Celebrated In: Iceland
Iceland Airwaves is an annual music festival held in Reykjavík, Iceland in late October. The festival spans five days and its main focus is showcasing new music, both Icelandic and international. The festival's main sponsors are Icelandair and the City of Reykjavik.
The first show was held in 1999 as a one-off event in an airplane hangar at Reykjavik Airport. Subsequently, it has become one of the premier showcases for new music in the world, with hundreds of journalists and industry people in attendance.
Airwaves have become known for its intimacy and party spirit. The festival has been called "the hippest long weekend on the annual music-festival calendar" and an "unbelievable zest for music and celebration".
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, The Bravery (2004) and The Rapture (2002) are among artists who played Iceland Airwaves before their careers kicked off - in each case the groups were playing their first shows outside their hometown, New York. Among other artists who have played Iceland Airwaves are Crystal Castles, Thievery Corporation, Sparta, Flaming Lips, Fatboy Slim, The Kills, The Stills, TV on the Radio, Keane, Hot Chip, Ratatat, Architecture in Helsinki, Klaxons, Wolf Parade, Kaiser Chiefs and local bands Sigur Ros, GusGus, mum, Singapore Sling, FM Belfast, Of Monsters and Men, Seabear, sóley, Sin Fang and Retro Stefson.
In 2009, the festival was held from 14 to 18 October, featuring about 150 artists including Nina Kinert, The Cocknbullkid, Casiokids, Megaphonic thrift, Micachu and the Shapes, The Golden Filter, Metronomy, Golden Silvers, James Yuill, Postelles and Alaska in winter.
The 2010 edition of Iceland Airwaves took place on 13-17 October. The performers included jj, Robyn, Junip, Toro Y Moi, Timber Timbre, Rolo Tomassi, Bombay Bicycle Club, Hurts, Tunng, Alex Metric, Everything Everything, Mount Kimbie, Joy Formidable, Efterklang, Slagsmalsklubben, Oh No Ono, The Antlers and Hercules and Love Affair.
In 2011, Iceland Airwaves was held from 12 to 17 October. The performers included Bjork, Sinead O'Connor, Yoko Ono, Olafur Arnalds, Of Monsters and Men, We Were Promised Jetpacks, 22-Pistepirkko, Tune-Yards, Beach House, Other Lives and Olof Arnalds.
In 2012, Iceland Airwaves took place from October 31st to November 4th. Sigur Ros headlined the 2012 edition which included For A Minor Reflection, Kwes, Ghostpoet, Dirty Projectors, The Vaccines, Doldrums, Half Moon Run, Blouse, BOY, Soley, Retro Stefson, Prins Polo, Samaris, Sin Fang, GusGus, Mugison and Olof Arnalds. Django Django and Swans were both scheduled but were forced to cancel.
Iceland Airwaves is promoted and produced by Iceland Music Export, and sponsored by its founder Icelandair, in cooperation with the City of Reykjavik.