Each year, Iceland sees an ever growing litany of international music artists visit its shores. In 2018, artists as famous and diverse as Stormzy and Bonnie Tyler performed to buzzing audiences across the country, and in 2019, even more big names are set to arrive.
See Also: Top 10 Festivals in Iceland
Perhaps the biggest headliner of the year is four-time Grammy winner Ed Sheeran, who has two performances in Laugardalsvöllur stadium on August 10th and 11th.
After his skyrocket to fame in 2013, he has become a staple of the international pop scene; it is thus a small surprise that he broke Icelandic records with how quickly his first show sold out, in just three hours. The second show was later added, for which tickets are still available.
For those more into jangle pop, the Proclaimers will be here for a concert in Harpa on March 31st. The British band Smokie will be performing at the same venue on May 17th.
The popular, city-wide festival Iceland Airwaves which will run during November this year, has already announced 30 new names, the most famous of whom is Canadian singer-songwriter, Mac DeMarco.
Most of the international acts coming to Iceland, however, will be performing in one of the country’s world-famous festivals. The Secret Solstice outdoor festival, which runs from the 21st to the 23rd of June, usually attracts the most prominent names, and 2019 is no exception.
Singer, actor, designer and television host, Rita Ora, is featured the lineup of Secret Solstice. She will be joined by the punk feminist collective Pussy Riot, who garnered international attention after several members were arrested and imprisoned for protesting the Russian government in 2012.
Also performing will be the electronic band Morcheeba, Norwegian pop-rock band Boy Pablo and Dutch DJ Martin Garrix. Frontman of Led Zeppelin, Robert Plant, will also be on stage with his band The Sensational Space Shifters.
The electronic concert Sónar, running from April 25th to 27th, also promises some big international names, such as British duo Orbital and R&B artist DAWN.
But what’s going on for metalheads? Thankfully, 2019 promises three different festivals showcasing some of the very best in distorted guitar music.
Reykjavík Metalfest (May 16th – 18th), for instance, will be hosting eighties British rockers Napalm Death, while Ascension MMXIX Festival (June 16th – 18th) will see King Dude perform in Mosfellsbær. Finally, Eistnaflug Festival in July will play host to the always-freaky Irish outfit, Primordial.
It should be noted that in 2019, it will not only be musical acts coming from abroad to showcase their talents in Iceland. In Harpa alone, British comedian Eddie Izzard will be performing on March 31st, and RuPaul’s Drag Race winner and comic Bianca Del Rio will be reading audiences on August 19th.
This list of international acts coming to Iceland in 2019 may already seem extensive, but only scratches the surface; performers and bands from all corners of the world will be attending Secret Solstice, Sonar and Airwaves to represent diverse perspectives and genres.
And, of course, it is only February; keep an eye on festival listings and Guide to Iceland Now to see whether your favourite performer is planning to contribute to Iceland’s ever-growing cultural and music scenes this year.
Who are the acts you are most excited to see in Iceland this year? Are you planning on attending any Icelandic music festivals? Make sure to leave your thoughts and queries in the Facebook comments box below.