Looking back at Iceland Airwaves 2014

Despite most of us being very much back to the every day life/routine, I think its fair to say that we, the Iceland Airwaves festival-goers still carry a little Airwaves bliss within.

This year, Bast Magazine planned together with good friend NickyDigital.com a special Iceland Airwaves warm-up party as a part of the off-venue schedule. Excited festival guests had already lined up before the doors opened, and kept pouring in throughout the night. Clearly more than ready to kick start this years Iceland Airwaves festival, and eager to experience our talented, handpicked line-up including some of our favorite artists and DJ´s: Dream Wife (UK/IS), Nolo, Skeng and Yamaho.

The off-venue schedule was the most packed so far, making it a little harder staying out to late in fear of missing all the good gigs during the day as well. The festival itself sold 9000 tickets this year, which along with the off-venue schedule also marks the biggest Iceland Airwaves festival to date.

Iceland Airwaves has always been a festival that spans great diversity of the various music genres, and the line-up this year was no exception. One of the headlining names was the legendary swedish band The Knife, which had announced that their Airwaves performance set on saturday night would be their last ever live show. The show consisted of a group of dancers/artists with an energetic choreography, followed by strong flashing lights and a playback mix of The Knife. The audience was strong, the show itself enjoyable, and a powerful one for sure. However, half way through The Knife show, the choreography suddenly seemed too intense, and made you crave The Knife´s fantastic vocals, or slow the show down a bit. The mind then unconsciously wondered to the opening act for The Knife; The electrifying Icelandic band Samaris, which triggered thrilling goosebumps among the audience throughout the show, and only left you eager for more.

The Icelandic bands took things to another level this year, as artists after artists kept delivering outstanding performances. Whether it being Grisalappalisa´s crazy stage performance with the legendary Icelandic poet/artist Megas, where the lead singer crowd-surfed his way to the bar to get a beer (yes that actually happened!), or Mr. Silla´s breathtaking live performance at Harpan concert hall. The Icelandic psychedelic rock band Fufanu also delivered a kick ass show, and managed to power-through, and keep a satisfied crowd despite some very frustrating technical issues at the old theater. A bright future awaits for the guys in Fufanu, as they also just played a very successful show at the Royal Albert Hall, as the opening act for Damon Albarn. Mammút, Muck, Kiasmos and Dísa are also great Icelandic artists and bands to be mentioned as one of these solid artists that just always deliver, no matter what.

The Finish artist Jaakko Eino Kalevi certainly made your mind wonder with his unique cosmic pop and soulful voice, and overall delivered very satisfying live performances throughout the Iceland Airwaves week. The french band La Femme also put on a fantastic show closing down the thursday night perfectly with their psych-punk tunes. 

Also, hats of to the new girl bands and one of the highlights this year: Dream Wife and East of my Youth! The Dream Wife (Bast feature here) flew in from the UK, played a series of packed shows, signed their first record deal and left the audience nothing but excited to tune in to their new debut EP, set to be released early next year – Well done Dream Wife!

Talking about record deals, the Icelandic electric, pop, and R&B influenced duo Halleluwah also just signed a record deal with the biggest Icelandic label Sena, right before their wonderful, bright and shining performance at the beautiful venue Idno. Certainly a strong duo to watch out for in the future.

Iceland Airwaves has once again proved to us that it is not only a music festival representing the best of what the Icelandic music scene has to offer. But it also brings the talents and audience closer together into one big celebration of music, love and life. Proving that we actually all do relate to the same creative star.

Thank you Iceland Airwaves for another amazing week this year. Looking forward to all the memories that are yet to come!


All photos Nicky Digital