Iceland Airwaves festival, Reykjavik
Many music festivals have been famous throughout the last century, such as the Woodstocks, Burning Man, or The Big Chill. Then, in 1999, a small group of Iceland artists gave birth to a new child, destined to fame: the Iceland Airwaves annual, held in the capital Reykjavik, Iceland.
Starting in an airplane hangar, the festival gained momentum and took off in later years, pulling in hordes of music lovers from both sides of the Atlantic. It gradually gained that oh-so-valuable reputation: Where bands can be seen before they go big. But the stars come back to support, of course - The Bravery, Sonic Youth, and The Shins are regulars. 2009 featured more than 170 different stars from tens of different countries, highlighting Hot Chip, Minus, The Stills, and Casio Kids. They're followed by the premiere music journalists from around the globe.
Apart from the music is the local scene. The festival has moved out of the hangar into the city, to the great delight of local businesses, bars, and restaraunts. With a strong and welcoming artist population, Reykjavik is a fantastic place for all of these artists and musical tourists to blend and feel groovy. Add to the mix the fiery locals who love a good time, a few beers or glasses of wine, and you've got yourself a great excuse to miss work Monday.
IcelandAir typically books Iceland Airwaves packages. In 2009, the flights and festival pass could be purchased with accommodation (2 nights, starting at £369) or without (£299). The dates for 2010 are unknown at the time of this writing, but the festival typically occurs in October. Pull on your woolly hat and boots - let's rock.
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