Does dancing in the neverending daylight to the sounds of the worlds best artists sound like fun to you? This dream became a reality once again with the help of the Beats Travel & Secret Solstice festival crew and attendees.
Standing only a stone’s throw distance to Lee Burridge at his lagoon All Day I Dream party and experiencing the legend Bonnie Tyler was just a couple of the many special moments from the Secret Solstice Festival that kicked off on the 18th of June.
Secret Solstice is held in the sparsely populated country of Iceland, home to just over 300,000 people and with a strong Viking history. To give us a taste of what it’s like to experience both the country and festival, we caught up with avid music festival traveller Matt Hairsnape.
What is your name and what do you do?
My name is Matt Hairsnape and I’m the founder of Beats Travel. We are a music experience company that travels to festivals in countries all over the world.
Is this your first time in Iceland and attending SecretSolsticeFestival?
Actually, it’s not. This is my third year! The country and festival hold a special place in my heart, so I can’t stay away.
Tell us a bit about what you are looking at right now?
I am currently at the main stage which is the Valholl. We just watched a great performance from Clean Bandit and are now waiting for Stormzy to come on.
What has been your favourite part of the festival so far?
For me, I’m a big fan of the Secret Solstice side parties. There aren’t many festivals in the world that do this better than Secret Solstice.
On Friday I managed to go to a party with Lee Burridge who is one of my favourite DJs. Can’t get much better than sitting in a Jacuzzi, listening to him only a stone’s throw distance away. The party was really intimate and created a community feeling, which is what I’m all about.
Who has been your favourite artist so far?
I really enjoyed Charlotte De Witte on the first night. I felt she really brought the Hell Dance stage to life. In saying that, there’s also no denying the Bonnie Tyler brought it also. She belted out ‘I need a hero’ which had everyone dancing and singing along which I loved experiencing first hand.
Why do you think Secret Solstice stands out as a festival?
A number of reasons really. Firstly, I think the landscape of Iceland is absolutely magical and the fact that the sun doesn’t go down makes it that bit more special. I also think the line up they delivered this year was the perfect eclectic mix – Oh and the side parties as I already mentioned. Where else in the world can you party inside a glacier with Dubfire or in a Lava Tunnel whilst being introduced to amazing local Icelandic music such as Hogni.
Why did you pick Secret Solstice for one of Beats Travel’s festival tours?
Iceland has been one of those tourist destinations that has exploded in recent times and at Beats Travel we are committed to delivering high-quality tours to these types exciting destinations.
What has been your favourite stage?
It has to be the HELL stage. The whole weekend has delivered some house and techno gems. From Charlotte De Witte on the first night, Skream last night and the Artwork tonight. Saying that I do love exploring the different stages and hearing some of the local Icelandic talents. I always have a good boogie at the Askur stage.
Did anything surprise you at this festival this year?
I was really surprised by the quality of the local Icelandic music. It’s easy to see why big names like Sigur Ross, Asgeir and Bjork have emerged out of this small country.
Any special memory you will take away from this weekend
I thought that the lava tunnel was an incredible experience. I don’t think there’s anywhere else in the world you can listen to such excellent artists in a magma chamber. Wearing the hard hats on the tunnel tour before the gig really got you excited and put you in the right mood. The music was really cool. It started with a local Icelandic group playing accordion/trumpet etc, then finished with a funk band. It suited the venue perfectly and is something I will definitely be telling all of my friends back home about!
Any recommendations you have for anyone coming to Iceland and Secret Solstice in 2019
A few things I would say actually. Firstly, make sure you come a few days earlier so you can explore the country. It’s amazing! From the Black Sands to the Golden Circle it is a picture-perfect country. Secondly, make sure you come equipped for the weather. The last 3 days have been very heavy with rain, although it hasn’t stopped the good vibes of everyone here.
We would love you to join us on our Beats Travel tour. This year we had an amazing group of Beats Travellers from countries all over the world and we can’t wait to welcome more avid music travellers back next year.