If you have been yearning to experience Iceland’s unique culture, music, or art without having to leave North America, now’s your chance! We’ve compiled a guide to some of the best upcoming Icelandic concerts and art exhibitions happening in the US and Canada over the next few months so you can experience the best of Icelandic culture from home!
The London-based band Dream Wife, which released its first album in January 2018, features Icelandic lead-singer Rakel Mjöll. The three musicians originally formed the band as an art school project when they were students at Brighton University in 2014. Thanks to the lead singer’s Iceland connection, one of the band’s first big breaks was an appearance at the Iceland Airwaves music festival. The pop punk/indie rock band will be in varying cities across the US between September 24 and October 13. Get your tickets to see Dream Wife in concert today!
The band Kaleo is originally from Iceland, but now calls the US home. Their music is a “blend of rock, folk and blues.” Three out of the four band members began playing together at the age of 17, and added their fourth member in 2012. The Taste of Iceland alumni got their first big break after playing at the Iceland Airwaves music festival, singing with the American label Elektra/Atlantic and moving to Austin, TX in 2015. Since moving to the States, they have signed a contract with HBO to be on the hit show Vinyl’s soundtrack. The band will be touring in the US and Canada between September 8 and September 30. Tickets are on sale now!
Sólstafir is an Icelandic post-metal band that formed in 1995. They originally played black metal music, but soon transitioned to post-metal upon release of their second album. They describe their music as “varied and at times appealingly bizarre as the landscapes of their native Iceland.” Get your tickets here for their tour in the US between October 2 and 21, and in Canada between October 6 and 16!
Red-bearded viking and pop auteur David Berndsen mines the 1980’s for inspiration in his retro-futurist analogue-feeling sound. Berndsen conjures influences from the likes of Michael Jackson to Kraftwerk to The Eurythmics, and fellow revivalists such as Glass Candy, Dreamtrak and Chromeo. World-renowned master beat-maker Hermigervill blends driving beats, samples and jagged electronica woven into occasional hypnotic analog theremin solos that transfix the room. Lead axe man PAPPA Sigurðarson thrashes complex leads while simultaneously backing them up with deliciously complementing rhythms. This results in a famous a sound that recreates an era and a distinct moment in time when music, costumes and aesthetics triumphed worldwide.
Berndsen will be performing at Iceland Airwaves from November 7 – 10, and will be making several appearances at U.S. cities throughout October:
- October 13 – Baltimore, MD
- October 15 – Atlanta, GA
- October 18 – Nashville, TN
- October 22 – Chicago, IL
- October 24 – Indianapolis, IN
- October 26 – Philadelphia, PA
A multi-instrumentalist and producer, Ólafur Arnalds originally hails from Mosfellsbær, Iceland. He mixes strings and piano with loops and beats to blend ambient/electronic music with pop. Surprisingly, Arnalds played as a drummer in two hardcore metal bands before going solo. He will be touring the US for several days during November, January and February, and will be in Vancouver on January 28 and Toronto on February 8. Get tickets to hear his unique compositions live here!
Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson has partnered with American artist Glen Lignon to create the exhibit “A Journey That Wasn’t.” Visitors can check out the exhibit at at The Broad in Los Angeles until February 2019. The Founding Director of the Broad describes the exhibit as using “devices such as rhythm, repetition, duration, artifice and appropriation to investigate and distort our perceptions, memories and emotions.” Make sure to get your tickets in advance!
For a limited time, Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson is showing his exhibit, Reality Projector, at the Marciano Art Foundation in Los Angeles until August 26. The Art Foundation praises Eliasson: “Eliasson has conceived of a seemingly simple, yet complex installation that uses projected light and existing architecture of the space to create a dynamic shadow play.” Tickets are free, but be sure to reserve your entry to the museum here!