The writer is very happy with the festival and describes the incident when Nick Cave fell of stage. Read the story and see the video HERE.
Following are bits and pieces from the story:
The music festival was held in an hangar. That's not poetic license - it literally is a hangar. It was built during the Cold War as part of a strategically vital air base for Nato, housing around 6,000 American soldiers who many locals credit with introducing Icelanders to rock and roll. Much of the country's music industry has its roots in the tiny nearby town of Keflavík, which for a long time mostly existed to service the base.
The Nato complex was eventually abandoned in 2006 and now stands mostly empty, though a local development company is attempting to revitalise the area. That's why it's home to the first ATP Iceland - the Icelandic government has been funnelling cash into its creative industries to try and avoid the same economic fate that befell Portugal, Greece and Ireland. So far, it's working. Today, the hanger is mainly used as a movie studio.
Icelandic MP among performers
ATP Iceland's lineup is a little jumbled. There are acts clearly aimed at drawing foreigners in (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Deerhoof, The Notwist, The Fall) and then there's a jumble of bands aimed at the locals (Brilliant keyboard wizards Apparat Organ Quartet, Hairy, flamboyant singer-songwriter Mugison, the orchestral pop of Hjaltalín, metallers HAM, who feature an actual Icelandic MP, Óttarr Proppé, on vocals, and 90s rockers Botnleðja, who released a track featuring prominent "woohoo!"s at exactly the time Blur were recording Song 2 in the country).
But the highlights, Cave's incendiary performance aside, are the bands that fall into the gap between the two sides. Mùm draw both locals and foreigners alike with their fragile, pastoral post-rock. Thee Oh Sees's intense garage-punk punches far above its weight. It's Amiina's beautiful instrumental soundtracks to a pair of shadow-puppet films that prove to be the high point of the festival, keeping the audience enraptured despite overrunning with the start of Cave's set.
That's the spirit ATP Iceland needs to tap into if it's going to build the event from these promising beginnings. Iceland is the perfect match for ATP, and an abandoned Nato base is the perfect venue. With a little work on the lineup, and a bit of luck, ATP Iceland will become a jewel in the festival calendar - sparkling in the midnight sun.
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