Rock Fest in East Iceland

This weekend the renowned Eistnaflug Rock Festival takes place at Neskaupsstaður. This festival is close to all Icelandic rockers’ hearts, as just about every big Icelandic rock band has performed there. Some of them even perform every year, and a great many retired bands have reformed to perform there. Most of the bands that perform at Eistnaflug are Icelandic, though some great foreign bands have performed there, such as At The Gates (SE), Tyrant (SE), Napalm Death (UK),Triptykon (CH), Secrets Of The Moon (DE) Hamferð (FO), The Monolith Deathcult (NL) and Cephalic Carnage (US).

This year’s line-up is every bit as impressive as the previous years. The biggest names this year are Skálmöld, a Viking metal band that won most Icelanders’ hearts performing along with Iceland’s Symphony Orchestra two years ago, the band Dimma, and HAM, which is a cult band. HAM was most active in 1988-94. Nowadays they don’t perform often, but are still very popular. The band is also known for having a member of parliament as asinger and one of Iceland’s most successful screenwriters as a guitarist.

Eistnaflug differs from many music festivals inasmuch as it is held indoors. This is a relief for some, as the ever-changing weather in Iceland can greatly affect the experience of an outdoor festival. The festival feel is not lost though. Neskaupsstaður is a small town (around 1,500 inhabitants), so the festival and festival-goers take the place over. With rockers in every corner, it is obvious what is happening. Most of the visitors stay at the camp site, so you also have the typical parties into the night that there are at other music festivals.

This may seem like a bit much. Filling a small town with rockers and loud, loud music. But it isn’t – Eistnaflug is in fact one of the most peaceful music festivals in Iceland, with minimal police involvement and complaints from locals.




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