Airwaves Stays In Control

Having gone through tough times as a result of collapsed banks and erupting volcanoes, Iceland’s Airwaves Festival and You Are In Control showcase conference are teaming to fight off whatever financial or natural disasters loom around the corner.

Photo: AP Photo / Keystone, Sandro Campardo
Montreux Jazz Festival, Stravinski Auditorium, Montreux, Switzerland

Iceland Music Export managing director Anna Hildur Hildibrandsdóttir has done well to keep the faith of London agents who had to chase their acts’ money after the 2008 event. She doesn’t appear to have encountered too many problems in the talent-buying department and the Reykjavik city festival is regularly selling out its 5,000 capacity in advance.

This year, earlybird tickets priced at 15,000 Icelandic krona (around $125) boosted early sales.

The festival’s promise of “cutting-edge music, all night parties and general debauchery” may also have helped. National heroes Sigur Rós are making a return, after playing the closing set at last year’s festival. It was the Icelandic act’s first gig in Reykjavik in four years and its first at the festival in 11 years.

This year, the closing slot will be German electro-poppers Kraftwerk.

Other acts Oct. 30 to Nov. 3 include Villagers, FM Belfast, Savages, Gold Panda, Zola Jesus, Stealing Sheep, and Emilíana Torrini. This year the overlapping You Are In Control (Oct. 28-30 has moved from the Harpa Music & Conference Centre to arthouse cinema Bíó Paradís, which has staged the Reykjavik International Film Festival. The speakers confirmed so far include The Go-Betweens co-founder turned music critic Robert Forster, The Curved House publisher Kristen Harrison, and Indie Mobile founder and former PIAS managing director Seth Jackson.