People of Iceland Airwaves 2017
Anyone clued into the festival world knows that Iceland is on the up-and-up lately in terms of being one of the hottest festival destinations out there. From Secret Solstice to Sigur Ros's new Norður og Niður festival, Iceland's capital of Reykjavík is where discerning music lovers go for a fresh, unique festival experience.
But the festival that arguably started it all is Iceland Airwaves. When it began in 1999, it was 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, style and fun that spans a myriad of different venues around town and features over 200 artists from Iceland, Europe, and America. Tickets now sell out around August and foreigner attendance is almost on a par with that of the locals. In fact, similar to SXSW, many of the shows don't even require tickets; Airwaves plays host to over 500 off-venue shows—and you don’t need a ticket to enjoy a single one of them. Many of these shows feature artists playing official festival shows or up-and-coming new bands who may just be future headliners. Thanks to all these things, we named it one of the hottest winter festivals in the world.
Enjoy the portraits below, captured by photographer Ian Young, of enrapt Iceland Airwaves attendees who come from near and far each year to experience this bucket-list festival.