Why should You not Miss Iceland Airwaves Music Festival as a Solo Female Traveller?

There is no way that you are headed to ‘the land of fire and ice’ without planning to tick the long list of festivals from your bucket list. Wait for a minute! Were you really consider giving the festivals a miss? 

Well, even if you were, there is no way that you can give Iceland’s Airwaves Music Festival a miss! Hands down, it is the most sought-after festival in the country and will give you the most authentic Icelandic experience!

The airwaves festival typically takes place in early November in Iceland’s capital city Reykjavik. 

The festival takes place at a time when the country gets only a few hours of sun which makes it all the more unique. 

So popular is the festival that music lovers and people from the music industry throng the festival. According to a 2014 report by Iceland Music Export, attendees of the festival contributed €20.3 million to Reykjavik’s economy.

If you are planning to visit Iceland this year, try to go around this festival. You will experience music like never before. But music is not going to be the only attraction. There is a bunch of whole other reasons why you should not miss the festival. Let this blog convince you why attending the airwaves music festival in Iceland on your solo trip is a must!

1. The whole of Reykjavik is on fire

There is no way that you can escape the festive ambience if you are in Reykjavik during this time. For four days and nights straight, you will feel that you are in a dream.

what to do in iceland airwaves music festival

You will be greeted by music wherever you go in the city—tiny record stores, art museums, bars, churches, concert halls, bookshops, and nightclubs. There is literally non-stop music and performances everywhere, and it is impossible not to enjoy the vibe. 

2. It is one of the biggest cultural events

If you are looking to do something ‘cultural’ in Iceland, then this would be the best time to visit! 

This event was launched in 1999 in an airplane hangar. Over time, this became Iceland’s most famous music brand. Now, this festival has put Iceland on the global cultural map. 

Every year thousands of tourists flock just to witness this cultural wonder. 

They not only started organising standalone concerts but have also started a live stream festival called Live from Reykjavík. You will be lured to discover Icelandic music like never before. 

3. Big names come to town

This is the time when you can see big music names up close in town! If you want a few to impress you, Fontaines DC, Snail Mail, Sorry, and More have already been part of the festival. The big names don’t end there. Girl In Red, Just Mustard, Georgia have also been part of the festival. 

It is unlikely that you will find such an eclectic mix anywhere else. You want to drown in the best of music—it is the Airwaves festival in Iceland!

4. Budding artists find space

Music is not just about established bands but also about encouraging fresh voices. 

Iceland’s Airwaves festival gives an opportunity to budding artists to find themselves and, of course, an audience—national and international. If you are a budding artist yourself, you can find some space to play. Imagine the adrenaline rush that you will feel—being a part of the world-famous airwaves festival! 

5. Discover local music   

While the festival encourages big international names, it is a treasure hunt for those who want to experience local music. 

Usually, we go to cafes, record shops, and museums to learn and explore local music at any place. But Iceland is among the few countries which give you the opportunity to discover local music at such close quarters. You can go pub hopping and enjoy the wide range of local music playing there. The local concerts are another great way to enjoy this festival. 

6. Networking

We cannot deny that networking is essential these days, especially if you are trying to get a foothold in the new industry. 

The Airwaves Festival gives you the opportunity to meet journalists, musicians, industry stakeholders, academics. You can not only get good tips on how to improve on your skill sets but also get visibility as an upcoming artist. There is a brownie point—you enjoy discussing music over latte or beer!

7. Heaven for party lovers

Even if you are not a lover of music, you can enjoy the party without any worry in the world. The party scene in Reykjavik is to die for. If you are going around the Airwaves Festival, you can keep pub-hopping, taking advantage of the happy hours, and enjoying the nightlife with some super cool live music. 

It is only natural that we are worried about safety during solo trips. But Iceland is among one of the safest places to be in the world for women. So let your hair down, put on your best dress and make-up, and party till dawn!

8. Variety of music

Sometimes I avoid concerts as I feel weary that it may not be worth my time to enjoy that genre. But with Iceland’s Airwave Festival, you can soak into any kind of music. 

What is your type? Rock? Hip-hop? Metal? You name it, and you will find it at the festival. I know how much we like to enjoy the music of our type. But take the festival as an opportunity to dabble on to new types! You can discover new genres and fall in love with them!

9. Explore a range of venues

When on solo trips, we usually go to places on our whims! We often end up not exploring places that we are not very fond of! 

If you are going to Iceland during the Airwaves festival, you end up exploring a lot more places that you would not go to otherwise. With the festival happening in every nook and corner of the city, you will frequent a variety of venues. This way, you will truly get a taste of the local flavour. 

10. Makes for the most Instagram worthy pictures

Some of you may hate me for saying this, but I know many of you would love me for this! We do spam our social media accounts on solo trips. And why would not we? It is not every day that you will be attending the coolest music festival in the world in Iceland!

The festival makes for the most Instagram-worthy pictures. Be it the electrifying music or the vibrant settings! So let me spoil you with some evil advice—flood your timeline and make your friends and family super jealous of this cool trip!

11. Volunteer at Airwaves festival

You can be a part of the Airwaves festival in more than one way—you can volunteer there. You not only end up making a lifetime’s memories but also make great friends during this time

However, do keep in mind that Iceland Airwaves does not provide accommodation, insurance, flights, or ground transport for volunteers.

If you are up for volunteering, you need to complete an online application form. After the volunteer team reviews the application, it sends information on the volunteer deposit ticket and how to purchase it. The details of shifts are sent two to three weeks before the festival.

Go rock on!

12. It tries to maintain gender parity

One of the great things about this festival is trying to maintain gender parity in bringing in artists! The music festival has done a great job with closing the gender gap, and I feel that is reason enough to be a part of it!

There will be enough women-led bands and queer artists at the festival. What’s more attractive than being a part of such a diverse festival?

13. Pick up the coolest souvenir for friends who love music

Some of us really put a lot of thought into choosing the right souvenirs for our friends. You can pick up the perfect souvenirs for your music-loving friends during this festival.

What about the best videos of live performances, signed postcards by your friends’ favourite bands, or customised mugs signed by their favourite artists? You can even consider customising t-shirts as souvenirs from the local Icelandic stores with photographs of the musicians at the festival. 

14. Hailed as one of the best music festivals in the world

This has been hailed as one of the best music festivals in the world. World-famous artists have vouched that this music festival has something for every music lover and that you should experience its magic at least once in your lifetime!

If this is going to be your first time in Iceland, then why not combine touring this country of contrasting landscapes when it is at its best? While you enjoy the gorgeous views, you also get to enjoy the vibe of the city!

15. Combine it with the Northern lights

The biggest attraction of going to Iceland is the Northern lights. Why not combine both—catching a glimpse of the lights after enjoying the concerts? This way you can enjoy the best of both worlds! Take a long drive to the city’s outskirts to watch the lights dance in the night sky. This way, you get to enjoy the energy of the downtown and unwind later amid the wilderness!

16. Pair it with other day activities 

 Even if you are planning to fully immerse yourself in the amazing music festival the entire evening, you have no reason to miss out on the other activities that Iceland offers. 

Be it volcano hiking, horse riding, whale watching, snorkelling, you have ample time to engage in the other attractions that this blessed country offers. You can even go to museums and library hopping during the day. 

Even if you are tired from the long day of activities, you can sip a cocktail and enjoy a relaxed show in the evening.   

17. Film screenings, panel discussions are other attractions

In addition to music, this festival time offers film screenings, literary events, and panel discussions. People come together to discuss the future of music. With these additions every year, the festival becomes much more than bringing in live performances together—it is truly a cultural event!

18. You will be rejuvenated

The point of a solo trip is to reconnect with your soul and feel refreshed. The music festival will help you pause from your hectic schedule and the chaos of city life. The pool of talent that you see during the music festival will inspire you to explore new hobbies! Wear the best comfy clothes from your luggage, explore the city, learn new things, and feel rejuvenated. I swear you will thank me later! 

19. You will enjoy different culinary delicacies

what to do in iceland airwaves music festival

The music festival will take you to many cafes, pubs, and restaurants. You will end up exploring the traditional cuisine of Iceland and a lot more. Do take the opportunity to splurge into a buffet as you enjoy a live performance in your vicinity!    

The Airwaves festival will be the turning point of your trip! Now that I have given you this long list of reasons on how the music festival should be a priority on your bucket list, there is no excuse for you to miss this!

Do carry warm clothes when you go bar hopping to get a feel of the music across the city. It is most likely that you will lose track of time when you are enjoying the pace of the nightlife, and you would not want to be exposed to the icy cold weather at midnight!

Go sightseeing during the daytime, and enjoy the Airwaves festival during the evenings! In 2021, the multi-day festival is scheduled to be held from November 3 to November 6. Do make a list of the favourite bands that you are absolutely not going to miss. 

November is not far away! Book your tickets now and be a part of the coolest music festival in the world. 

Fun, frolic, and music await you! 


An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.

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