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Photo: Alexander Matukhno

A Closer Look at Iceland Airwaves’ First Wave of 2023 Artists

Featuring genre-spanning acts like Yard Act, Balming Tiger, Blondshell, Squid, and many more. 


If you’re in search of late-night live music debauchery in a foreign land, there’s no better place than Iceland, a country that only receives four or five hours of sunlight per day on average. With the aurora borealis as a backdrop, Iceland Airwaves has been one of the world’s most remote and renowned music festivals since its inception in 1999 and will return to Reykjavik from November 2 to 4. 

Recently crowned Best Indoor Festival at the 2022 European Festival Awards, Iceland Airwaves should continue to solidify its reputation as one of the world’s most experimental and captivating tastemakers with global and genre-spanning acts like UK punk outfit Yard Act, Balming Tiger from Korea, LA-based Blondshell, post-punk band Squid, and many more. The contingent of local talent is equally strong, with NANNA (the solo project of Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir, vocalist in Of Monsters and Men), Neonme, rock duo Myrkvi, empowering pop lyricist Kristin Sesselja, rapper Daniil, electronica duo ClubDub, and Americana project LÓN all set to take the stage.

With volcanoes on the horizon and a long history of folklore, the music emanating from the venues throughout downtown Reykjavik should be enough to ward off any of the trolls, shapeshifters and ghouls that might be crawling around. Adding to the festival’s mythical nature, they also offer performances in a variety of unique venues, including art museums and a local church, which will play host to fashion shows, art exhibits, and poetry readings in addition to the musical content. 

Iceland Airwaves runs Nov. 2 to 4. Tickets are on sale now, and soon to be joined by a range of international travel packages via Icelandair. For more info visit: icelandairwaves.is