The City of Reykjavík has granted the Iceland Airwaves music festival permission to set up two large marquees in the city center and hold concerts inside them. The director of the festival thinks it is unlikely they will erect the tents this year, but says it is very useful to have permission.
The city’s environment and planning committee confirmed the granting of the license at its meeting yesterday, RÚV reports. One of the tents will be on Ingólfstorg square. It will be 300 square meters and open from 18.00 to midnight on weekdays and 18.00 until 01.00 on Friday and Saturday. The tent will hold around 500 people; though only those with Airwaves armbands will be admitted.
The second tent will be half bigger again, at 750 square meters. It will be located by the old harbor and can take 900 guests. The same opening times apply.
Grímur Atlason, director of Iceland Airwaves, told reporters that it is unlikely the festival will use the marquees this year—though neither is it ruled out.
Grímur wrote in the application to the city council that the festival needs to have plans in place to deal with the potential closure of music venues Húrra, Paloma and Gaukurinn if they do not want to be forced to shrink the festival.
He also claims it is very difficult to set up many different concerts inside Harpa for four or five days in a row. “The costs are massive and it is certainly frustrating to see their catering sales blossom without receiving any cut of the profit.”
Grímur says that the music market in Reykjavík has been put under pressure in recent years; with three venues disappearing in three years and others have switched owners, sometimes putting a big question mark over their participation in the festival.