Twelve points go to..
John Grant (US) / Orville Peck (CA) / Cautious Clay (US) / Snapped Ankles (UK) / Just Mustard (IE) / W.H. Lung (UK) / Tiny Ruins (NZ) / Æ Mak (IE) / Pillow Queens (IE) / Akkan (ES) / Helge (NL) / Agent Fresco / Biggi Veira (Gus Gus DJ Set) / Axel Flóvent / Sykur / aYia / Bagdad Brothers / Blóðmör / Ásta / Bríet / Konfekt / Krassasig / Morpholith
Newly announced international acts include an intimate underplay by John Grant in the atmospheric church Frikirkjan, Cautious Clay – named one of Rolling Stone’s “30 Best Artists We Saw at SXSW,” queer, boundary-pushing country troubadour Orville Peck, Irish 2018 Choice Music Prize nominees Just Mustard, and a dose of UK post-punk from East London’s Snapped Ankles and Manchester’s WH Lung. Additionally, they’re joined by a plethora of Icelandic acts, including much-loved Airwaves favourites Agent Fresco, Biggi Veira (of local dance music figureheads GusGus), pop-experimentalists Bagdad Brothers, and Blóðmör, the hard rocking winners of this year’s Músíktilraunir, Reykjavík’s annual ‘Battle of the Bands’ competition.
Launched in 1999 as a one-off event in an airplane hangar, Iceland Airwaves has since become an integral part of Reykjavík’s yearly cultural calendar, taking over the historic downtown area for four days and nights, with performances hosted in various art galleries, churches, and concert halls. Its influence has turned Reykjavík into a global music city. For two decades, Airwaves has shone a spotlight on new talent, with early appearances from the likes of Florence and the Machine, James Blake, and Sufjan Stevens, additionally hosting established acts like Björk, The Flaming Lips, The Knife, and Kraftwerk. Following last year’s 50% female lineup, the first of its kind, Iceland Airwaves aims to continuously host a diverse, gender-balanced line-up.