Iceland Airwaves will be significantly reducing its off-venue locations from 60 to 25 in total, Kjarninn reports. Simultaneously, the fee for hosting official, off-venue Airwaves concerts over the entire Airwaves festival is significantly increasing, from ISK 60,000 [$526.40; €456.94] to ISK 500,000 [$4,387; €3,808].
These changes have been confirmed by Ísleifur Þórhallsson, the new CEO of Iceland Airwaves, who is also the CEO for Sena Live—the events company that bought Iceland Airwaves in February and which is responsible for bringing Ed Sheeran to play his first concert in Iceland next year.
Venues that want to host official off-venue concerts during Airwaves have to pay the festival a nightly fee, which increases the later in the week that the show is held. These fees are all being increased. So now, a venue that wants to host an off-venue concert on Wednesday has to pay ISK 50,000 [$439; €381]. Thursday shows will cost ISK 100,000 [$877; €762] and Friday shows ISK 150,000 [$1,316; €1,143]. Saturday off venue concerts are the priciest: ISK 200,000 [$1,755; €1,524]. This means that a venue that wants to host off-venue concerts every night during Airwaves will have to pay ISK 500,000 [$4,387; €3,808] for the honor. Ísleifur says that the festival is making special arrangements with non-profit venues, but no distinction has been made between venues based on their sizes or how they were operated in the previous year.
Official off-venue locations are listed in the Iceland Airwaves program and presented as part of the festival. There are rules that off-venue locations must abide by, such as that no artist playing an official Airwaves show can play an off-venue set on the same day.
Ísleifur says that off-venue locations are an important and fun part of the Airwaves, but that in reality, they have a significant effect on ticket sales and are a financial strain on the festival. As such, the number of venues is being reduced and special weekend events for bracelet holders are being introduced, in accordance with reorganization efforts aimed at helping the festival continue to succeed in the future.
Sena Live hopes that these changes will lead to increased ticket sales. This year, a festival bracelet will allow the wearer entrance to all festival events, unlike previous years. Ísleifur says the goal is to increase the value of the bracelets. He is quick to emphasize as well that the new owners take their position seriously and recognize the important role that Iceland Airwaves plays in the Icelandic music scene and in the city of Reykjavík as well.