The 18th Iceland Airwaves music festival opens in Reykjavík today.
Grímur Atlason, CEO of the festival, told RÚV, “There are 220 events at the festival, or 267 concerts where some Icelanders perform twice. There are 14 concert venues.” About 9,000 people are expected to attend, 5,000 of them coming from abroad.
There will be concerts all over the city. Aside from the official program, there is an off venue program spread throughout the city, open to all. That program began on Monday. “There are 820 concerts. I estimate they will be attended by about 80,000 people,” Grímur predicted. Iceland Airwaves has grown considerably in recent years, and Grímur believes that if the off-venue events are counted, this festival is probably the largest so far.
Among the large events are Dizzee Rascal, playing in Harpa concert hall tonight, PJ Harvey, Björk and Of Monsters and Men.
The festival has served as a spring board for young Icelandic musicians, and many have been discovered at the festival through the years. Numerous foreign journalists attend Iceland Airwaves, as well as managers.
Iceland Airwaves concludes November 6. During the festival, some streets in downtown Reykjavík will be closed to the traffic of motor vehicles.