Iceland Airwaves Conference

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November 2-3 2023

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.

Featuring speakers from..

+ many more!

Registration is open.

The Bundle

Festival, Conference, Plus upgrade

Conference pass

Conference only

Day pass

Conference Day pass Thursday or Friday

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.


Networking Breakfast

Kick off the conference with breakfast, coffee and networking.

The Outsiders: Attracting global audiences to the edge of the earth

Iceland placed itself on the world map due to its creative output, with music in a star role. Built on the legacy of our music giants, new artists benefit from being able to stand on their shoulders. Can other places learn anything from the Iceland way?

Sajje Solbak (Riddu Riððu), Ruth Daniel (In Place of War), Sigtryggur Baldursson (Iceland Music), Cesar Andion (The Spanish Wave Export)

Arnar Eggerts Thorodsson (Morgunblaðið)

Where's My Money: Why invest in music?

Iceland invests heavily in the arts – in films, literature, and now increasingly music. Our question for this panel is why? Public funding in the creative sector is often met with scepticism; is it for the ‘common good’ in some way, or is this a sound investment strategy?

Maria Rut Reynisdóttir (MD for the new Iceland Music Office), Þorbjörg Daphne Hall (Musicologist), Shain Shapiro (Center for Music Ecosystems), Matt Riley (MD, AWAL)

Robert Levine (Billboard)

The Big Talk: Does the live industry need to stop blaming covid? ​

How come 2023s festival line-ups read like a 90s chart while emerging artists are cancelling tours and appearances in droves. Is this temporary post-covid setback, or is the live industry as we’ve known it breaking?

Scott Fetters (2112), Geoffrey Huntingdon-Williams (Prikið), Keith Miller (Bad Vibration Promoter), Sólveig Matthildur (Kælan Mikla), Ollie Jacob (manager Yard Act & label owner) 

Katharin Ahrend (Club Comission Berlin)

Networking Lunch

Join us for tasty treats and great chats at the networking lunch.

Iceland Music Film Phenomenon: Where you'll find our indie-darlings

The success of Icelandic indie artists in film music is leading to an emergence of a new category of rockstar: ‘the film composer’. Is this trend exclusive to Iceland or indicative of broader patterns? Is scoring a film simply a sweeter gig than touring?

Inga Magnes Weisshappel (Wise Music Iceland), Sarah McMullen (NETFLIX), Herdís Stefánsdóttir (Artist), Atli Örvarsson (INNI, Founder) 

Stephanie Rushton (Music Supervisor)

Attention Wars: Is the non-music part of music eclipsing – the music?

Artists are expected to not ‘just’ make music anymore, but create a multi-media experience presented by an enticing persona that’s always on. It would be a misunderstanding to think they do this all alone. Let’s dig into what goes into creating this cinematic universe, and meet its players.

Rakel Mjöll Leifsdóttir (Dream Wife), Viðar Logi (Creative Director), Sarina Clark (Inside Out Agency), Devon O’Connor (Lava Records) 

Rhian Emanuel (Because Music)

Networking: Happy hour 2 for 1!

Meet the delegates and speakers and enjoy a tasty beverage at the IA Center.

Iceland Airwaves Welcome Party at IA Center

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


Networking Breakfast

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

Turn it around - how heartbreaking failure can inspire life-changing success

Some of our most cherished and inspiring success stories include both tales of failure and success. In this panel, we will hear about some of these journeys and what it takes to turn it around.

Heather Kolker (Dreamshop Management), Samuel McGlynn (Red Light Management), Marlene Tsuchii (CAA), Sam Mobarek (Warner) 

Josie Gaitens (Freelance Journalist)

The soundtrack to your life

Music sets the stage for everything in our lives – whether it be the morning shower, the weeklong road trip, the score to your favorite movie or the night of your life in your favorite city. How do muscians, music lovers, and people who work in music interact with the soundtrack that never sleeps?

Nur Ozdamar (YouTube), Natasha Kilibarda (Universal Music Group (Island Records)), Ebba Guhnby (FUGA)

Dan Koplowitz (Friendly Fire Licensing)

The ultimate AI panel

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?

Katie Rynne (Village Sounds) José Ramos (MIT) Haraldur Þorleifsson (Ueno), Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson (Software Engineering Consultant), Sarah Joy (ATC) Parag Bhandari (UG Strategies, Bull City Summit)

Brian Hiatt (Rolling Stone)

Networking Lunch

Join us for tasty treats and great chats at the networking lunch.

The Art of Curation

Fifty years ago, a group of men gathered in smoke-filled rooms made decisions about what music would reach the masses. Today, thanks to technical evolution, the masses have a seat at the table. How does this practice of music curation embody the socio-cultural evolution of our society and how does it successfully incorporate our ideals of human and sonic diversity?

Emma Vikström (Spotify), Ariana Morgenstern (KCRW), Kle Savidge (Music Supervisor), Jeremy D. Larson (Pitchfork), Stefan Gejsing (Roskilde), Tom Windish (Wasserman)

Oskar Strajn (Eurosonic)

Þetta reddast - the Icelandic mentality

If you would ask 10 people what it’s like to work with Icelanders – you’ll get 10 different answers. Are we the creative powerhouse fairytale creatures of your dreams, or the stuff of nightmares?

Eliza Reid (First Lady of Iceland),  Colm O’Herlihy (INNI), Kevin Cole (KEXP), Kim Wagenaar (Peer Agency/IA), Nick Matthews (Wasserman/Laufey)

William Larnach-Jones (London Records)

Trúnó with Sigur Rós

„Trúnó“ is the term Icelanders use when taking someone aside and asking them the questions you‘ve had buzzing through our mind. Usually the spark of a trúnó is a few beers and an informal setting, so what better time than on a festival Friday afternoon to drag these two onto a stage and ask them about the band that has shaped Icelandic music as we know it today?

Dean O’Connor (Big Dipper), Georg Holm (Sigur Rós)

Bergur Ebbi (Mark Berg)

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 right before happy hour. Let’s party!

Happy hour - brought to you by Veeps

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


The conference hosts a dynamic array of:


Parties + Mixers



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.

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