The sun is set to stay in the sky as Iceland’s magical Secret Solstice festival draws near. Just few weeks out from their third edition, Secret Solstice has released the impressive lineups for a slew of side events.
Guy Gerber will be playing the Game of Thrones-esque Into The Glacier event. Ever wonder what it’s like to rave North of The Wall? Well, we’re figuring this party is about as close as you’ll get: Gerber will play inside of a 550-meter long tunnel inside Europe’s second largest glacier, Langökull.
Ice tunnels not your thing? Take a dip in a geothermal spa, instead. House godfather Kerri Chandler is playing the 100-person, exclusive Secret Lagoon party, held at Iceland’s famous, volcanically-heated Secret Lagoon in the town of Flúðir.
Naturally, both of those parties sold out in record time, but Secret Solstice is quenching festival goers’ thirst with a brand new event called the Horizon Party – at a secret location just south of Reykjavik, for a series of intimate dance soirées that host 200 people per show. The three Horizon Parties will be held on June 16th, 17th, and 18th with Guy Gerber, Ryan Crosson, and Skream headlining them, respectively, and tickets are still up for grabs.
As DJ Mag gets ready to rave in glaciers, lagoons and volcanoes, we take a moment to catch up with the man behind the magic for a Q&A. Fred Olafsson is the Director of Secret Solstice, and he dishes on the details, below...
What inspired you to start the Secret Solstice festival?
“I'm Icelandic, though I'd been doing events and living in the UK for years. During summer at home in Iceland the sun never sets, with the sun only getting its lowest by touching the horizon, which is pretty magical, though something that's fairly normal for Icelanders. One summer I was back home in Iceland and emerged from a night out at around 3AM with the sun still up, and I just wondered why nobody had put on a festival during that time. I made the decision on the spot to host an event during the solstice weekend, and Secret Solstice was born.”
What is the one thing about the Icelandic dance music scene most people don't know, but should?
"It is much more underground than people would expect, with house and techno being at the forefront of it. The popular dance music here is what would be considered underground in most of Europe and US, and the scene keeps getting stronger and stronger event to point of there being a radio station dedicated to these genres of music."
How is Secret Solstice going green this year?
"We're extremely proud to have become a carbon neutral event in 2016, which makes us one of the only major festivals on the planet to be able to claim that this year. We rely almost solely on Iceland's geothermal energy which comes from volcanic steam vents next to volcanic magma chambers underground, and is 100% renewable. On top of that, we do a lot with our partners to be as environmentally-friendly as possible, like being provided hybrid vehicles by Toyota Iceland, and working with Icelandic Glacial water on a very comprehensive recycling plan on site."
What surprises do you have in store for us?
"Keeping with the 'Secret' in our name, we decided to have a secret unannounced headline act last year to keep guests guessing a bit. We're keeping up with that tradition this year by having a secret headliner on our opening night, which will be a big surprise for guests. Last year we had Busta Rhymes, and we've got someone equally as big this year."
Your top 3 reasons for why people should make the trek to this magical land?
"If you've never experienced the sun not setting for a weekend, that's worth the trip alone. But it's immensely more incredible when you combine that with some of the planet's best music in the middle of the world's most northerly capital city. We also always encourage foreign guests to check out Iceland's nature and geography while here, as the scenery here is utterly spectacular, it looks like nowhere else on Earth. Lastly, our lineup. With the likes of Radiohead, Die Antwoord, Jamie Jones, Kerri Chandler, Skream, Deftones, and over 170 more on our bill, it's by far our biggest and best year yet."
Secret Solstice side event details you need to know:
SECRET SOLSTICE PRESENTS INTO THE GLACIER
17TH JUNE – Guy Gerber, Infinity Ink
18TH JUNE – Droog & Artwork (Special Windsmoke set)
19TH JUNE – Högni Egilsson, Hjáltalín
SECRET LAGOON PARTY
19TH JUNE – Kerri Chandler
16TH JUNE – Guy Gerber, Serge Devant, + Special Guests
17TH JUNE – Ryan Crosson, Nitin, + Special Guests
18TH JUNE – Skream, Artwork, Bensol, + Special Guests
MIDNIGHT SUN BOAT PARTY
18TH JUNE – Matt Tolfrey, Marc Roberts
GEOTHERMAL POOL PARTY
18TH JUNE – RVK Soundsystem
19TH JUNE – Marc Roberts, + Special Guests