Today Iceland Airwaves 2023 announces the first names heading to Reykjavík’s iconic downtown home for the beloved tastemaker festival. Taking place from 2-4 November 2023, Iceland Airwaves brings together the best in local Icelandic talent alongside emerging global acts. The festival is vital in capturing Europe’s appetite for new music with 2022’s iteration heralded as “one of the most idiosyncratic festivals in the world, and one which will keep calling you back,” by NME.
Taking flight from the UK, minimalist rock outfit Yard Act are one of those initial twenty two names announced today, following the release of their debut album ‘The Overload’ which saw scores of critical appraise bestowed upon the band and a Mercury Prize Album Of The Year nomination in 2022. They’re joined by South Korean musical collective Balming Tiger, who embrace a multitude of creative endeavours to inspire their experimental, alternative K-Pop output.
LA-based, New York-born musician Blondshell has already been described as an “alt-rock firecracker” by Rolling Stone in the US and been tipped as One To Watch by The Guardian in the UK, now she’s confirmed to make the trip to Reykjavík this November to play songs from her self-titled debut album, due for release this April. Fresh from the announcement of their second album ‘O Monolith’, industrial post-punk band Squid will also be appearing on this year’s Airwaves line-up, having just announced a highly anticipated second album ‘O Monolith’ out on Warp Records this summer.
Elsewhere on the line-up Brighton’s Lime Garden will flirt with genre boundaries in Iceland as they bring their laidback, yet uplifting, alt-rock to Reykjavík, with psychedelic fuzzy rock purveyors The Goa Express and Scottish energetic indie-punk band Gallus in tow. Rooted in heavy Britpop and psychedelia influences, Ukrainian indie band Love’n’joy are joined by spellbinding shoegaze act The Haunted Youth and pragmatic post-punk sextet Whispering Sons from Belgium, as well as Northern Irish hip hop trio Kneecap fresh from supporting Shame on tour, legendary Danish indie electro composer and producer Trentemøller, bedroom pop artist from Croatia Fran Vasilic and American house music powerhouse FETISH.
Elevating a focus on exceptional local emerging talent too, a host of names from Iceland have also been included in the initial line-up announcement for 2023. NANNA, the solo project of Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir, vocalist in Of Monsters And Men, will be showcasing new material at the event, alongside Neonme, the brainchild of artist Salka Valsdóttir, who also appears in Icelandic hip hop collective Daughters of Reykjavík. They’re joined by more homegrown talent including slacker rock duo Myrkvi, empowering pop lyricist Kristin Sesselja, rapper Daniil, electronica duo ClubDub and Americana project LÓN, formed by one of Iceland’s most beloved artists, Valdimar Guðmundsson with esteemed performers Ásgeir Aðalsteinsson and Ómar Guðjónsson.
Recently crowned Best Indoor Festival at the 2022 European Festival Awards, Iceland Airwaves continues to solidify its reputation for one of the most experimental and captivating tastemaking festivals the world has to offer. Set against the stunning backdrop of Reykjavík, you can expect everything from secret concerts, fashion and art shows, poetry readings and maybe even an appearance from the aurora borealis, alongside the event’s compelling music programming. Iceland also offers unique experiences unlike anywhere else in the world, with the capital surrounded by a natural world quite literally exploding with geysers, volcanoes, waterfalls, geothermal pools and more.
All the iconic venues and cornerstones of the festival are confirmed for the official programme, including Reykjavík Art Museum, Gamla Bíó, Iðnó, Fríkirkjan Church, Gaukurinn and Húrra with more to be revealed as the line up grows.
Iceland Airwaves is dedicated to booking gender-balanced line-ups as part of the festival’s ongoing work with Keychange, and having honoured the pledge just as soon as it was signed in 2019, gender-parity still remains a vital part of what the festival represents and the community of creatives that it reflects.
Tickets - are on sale now, and soon to be joined by a range of international travel packages via Icelandair. For more info visit: https://icelandairwaves.is/tickets/
Discover the line up in the Iceland Airwaves playlist here: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3dNCFy3Q9d6LtGZLWT0c2O
Announced Today [A-Z]:
Balming Tiger, Blondshell, Cassia, Clubdub, Daniil, FETISH, Fran Vasilic, Gallus, Kristin Sesselja, Kneecap, Lime Garden, Lón, Love’n’joy, Myrkvi, Nanna, Neonme, Squid, The Goa Express, The Haunted Youth, Trentemøller, Whispering Sons, Yard Act