Blúshátíð í Reykjavík 2018: A Celebration of Blues in the Heart of Iceland
Blúshátíð í Reykjavík 2018, a prestigious event in Iceland’s music calendar, was an extraordinary celebration of blues, set amidst the scenic beauty of Reykjavik. The festival, starting on March 24th, 2018, was inaugurated with a vibrant blues parade that captivated the city’s heart and soul.
The festivities commenced with a lively procession beginning from Leifsstyttu, moving down Skólavörðustígur at 14:00 on Saturday. This parade was not just a procession but a cultural phenomenon, bringing together diverse groups of people in a shared love for blues music. The Svanur Brass Band led the parade, their music reverberating through the streets, while a convoy of cars celebrated the arrival of spring.
A significant moment of the opening ceremony was the announcement of the honorary member of the Reykjavik Blues Society for 2018. This announcement is a tradition at Blúshátíð, recognizing individuals who have significantly contributed to the blues scene in Iceland.
Skólavörðustígur was enlivened with live blues performances from 14:00, creating a festive atmosphere in the city center. The event also featured grills serving up delicious chicken wings and other delights, ensuring that the festival was as much a feast for the taste buds as it was for the ears.
The festival continued with concerts at the Borgarbókasafn (City Library) at 16:00, further showcasing the depth and diversity of blues talent. These performances set the tone for what would be a series of unforgettable musical experiences.
Blúshátíð í Reykjavík 2018 featured three major concerts at the Hilton Reykjavik Nordica during the Holy Week, each on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings. The Klúbbur Blúshátíðar at Hilton Reykjavik Nordica remained open after each concert, serving as a hub for post-concert interactions, where wonders and marvels of blues music continued to unfold.
Ticket sales for these events were available on midi.is, with options to purchase for individual nights or a Blúsmiði, which covered all evenings. The house opened at 19:00 on each concert day, with ticket sales also available at the entrance.
The first major concert on Tuesday, March 27th, featured Laura Chavez and Ina Forsman, along with Beggi Smári and Nick Jameson, and the most blues-infused band from Músíktilraunir. This lineup promised a night of diverse blues styles, from soulful melodies to energizing rhythms.
On Wednesday, March 28th, the concert headliners were Larry McCray and The Blue Ice Band, along with Langi Seli og Skuggarnir, and the Svanur Brass Band. This evening was a blend of international and local talents, showcasing different facets of blues music.
The final concert on Thursday, March 29th, was dedicated to top-tier Icelandic blues. The prelude to the concert featured Tryggvi Hübner leading a band with Berglind Björk, Haraldur Þorsteinsson, Ásgeir Óskarsson, and Magnús Jóhann. Many of these artists were part of the legendary band EIK, and their performance included some of the band’s iconic songs.
The lineup also included esteemed artists such as Björgvin Gíslason, Sigurður Sigurðsson, Davíð Þór Jónsson, Guðmundur Pétursson, Óskar Logi, Stefanía Svavarsdóttir, Halldór Bragason, and Róbert Þórhallsson, among others. This final evening was a true testament to the rich blues culture in Iceland.
Each night, after the concerts, the Klúbbur Blúshátíðar at Hilton Reykjavik Nordica became a melting pot of blues musicians and enthusiasts, extending the joy and camaraderie of the festival late into the night.
Blúshátíð í Reykjavík 2018 was more than a music festival; it was a celebration of community, culture, and the enduring