A destination festival may seem a little dicey for ticket purchasers this season in the wake high-profile flameouts like Fyre Festival and Pemberton, but Iceland’s vibrant and picturesque Secret Solstice is going on its fourth year of delivering unique experiences. The three-day festival, happening from June 15-18 in Reykjavik, is timed with the city’s summer solstice which means 72 straight hours of sunlight for attendees as they listen to a mixed lineup of local and big name artists.
This year’s headliners include the Foo Fighters, The Prodigy, Rick Ross, and Big Sean amongst their 125 performers. Plenty of DJs will be performing across their multiple stages and Grammy nominated-artist Anderson .Paak will play a special event inside an actual glacier. Into the Glacier is one of several side events and excursions attendees can participate in.
“This year at Secret Solstice we have some really amazing side events lined up,” Secret Solstice founder Fred Olafsson told Amplify. “We are very excited to welcome back our Midnight Sun Boat Party (now sold out) as well as the Into The Glacier which is the only party in the world held inside a glacier for a once-in-a-lifetime experience for only 125 people.”
“This year we are also debuting a brand new side party, The Lava Tunnel,” Olafsson said. “This super intimate event for only 50 people will be held inside a 5,000 year old cave system called the Raufarhollshellir that was formed during a volcanic eruption.”
The Lava Tunnel will feature an Icelandic artist performing an acoustic set at the intimate concert.
Olafsson added “All of the side events are accessed by buses operated by Secret Solstice and leave from a location next to the festival site. As all of our side parties are held in unique and remote locations, the stage set-ups do vary a lot and are all custom designed in order to maximize sound quality, and the experience for artists and ticket holders.”
Secret Solstice also encourages attendees to take advantage of being in Iceland and has partnered with several local companies to help visitors see the sights. Not only has Solstice partnered with WOW Air for plane tickets, the festival offers exclusives with local partners on tourism packages.
“The great thing about Secret Solstice is that you can come here and explore many of the amazing Icelandic tourist attractions either before, during, or after the festival,” Olafsson said. “Our bus transport partner Reykjavik Excursions have a variety of day tours available to many of Reykjavik’s tourist destinations.”
The array of activities include horseback riding, hikes, ATV riding, spas, as well as trips to waterfalls, lagoons, caves, and cultural monuments.
“We have special offers for Secret Solstice customers on a select number of their tours,” Olafsson added. “Our partner Elding Adventure at Sea is a family owned tour operator specializing in adventures tear round in Reykjavik and Akureyri. Whale Watching is the main product as well as Sea Angling, Puffin Watching and RIB safari in summer.”
In addition to the city’s geographical attractions, Reykjavik’s history plays a large part in the festival’s appeal. Solstice boasts inclusion of their Viking heritage throughout the grounds.
“Traditionally, the summer solstice was a time of bounty in the lives of the Nordic nations and a cause for celebration,” Olafsson told Amplify. “The Norse mythology and religion commonly known as the Ásatru is deeply rooted in natural symbolism. In recognition of that, we name all of our stages after places in Norse Mythology such as Gimli, Fenrir, Valhalla, Askur, Jötunnheimar, and Hel.”
Those who need an escape from the constant sunlight can go party in Hel, their dark, indoor arena named after a Nordic god that will feature DJs playing throughout the night.
“Experiencing 72 hours of sunlight during the summer solstice is very unique and should be on everyone’s bucket list. At Secret Solstice you can enjoy an incredible light show alongside an amazing lineup of top artists across hip hop, rock and electronic music in one of the most breathtaking corners of the world,” said Olafsson.
Festival tickets begin at a little over $200 with VIP packages that go to about $14,500. For more information and to purchase tickets to Secret Solstice side events, click here.