Iceland Airwaves all started in 1999 as a party sponsored by Iceland’s favorite airline, Icelandair, throwing a music concert in an airplane hangar. This homegrown festival has outgrown the original venue and now transforms downtown Reykjavík into a city-wide festival full of art, music, fashion and fun.
Harpa Olafur Eliasson’s controversial yet stunning modern venue on the harbor front is the central hub of the festival, and where the Media Center is located. The Icelandic Symphony usually holds a not-to-be-missed concert here.
Hafnarhus, The Reykjavík Art Museum: The museum is worth a visit during the daytime as home to Iceland’s largest collection of contemporary art. One of the largest venues of Airwaves, make sure to get here early for big name acts.
The Nordic House: A beautiful modern building with a view of Reykjavík and the often snowcapped Esja mountain, this venue holds fantastic concerts in a great setting.
Fríkirkjan The Free Church built in 1899, holds limited performances that you won’t want to miss. This is perhaps the most intimate of Airwaves venues.
Kaffibarrin: Home to the artsy, fashionable and raging, this place is legendary, especially after 2 am. An off-venue establishment that’s been going strong for years.
The Blue Lagoon Chill
Perhaps one of the most iconic parties of Airwaves, the Blue Lagoon Chill, takes place at the world famous Blue Lagoon. A powder blue pool next to a geothermal power plant has been taken over by a modern facility and day spa to the dismay of some and joy of others. The temperature naturally fluctuates and it’s easy to spot where the hotspots are.
Late night lovers, fans of intimate shows, quirky clubs and even quirkier destinations: rejoice, this is your festival! Reykjavík is on the bleeding edge of Nordic culture and all things cool. Put on your Viking hat and prepare to get down up north at the Iceland Airwaves festival.