Millions of people have fallen in love with Iceland for magical landscapes, epic waterfalls, and endless summer sun. But spending a week in Reykjavik during rainy, stormy November will reveal a whole different side to the quaint capital: Ukranian rappers playing in dingy clubs, Icelandic BDSM-bands tearing the roof off the art museum, and thousands of people drinking overpriced cans of Gull on the street. 

Welcome to Iceland Airwaves, the most fun you can have this close to the Arctic circle.

Airwaves is a showcase festival that attracts over 130 up-and-coming artists from 20 different countries — and big, international names — to Reykjavik every November for four days of music across a dozen different venues. This year’s edition was heavier on international pop acts than previous, but there was still a healthy dose of post-punk, hip hop, dance, and expert knob twiddlers to fill the evenings with thumping bass and guitar distortion.

Check out our favorite artists we saw in the gallery above, and save the date for next year’s Iceland Airwaves, Nov. 4 -7.

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