Rúnar Óli Karlsson
Isafjordur Rock Festival with a twist gets international attention
For the last four years, the rock festival Aldrei For Eg Sudur has been held during Easter in Isafjordur. It started as a crazy idea by the great musician Mugison, a local artist and his dad, Papamug, the local harbour master. The idea was to put up a festival with the cream of the Icelandic music scene mixed with local bands and musicians. And to top it off, why not invite some international bands too? To make it even harder, nobody gets payed and the festival is free. The first festival was a great success and the word got out. This year about 130 bands applied for the 20+ slots available. Mugison´s main problem is that he can´t say no and it ended up with almost 40 acts in two days.
The charm of the festival is that it´s not like a million dollar moneymaking machine but a small event where everybody gets the same time on stage whether it´s Isafjordur Music school brass band or the Blonde Redhead from NY. Nobody is a star in Isafjordur. The crowd attending the festival, is an odd mixture of the local fishermen, kids, parents, grandparents and young people from all over Iceland. All accommodation was full and some locals opened their houses to visitors that were literally on the street, French, Icelandic, Dutch..
This years festival was held in a warehouse by the harbour, the perfect locale where fish stew, hot dogs and beer was served to beer the crowds warm and in shape.
This year the media came with a full blast. Jornalists from Times, Guardian, Observer, Drowned in Sound, Wired, Paste Magazine, Musicwoche to name a few had a good time in Isafjordur and the outcome has been appearing on the web.
We have a short trip scheduled next year before the festival (18- 20 March) to make it possible for people to check out the festival afterwards. Let me assure you that you won´t regret it. We had a group before Easter this year that did the same thing and they are still talking about it.
Here are few articles that might interest you.Drowned in Sound