Since 2002, the festival has drawn a global audience, creating exposure for Icelandic artists and generating tourism income for the country. As the pandemic hit Iceland in 2020, an initial plan for a socially distanced festival was made.
Will Larnach-Jones, Managing Director at Iceland Airwaves, spoke about the initial plan: “Live from Reykjavík aimed to celebrate and create exposure for Icelandic talent. In 2020, this was more of a challenge than we had anticipated. When we began to make plans to create a hybrid event, we spoke to DICE. After seeing Laura Marling’s stream, we saw they understood how to put on an excellent stream without compromising on artistic value.”
The plan was that some fans would be able to attend in person, and the rest would be able to watch via stream. However, this hybrid approach had to be adapted at the last minute when more severe restrictions were imposed.
It was decided that Live From Reykjavík would be an entirely online festival, both to minimise revenue loss and to position the brand as a leader in streaming. Every performance would go ahead from its location, but it would be filmed for audiences at home. DICE stepped in to provide support for the technical logistics, and the festival went fully digital.