Iceland calling Irish musicians and fans

A cutting-edge music festival where the sun does shine . . . and shine


Iceland has more musicians and bands per capita than any other country in the world. With a population not much bigger than that of Co Galway, Iceland has produced two global platinum-selling acts (Björk and Sigur Rós) and a hit international indie band (Of Monsters and Men). In their day both Múm and GusGus redefined Nordic electronica. Currently bubbling under and destined for great things is Ásgeir.

With many more coming through thanks to the country’s all-consuming passion for music, Iceland is a case study in how to get it right despite a tiny population and limited infrastructure.

It’s a hidden bolthole for many a big-name rock star; one of the most creative places on the planet; a country where parents feel safe leaving their children in prams on the street outside cafes; a place where petty ideas of nationalism simply don’t matter. Now Iceland is – in its munificence – giving the world the music festival to end all music festivals.

Secret Solstice, a three-day outdoor event beginning June 20th, will take play during the midnight sun. More than 100 acts, local and international (Massive Attack has been confirmed as an early headliner), will perform in a hot spring valley outside Reykjavik.

Bathing in a geothermal pool the morning after the night before will be mandatory. For extra bang for your buck, there’s always the chance that a volcano will erupt. Which would be exciting – but probably would still go unnoticed.

The organisers say they are keen to maximise the number of Irish fans travelling to the festival due to the musical links between our two countries.

They also say: “We don’t have any Irish acts on the bill so far.” So if you think think you might be what the festival needs, get in touch asap (email

With a special team of set directors and designers at work dreaming up a magical festival space, the big draw for Secret Solstice is the 24 hours of sunshine daily.

“We’re putting on this unique music festival to provide attendees with music and good times in the special condition of 24-hour sunlight” say the organisers. “The summer solstice was a big thing for Celts and Vikings, and we’re of the opinion here that every cause for celebration should be used.

“Icelandic society really livens up during the summer and we often joke about people going a bit mad from the energy of the sun over the brightest part of the year. It will give festival goers that extra bit of energy.”

In addition to the the international acts, do try and look and listen to the latest in Icelandic music. From retro-dance to shoegazing, chunky-jumper folk to indietronica, the country is at the bleeding edge of new sounds and forms.

With Kasabian believed to be headlining Glastonbury this year, it’s thanks but no thanks, Mr Eavis, we’re off to the top of the world.

Love: Lily Allen agrees that her new songs “are docile pop rubbish”!
Hate: Bez of Happy Mondays is to run for MP under the slogan “New World Order”.

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