FESTIVALS: Secret Solstice 2019 [ENG]
The festival-summer started nicely with Secret Solstice. This 3 day festival in Reykjavik Iceland has been a solid success for the past 5 years and the sixth edition promised to be exhilarating. As the weather conditions in Iceland can be challenging all year round there was no sun-guarantee. This years edition was blessed with 2 bright sunny days and nights and a slightly rainy sunday but more importantly a very nice line-up.
Text and photos: Martijn Veenman
One of the new additions of the festival is the fact it has become more family friendly. Children up til the age of 13 years old can get in for free and teenagers up til 17 years can attend the festival for a discounted price. Naturally all kids need to bring parents with a valid ticket. For the youngest ones there was a whole area designated to entertain the kids while the parents enjoyed the music.. or one of the more challenging attractions like the bungy-ball and bumper cars.
Musical entertainment could be found on stages with Nordic names as Valhalla, Gimli, Askur and Fenrir. Fenrir and Askur were the places to be for some nice dance-music where as the musical highlights good be experienced in front of the big Main Stage Valhalla and the smaller Gimli.
Valhalla was literally the nordic heaven this year for practically all genres. On friday night Jonas Blue (UK) was the perfect replacement after the unfortunate ankle injury of Martin Garrix (NL) a few week earlier. Saturday evening the stage had probably the most exhilarating line-up. The evening started with Icelands enfant terrible of the Eurovision Songcontest, Hatari, with their anthem “Hatrið Mun Sigra”. Misunderstood and hated by some, Hatari is probably the best and most influential Icelandic band at this moment. Their electronic body music attracts a large audience. Almost literally all ages, although the youngest probably are slightly too young to appreciate all the seductive movements. Later that evening the crowd in front of Valhalla was electrified by the uplifting beats and visuals of the Black Eyed Peas. With all their colourful songs and outfits the perfect act to finish the sunny second day of the festival under the midnight sun.
The sunday evening Valhalla was reserved for the golden oldies. After warming up the crowd and shaking of the raindrops while enjoying the music of one of favourite Icelandic bands Vök it was time for legendary Patti Smith. Together with her band she performed a variety of her songs and others! Shortly after it was time for electronics band Morcheeba. Even though there legacy started over 2 decades ago their musical mix of trip hop, rock, folk rock and downtempo got the crowd in motion again. Although Morcheeba’s own tracklist is extensive enough for a full concert they dared to cover the one and only David Bowie. The festival ended in Valhalla with another legendary musician: Robert Plant. Together with his Sensational Space Shifters he managed to get the crowd rock and rolling. Some members of his crowd were even present at his first concert in Iceland,.. with his previous band.. Led Zeppelin. No Stairway to Heaven this time, but more then enough good old rock to enjoy.
The second live-stage Gimli lived up to his name-giver Gimli the Dwarf: small yet very powerful. Many of Icelands flourishing rap-scene made their appearance here during the festival. Artists with peculiar names like JóiPé x Króli, Drengur, Sturla Atlas, Birnir and Joey Christ but they all make sense for Icelanders who are crowding in great numbers for their performances. And although often in Icelandic it does sound pretty contagious. The other night was more (classic) rock-oriented with the music of well known Iceland artists like Sólstafir, Högni and Árstidir. The most remarkable band name though was We Made God. Not sure if you could classify their music as devine but definitely damn good rock at a damn good festival.
Check out our photographic impression and keep an eye on Secret Solstices website for details about next years festival. You will not wanna miss that one!