In the long ago days that we called 2006, the stars aligned, money appeared and I secured a press pass to Iceland Airwaves. I flew alone to Reykjavik and took in the festival. It’s always a well curated affair that takes over most of the small 101 district. The charm lies in the close proximity of all the venues, the beauty of the city and the kindness of the locals. The first night I met a couple who offered up great conversation and a couch to crash on, as my hotel was a bit of a hike. Had this been America, I most likely would have woken up in an ice bath without my kidneys. In addition to the main venues, there are tons of off-venue events which offer up many chances to discover and repeatedly see local Icelandic acts. The weekend contained what I still regard as one of the best shows of my life: Wolf Parade supporting Apologies To Queen Mary in a packed tiny club called Tuborg. I forgot my press pass would get me to the other side of the divider, but I contentedly enjoyed the nearly too loud set pressed against the barrier. Afterward with my ears still ringing, I took my rental bike into the dark of the suburbs along the water. The streets were desolate, yet still felt safe and I could see the northern lights faintly above the horizon. Probably one of the better evenings of my life.
The festival ended with pages of notes and even a few interviews on tape. I returned to the US to no job and little motivation to write. Quickly, I woke up to the press deadline looming above my head and no place to publish the words I had yet to write. Cutoff passed and I can only guess that my name is still on the blacklist they warned about.
I still love the festival and this 39 minute documentary is a loveletter with a great selection of interviews and performaces from the last 10 years of Airwaves. Here’s hoping that this post can work to repair the damage I did 5 years ago by not promoting the festival then. Sorry, Iceland!
Also, extra apologies to Skakkamanage and þórir from My Summer As A Salvation Soldier. I interviewed you guys because I was a fan and I’m sad I never did anything with it.
Here’s the video I shot at local record store Skifan of Skakkamanage performing “OFC’s”
Also, here’s my photoset from the trip.