Iceland Airwaves by the Numbers

In science there is only physics. All the rest is stamp collecting. – Ernest Rutherford.

Maybe it’s because I used to be a stamp collector, but I can’t resist the urge to measure things that don’t really need to be measured. Iceland Airwaves was a five-day MFA program in music that quite literally changed the way I hear music. When I came home, I put on my old CDs and sometimes I could barely recognize the once-familiar music – I just heard different things.

That should be enough. But no, useless data must follow.

Uber-geek Souvenir

Uber-geek Souvenir

Number of shows watched[1]: 42

Number of artists watched[2]: 36

Number of venues attended: 14

Number of artist interviews performed[3]: 9

Complete list of artists:


Agent Fresco


Apparat Organ Quartet

Ásgeir TraustiO


Benni Hemm Hemm


Exit Music


Gone Postal


The Heavy Experience



Mr. SillaO

Myrra Rós

Nova Heart

Of Monsters and Men

Ojba Rasta

Paul Corley



Shabazz PalacesO

Sigur RósO




Stereo Hypnosis


THEE Satisfaction



Ultra Mega Technobandið Stefán

Valgeir Sigurðsson


Valgeir Sigurðsson

[1] Incomplete performances are included; however, if I only caught the first or last song, it didn’t count. For example, Exit Music is included, even though I left just past the midway mark. The Barr Brothers are excluded, because I only heard 1 ½ songs. Performances where I could not see the stage, such as Agent Fresco at Nordic House and Apparat Organ Quartet at KEX, were also included, as long as I could clearly hear the music. Shows that happened to be going on in the same space where I was busy doing something else, such as the folk singers who performed at KEX on mornings when I was writing, or bands playing in venues where I met artists for interviews, are excluded.

[2] I attended multiple sets of several artists, so the number does match the number of shows. Also, in one case, two bands performed together.

 [3] Includes interviews with Airwaves performers that were performed before or after the festival.


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