Ok so as one last part for this years Iceland Airwaves, the Grapevine asked us grizzled veteran music “journalists” for our highlights of this years airwaves. They then asked us all what would be the things that we would change about the festival. And you can read it below….
When i read what we reviewer would change about the festival, a few things kept coming up.
– The use of Apotekið as a dance venue.
– The scheduling which lumped familiar artists together. And also a lot of the acts were rather same-y
– Putting all the big international acts on the same venue on the same night.
– The sound engineering issues.
Now with Apotekið, i totally agree, it truly sucked as a dance venue in that there was actually nowhere to dance! And this caused problems with the dancers and drinkers bumping into each other. But here’s the thing. Where else could they have booked? Despite its faults, at least Jacobsen last year had space where you could dance. and it has now shut down. I can’t think of any other place that wasn’t already taken for airwaves that could have been used. Bakkus maybe, but it would probably have caused total chaos. It now has to be realised that there is currently actual out and out club venue in Iceland for Dance music at the moment. And no Broadway doesn’t count… because it’s shit.
With regards to the “lumping similar bands together” style of scheduling, while it wasn’t perfect, i thought it was exactly what was needed. I remember my first Airwaves night in 2008 and i wanted to see The Young Knives at NASA. However we had to sit through 3 female singer-songwriters of varying quality (which included Lay Low) that were so not part of that nights vibe. It totally crushed the spirit of the venue, they didn’t fill the place with atmosphere and everyone got bored and started to chat over the acts. Not my idea of a memorable gig. At least this year, if i was into singer songwriter acts, i knew they would most likely be in one or two venues.
The poor sound quality issues is a bit more of an endemic problem with some venues, both with the engineers and the bands. It’s going to take a lot of time and actual thinking for this one…
And i also agree on spreading the international acts more evenly, although there wasn’t much they could have done with Robyn.
Aaaaaaand that’s IT! No more for this year. I leaving airwaves so well alone till next year….