R, Artoffact Records), Nathan Liddle-Hulme (Head of Marketing UK, AWAL), Jeff Bell (Vice President – Head of UK, Partisan Records), Ophir Admony (A&R, Secretly Group)

Nina Radojewski (Professional Development Lead, AIM)

The Big Talk: The climate crisis and the cultural industries

Modern societies face a crisis so all encompassing and difficult to process that it has a numbing effect on us all, our societies and our industries. How will the climate crisis effect artists’ and music industry professionals’ work? Can the creative industries pull their weight in the battle for a more sustainable future?
In the Big Talk we will discuss these issues and have open and frank talk about this gigantic reality that touches every aspect of all of our lives.

Vigdís Jakobsdóttir (Artistic director / CEO, Reykjavík Art Festival), Njörður Sigurjónsson (Ph.D. Professor of Cultural Management, Bifröst University in Iceland), Lewis Jamieson (Director of Communications, Music Declares Emergency), Sóley (Artist)

Lena Ingwerson (Managing Director Music Cities Network)

Keynote: Laufey and Max Gredinger

The latest hit-maker from Iceland is the 23-year-old Laufey who first caught the eyes of contemporaries like Billie Eilish and V of BTS and now has the #1 Jazz song on Spotify with her debut album debuting at #10 in the US and UK on Spotify and a sold out North American and UK/European tour. In this fireside chat Habbi from Iceland Music will have a conversation with Laufey and her manager, Max Gredinger, about how they translated Laufey’s vision of transportative jazz songs about young love and self-discovery into one of the brightest stars coming out of Iceland, ever.

Laufey (Artist), Max Gredinger (Manager, Laufey)

Hrefna Helgadóttir (Marketing & PR Manager, Iceland Music)

Iceland Airwaves Welcome Party at Reykjavík Art Museum

The now annual tradition of welcome drinks to kick off the festival in style!

Presented by Iceland Airwaves

Networking Breakfast

A very warm welcome to day two with a Nordic-style breakfast and networking with delegates. 

Punching above your weight - how artists from small markets can reach global success.

This panel invites experts familiar with working with artists that come from small markets to discuss what are the contributing factors to progress, what are the biggest hurdles, and how artists and their collaborators can capitalize on their home market and country to drive success.

Alex Bruford (MD / Agent, ATC Live), Glenn Larsen (Head of Faroe Music Export), Anna Hildur Hildibrandsdottir (Filmmaker, Glimrandi), Camilla Christensen (Booking Agent, Standing Ovation)

Will Larnach-Jones (Senior Catalogue Product Manager, London Records)

Sink or swim? The status of live music and what comes next.

The live music industry contributes so much to artists, the music industry ecosystem and local economies, but it was one of the industries hardest hit by the pandemic. Although there are some reasons to be hopeful, bouncing back might mean re-evaluating the status quo.

Angie Rance (Agent, Earth Agency Ltd), Parag Bhandari (Founder & CEO, UG Strategies), Ísleifur Þórhallsson (Managing Director of Sena and Festival Director of Iceland Airwaves), Steinþór Helgi Arnsteinsson (Bar owner/Promoter, Röntgen/Faxaflói) 

Kim Wagenaar (CEO, Peer Agency)

Breaking the sound barrier - finding success in a competitive streaming landscape

Streaming and live music are the main income streams for most artists, but the race to streaming success is hard won as we increasingly rely on algorithms to choose the next big thing. How do you succeed in a world where it’s easier than ever to share music with the world, but harder than ever to translate that into meaningful income?

Sofia Sandqvist (Senior Project & Label Manager, Universal Music Sweden), Brittany Crawford (Co-Founder, Avant Garden Records), Ruben Neese (Manager, Brilliance Music Group)

Ruth Kilpatrick (New Music Writer, Record of the Day)

Networking Lunch

Join us for tasty treats and great chats at the networking lunch. Book your spot during the registration process.

The power of music

The world is in turmoil and divisions between people are seemingly growing wider every year, but these divisions have also reminded us of what unites us across borders and political ideologies. What part does music have to play in this, and how do we do better?

Vlad Yaremchuk (Programming Director, Atlas Festival), Tamara Kaminska (Director of Music Export Poland), Elham Fakouri  (Musician-curator, Nordic House)

Nína Richter (Journalist, Fréttablaðið)

Keynote: Ólafur Arnalds

Ólafur Arnalds is one of Iceland’s most successful artists. In this keynote Ólafur will discuss everything from how he got here, his approach to creativity and composition, the music industry and what lies ahead.

Ólafur Arnalds (Artist)

Paul Bridgewater (Editor in Chief, Line of Best Fit)

The Airwaves Awards

As usual, this year 1.000 ISK from every Airwaves Plus ticket upgrade purchased is added to the Airwaves Plus fund that awards new artists with a grant to assist them with recording, marketing, and touring. 

We’ll announce the winning artists of the Airwaves Plus Award as well as the winner of the Iceland Airwaves Lifetime Pass right before happy hour. Let’s party!

Happy hour and a half

Drinks are on us! Let’s tie a knot in conference day two and start our Friday evening refreshed and happy.



Airwaves Awards



Registration is closed.

A conference pass gives you access to the following:

  • IA Conference and Festival pass

    Iceland Airwaves Festival Nov 3-5 and Conference Nov 3&4

  • Numerous networking opportunities

    Access to and placement on the delegate list

  • Invitation to invite-only events

    Iceland Airwaves welcome party, happy hour on Friday and Airwaves Plus Awards ceremony

  • Food and drink

    Networking breakfast both days included, networking lunch both days can be booked during registration.

  • Airwaves Plus

    + all the benefits of Airwaves Plus including priority access to official Airwaves venues, discounts and more.

Press and photographers should visit the press page here.

Please note, we reserve the right to make changes in rates and schedule. The industry pass does not guarantee access to potential invite only events, other limited-capacity workshops and networking events or concerts after the capacity is filled. Some of the networking sessions may require enrollment.

Who attends?

The Airwaves Conference welcomes everyone from musicians to music executives, and everything in-between.

Booking Agents, Composers, Culture Funds, DSPs, Export Bureaus, Festival Programmers, Funding Bodies, Media, Music Managers, Music Publishers, Music Supervisors, Musicians, Public Relations companies, Radio stations and programmers, Record Labels, Tour Promoters + more.


Previous delegates

ATC Live, ATC Management, AWAL, BBC6 Music News, Big Dipper Management, By:Larm Festival, Brooklyn Vegan, Coda Agency, Disney/Freeform, Domino Music Publishing, Eurosonic Nooderslag, Flow Festival, KEXP, Keychange/PRS, Kobalt Music, Les Inrockuptibles, MIT, Netflix, NME, Paradigm Agency, Pitch and Smith,  Reeperbahn Festival, Roskilde Festival, Sony Music, Spotify, Stereogum, The Current, The Line of Best Fit, The Orchard, United Talent Agency, Universal Music,  William Morris Endeavour + more.

Sign up for conference news

Are you a digital marketing professional?

We are happy to announce a co-operation with our friends at SAHARA, Digital Marketing Agency that will be hosting their annual Sahara Festival in Harpa on November 3rd, with the theme of Simplifying Digital Marketing. SAHARA Festival is a festival-style conference with some of the world’s leading marketing leaders. If you buy a ticket to SAHARA Festival a ticket to Iceland Airwaves is included in the price. Please note that a ticket to Sahara Festival does not grant you access to the Iceland Airwaves Conference.