Iceland Airwaves 2017

From October 29 to November 6, 2017, Columbia College Chicago students – including Radio, Multimedia Journalism, Musical Theatre, Music Business Management, Live and Performing Arts, Arts Management, Cinema Arts + Science and Audio Design and Production majors – will venture to Reykjavík, Iceland, to cover Iceland Airwaves Music Festival via the Communication Department‘s Covering International Music Festivals: Iceland course. Here is a collection of their previews, live reviews, artist interviews, podcasts, daily blogs, on-air segments and more from the class and the trip.


10/31: We’ve been in Iceland since yesterday and we’ve done and seen a lot already. Check out our daily blogs, stay tuned for our upcoming live reviews from the 2017 Iceland Airwaves Music festival (live reviews will be posted daily beginning on 11/2), and hear our preview interviews we produced before we arrived. Follow our journey on our socials via #cccairwaves2017 on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.













We’re in Iceland! Listen to Our Preview Show below and Follow Links to Our Journey! by  Kaitlin Logan

Columbia College’s 2017 Covering International Music Festivals: Iceland class preparing for our preview show at WCRX-FM

It’s October 30th and we’ve officially arrived in Iceland! We’re at Iceland Airwaves 2017 to review the festival, report on Icelandic cultural stories and write daily blogs. Follow our journey on our class blog once we’re there through November 6th and check out the preview stories we produced ahead of our trip in the meantime!

Missed out on our Covering International Music Festivals: Iceland 2017 preview show? Well, don’t worry; we forgive you. You can listen to our preview show as many times as you want here on our blog!

Before we make our way to Iceland on Sunday, October 29th, we debuted cultural stories and interviews with bands performing at Iceland Airwaves 2017 that aired before we left! Hear stories from Brenna WatkinsZayda CavazosPaige Evans, Nick PalaszMary Connor CoxAriel Parrella-Aureli  and me, Kaitlin Logan! Listen to music and interviews with bands performing at the festival such as Warmland, Rythmatik, Hugar, For A Minor Reflection, Sycamore Tree, and RuGl. Also hear cultural stories ranging from  upcoming Icelandic government elections to the unique scene for Icelandic Drag Queens!

Listen to our full preview show:

Thanks to WCRX-FM‘s Kimmy Kaczmarek for hosting the show and WCRX-FM station manager Matt Cunningham.


We’re heading to Iceland Airwaves! View artist preview teasers by the students heading to this year’s fest below. Stay tuned for their interviews with these bands along with Icelandic cultural stories, live reviews, daily blogs, preview stories and more. Follow their journey, which begins on October 29th, here on our Iceland Airwaves 2017 blog.



Some of the Iceland 2017 class preparing for our preview radio show

Tune in for our Iceland Airwaves 2017 preview show on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 1 p.m. CT and Sunday, Oct 29 at 5 p.m. CT on WCRX-FM 88.1 and via stream worldwide.

Join us: Brenna Watkins, Zayda Cavazos, Paige Evans, Nick PalaszKaitlin Logan, Mary Connor Cox, Ariel Parrella-Aureli, and WCRX-FM host Kimmy Kaczmarek for stories covering Icelandic culture and a myriad of artists performing at Airwaves and hear some great Icelandic music. The full show will be posted on our blog after it airs.

Listen to our promo below and check out our class’ website for all of our previews, reviews, and stories that we’ll be producing while we’re in Iceland from October 30th through November 6th!



Hugar Preview, by Brenna Watkins

Hugar is a two-person group comprising Bergur Þórisson & Pétur Jónsson. The two grew up together in the town, Seltjarnarnes, just north of Reykjavík. Hugar was formed in 2012 when the two had the opportunity to use a friend’s recording studio. In 2014 they released their first, self-titled album. This year they teamed up with vocalist Arnór Dan and produced their first track featuring vocals, Waves. 

Hugar’s music effortlessly combines classical instruments, such as violin and trombone, with an ambient, electronic feel. The music takes the listener through a soundscape journey, instantly transporting listeners to the vast, open waters of Iceland. Because Hugar’s music is primarily ambient, it will be interesting to see what they do live.

Hugar is currently working on its second studio album, to be released sometime this year.

During Iceland Airwaves, the band will be performing on the IÐNÓ stage at 20:20 on Wednesday, November 1st.


Mammút, by Ariel Parrella-Aureli


Iceland’s Mammút has tried love—and now it seems to be sticking for them and their fans. Like one of the songs off their new album “We Tried Love,” things may seem sad and down after an experience, but the “tears brought us here” and evidently that’s just where the band needs to be. They know how to put on a live show and energize listeners to feel the breadth of sound in their organic guitar-heavy rock style while letting the emotion flow from the lyrics, as is displayed in the performance of their single “Kinder Version,” which they performed live at KEXP during last year’s Iceland Airwaves.

In the clip, the band shows what they excel in—they are musically and consciously connected, wading in the “kinder versions of their pasts” and being blissfully stuck in the present. But what catches the corner of the eye and mind—apart from the physical awareness and talent of the musicians—is the palpable words from Baldursdóttir and the lyrical ballads layered onto the band’s new record, Kinder Versions.

Mammút will play Iceland Airwaves again at the Reykjavik Art Museum stage on November 4th.


Rythmatik Preview, by Mary Connor Cox

No strangers to the festival, the four-piece indie rock band, Rythmatik is returning to Iceland Airwaves 2017 . With songs off both of their EPs, Epilepsy and Waves, resembling the combination of ‘80s British rock and modern day indie rock, listeners can expect to hear unique music with a mix of guitar riffs and techno sounds. They won the national “Battle of the bands” The Icelandic Music Experiments (Músikltilraunir) in 2015, performed at Iceland Airwaves 2016 and they are set to release their debut album this fall.

In their song “Sleepy Head,”  a story about adventure, taking risks and living an exciting life is told. The song is danceable and catchy.

Rythmatik perform on Saturday, November 4th at 8:30pm at the Hard Rock Café during Iceland Airwaves.


Cyber, by Kaitlin Logan

Originally formed as a thrash-metal/disco duo, Cyber  has since transformed into a electronic/rap group combining edgy lyrics with heavy techno beats. Comprising two female artists, Jóhanna Rakel Jónasdóttir and Salka Valsdóttir, the two joined forces in 2012 creating songs uniquely based on subjects ranging from gender and politics, to downright nonsense. Cyber made its Iceland Airwaves premiere in 2016, and is returning for another year of dance-heavy, female hip-hop.

Cyber will be performing Wednesday, November 1 at 8:30pm at The Reykjavik Art Museum on the Icelandair Stage, as well as Friday, November 4th at 9:10pm at Græni Hatturinn. 


Hildur Preview, by Zayda Cavazos

Iceland Airwaves Music Festival is approaching and Hildur, who is performing, has electro-pop angelic feels.  She is not only a singer, she also a songwriter and producer. Before becoming a solo artist Hildur was the singer, songwriter and cellist for a band called Rökkurró.

On February 2016 Hildur released her first pop hit and music video “I’ll Walk With You,” which went straight to the top charts of Iceland’s biggest radio stations. Since then her she’s had performances for live TV, she has appeared in various music festivals and concerts and has just recently released seven singles.

Check out her music video for “Full of You” (2017).

Hildur will be performing on Wednesday, November 1st at 10:30 p.m. at Gamla Bíó.


Sycamore Tree, by Nick Palasz

Delicate strings, a soft caressing voice, and tender harmonies create a fireplace feel. Inhale the entrancing and aromatic smoke. Collapse into the creases of your recliner or bundle up with your comforter. These are the feelings evoked by Sycamore Tree in their live performance of “My Heart Beats For You.”

Sycamore Tree is a newly formed Icelandic duo based in Reykjavík, but they have already made their own personal stakes in the entertainment industries. Agusta Eva Erlendsdottir, the lead singer of Sycamore Tree, is renown for her portrayal of television caricature Silvía Night, and Gunni Hilmarsson is an internationally known fashion designer.

Sycamore Tree will be performing at Galma Bíó Wednesday November 1st at 21:40.


For a Minor Reflection, by Paige Evans

For a Minor Reflection is a four piece band with a post-rock aesthetic between Sigur Ros and hard rock. Their unique sound leaves a whirlwind of emotions. Songs lasting from four to 12 minutes long, their mood goes from a chill instrumental of its Nordic background to an eccentric vibrant sound that gets blood moving.

In their song “Impulse,” from a calm beginning, to a striking heavy rock, and then a happy middle ground that empowers. For a Minor Reflection seems to take their listeners on a rollercoaster ride on each song, but does so with intention and precision.

Awakening from their two year hiatus, For a Minor Reflection will be celebrating their 10 year anniversary at Iceland Airwaves festival for their debut album, Reistu þig við, sólin er komin á loft…, which translates to “Rise and shine the sun is up.”

For a Minor Reflection will be playing at Gamla Bíó during Iceland Airwaves on November 2 at 11:20.