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Inside Iceland’s Secret Solstice: five moments that ruled the festival

Photo courtesy of Tobias Stoffels // @neon-event

Long admired for its picturesque landscapes, Iceland has grown to be a top destination among globetrotters and festivalgoers alike. Beyond landmarks like Blue Lagoon and tours of The Golden Circle, the country’s music culture is deeply embedded across countless genres and generations. The remote island of only 330,000 shares an appreciation for artists like Slayer, Gucci Mane, Dubfire and George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, so it’s no wonder the lineup for the country’s largest festival, Secret Solstice, covered a breadth of musicians.

Already in its fourth year, Secret Solstice bathed in endless daylight as nearly 20,000 music fans from 32 countries and all walks of life gathered to celebrate the best and brightest of today’s artists.

Inside Iceland’s Secret Solstice: five moments that ruled the festivalSS18 THURSDAY SOLOVOV 8591 CharlotteDeWitte Preview

Photo courtesy of SOLOVOV // @YOLOVOV

Secret Solstice was produced with the night owl in mind. Just as the curtains were drawn on the main stage, house and techno heads migrated to their very own late-night playground, Hel. Laugardalsholl Sport Center was transformed into a cavernous space as dark as the artists performing, such as Waff B2B Skream, Charlotte de Witte, Holmar, John Acquaviva, RPR Soundsystem and more. While techno is still growing in Iceland, Hel drew just the right amount of locals and travelers seeking a bit more from their festival experience.

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With only 120 spots to fill, Into the Glacier has become a Secret Solstice staple. Accessible even to those not attending the festival, Into the Glacier embodies the quintessential Iceland experience: a deep excursion inside of a man-made ice cave, residing on Iceland’s second largest glacier, Langjökull. Resting around 4,000 feet above sea level, the heart of the cave was tinged with rich shades of blue. It’s here – through winding tunnels and slippery slopes – that pulsing beats finally lead us to Dubfire.

Inside Iceland’s Secret Solstice: five moments that ruled the festivalSecretSolstice 6 24 18 AJRphotos DAEclusive 003 Copy PreviewPhoto courtesy of Andrew Rauner // @ajrphotos

Serving as one of George Clinton & Parliament Funk’s final shows, the group took fans back in time as they performed celebrated hits both old and new, such as “Atomic Dog” and “Backwoods.”Immediately following Iceland rock band Stuðmenn, the Father of Funk graced Iceland with his coveted presence, lending his contagious energy and charm to thousands of fans before him.

Inside Iceland’s Secret Solstice: five moments that ruled the festivalSS18 0621 Valholl AHT 3 Slayer PreviewPhoto courtesy of Ásgeir Þrastarsson // @asgeirhelg

Thrash-metal is still alive and well – especially in Iceland. As one of this year’s major headliners, Slayer’s first and final Iceland performance was received by more than 17,500 fans – by far the largest crowd throughout the four-day festival. The band’s firepower is stronger than ever as they tear through their discography, ranging from “Payback” to “Angel of Death.” As the band prepares for its impending retirement, Secret Solstice attendees come together as history rapidly unfolds, officially marking the end of an era.

Inside Iceland’s Secret Solstice: five moments that ruled the festivalSecretSolstice 6 22 18 AJRphotos DAEclusive 001 Copy PreviewPhoto courtesy of Andrew Rauner // @ajrphotos

Gucci Mane played host to one of the festival’s rowdiest crowds – a moment in time far exceeding that of any other rapper performing at Secret Solstice. Davis and his sea of fans feed off of one another’s energy as he puffs out every verse with vigor and relentless passion. A true craftsman in his field, the Atlanta rapper demonstrates utmost poise as he strides across the stage. It’s 11pm, and the sun is still shining.

Tags: Dubfire, george clinton & parliament funk, Gucci Mane, Secret Solstice, Slayer

Categories: Features



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