Are you traveling to Iceland this summer and wonder what events are there to enjoy? You’re in for quite a treat! We gathered 15 events and new activities ready for you to enjoy throughout the Icelandic arctic summer all over the country. Get ready for a busy summer, from cultural events to marathons, golf or…
The annual Eurovision Song Contest is back next week, starting with the Semi-Finals on May 10th, with the Grand Final taking place on May 14th. If you’re in Reykjavik, don’t be surprised to find local bars throwing Eurovision parties. Everyone has their eyes on Turin, the host city, as the European competition is more famous than ever. You either hate it or love it, but one thing’s for sure: you can’t ignore it. As the 2013 Icelandic contender, Eyþór Ingi, presumably said, “It’s not about winning; it’s about glitz, glamour, and having a good time!”
When was the first time you’ve heard of the Eurovision Song Contest? If you were born or lived in Europe, you might remember this tournament since childhood. Eurovision is an annual international competition held since 1951. In the years after the Second World War, the desire to encourage collaboration between European countries and celebrate diversity through music founded Eurovision Song Contest. The first event had only seven countries participating in it. As of 2021, the total of countries participating at least once was 53. The only year they canceled the competition was 2020 because of the pandemic.
If you are North American and afraid you’re missing all the fun, don’t worry. It looks like there is an American Song Contest for you too. The final is on May 9th. And even more good news: last month was announced Canada will join the Eurovision family starting in 2023.
Iceland & Eurovision
Söngvakeppnin is the Icelandic national competition to determine the representative for Eurovision. There are usually ten songs competing across February and March for the chance to be the ones going to the European TV song contest. Even though Iceland has been competing since 1986, it’s still the only Nordic country that has yet to get first place. It came second place twice:
Icelandic Eurovision 2021 contestants, Daði & Gagnamagnið singing 10 Years brought Iceland to 5th place, despite not being able to perform live because of Covid-19 affecting the performers.
So why are Icelanders so obsessed with Eurovision? Being a small nation, any chance to go up against the prominent opponents on a global scale is thrilling. And let’s be honest, we love to see our beloved country in the international events around Europe. Some people also say it’s more a nostalgia thing since Eurovision was one of the only events shown on Icelandic television back in the day.
The 66th Eurovision Song Contest returns to Italy for the first time in over 30 years, this time in Turin. The final will be on Saturday, May 14th. However, Eurovision Week starts on May 10th with the First Semi-Final and continues on May 12th with the Second Semi-Final. The 2022 slogan is “The Sound of Beauty,” and the visual representation of cymatics surrounds the theme art. Cymatics is the study of sound wave phenomena. It’s worth paying extra attention to the symmetrical structures and patterns of the visual art during Eurovision Week, including the Italian gardens.
Are you wondering where to watch Eurovision 2022? In Europe, it’s usually televised on each country’s national channel. In the US, you can watch it online through BBC iPlayer. Considering joining the competition live in 2023? Tickets are going on sale a bit over a month before the show. They range from 10 euros (for the rehearsal) to 350 euros (for the Grand Final). And remember, the winning country is the following year’s host country.
Iceland Eurovision 2022
Systur, also known as Sigga, Beta, and Elín, is the Icelandic winner, announced in March. The three sisters will compete in Italy with “Með hækkandi sól” (As the days get longer). They arrived in Italy already, passed the covid test, and are ready to impress the audience. Lovísa Elísabet Sigrúnardóttir, a.k.a. Lay Low is the song composerd and writter. They come from a family with a long history in music; both parents are known singers. It seems they changed their performance a little since the last time we’ve seen it. Make sure you don’t miss it. Fingers crossed, this year will bring Iceland a big win!
The European international song competition is held among broadcasting networks representing primarily European countries. Only active members of the European Broadcasting Union are eligible to participate. You might be wondering why Australia is participating in it, and the answer is relatively simple. If the associate member broadcaster wants to participate in Eurovision, they should receive approval from the Reference Group. The automatically pre-qualified countries for the Grand Final are the so-called Big 5 (France, United Kingdom, German, Italy, and Spain) and the host country. A total of 26 member countries qualify to compete in the Grand Final.
The song must be entirely original and never broadcast before the rules’ release date. It also needs to be for up to 3 minutes and spoken in any language the participant wishes. Each performance allows up to six people on the stage.
The votes awarded are in two sets: from the professional juries and the viewers at home. Tele-voters from each country award a set of points from one to eight, then ten and twelve to songs from other countries. They are not allowed to vote for their home country unless they live abroad. The favorite song gets the now-famous douze points. There are three ways to vote: SMS, telephone, or even the official app. The contenders with the most votes win the entire competition. The full scoreboard is always available shortly after the Grand Final.
Music Industry in Iceland and Awards
Iceland produces the most music and bands in the world per capita. So there’s no surprise that it is a big player in the music industry for a small country. Artists like Björk (Oscar and Grammy-nominated), Of Monsters and Men (with over 1 billion online views and listens), or Sigur Rós (Grammy-nominated) have fascinated the international public for decades. Curious to hear more Icelandic music? We got you covered with CampEasy Icelandic Vibe Playlist. And while there, make sure you give our Spotify account a follow. We regularly upload more playlists for your entertainment at home or on the road. If you are even more fascinated with the Icelandic culture, we also recommend a walking tour around Reykjavik.
Icelandic musicians are constantly winning international awards. Names like Hildur Guðnadóttir, the composer who has won over 30 awards, including an Oscar, Grammy, Golden Globe, and Emmy for her work in Joker and Chernobyl. Or Dísella Lárusdóttir, the soprano who received her first Grammy last month, and many more.
Oscar Nomination and Netflix Movie
The movie Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga created quite a buzz around the famous contest. Rachel McAdams (Sigrit) and Will Ferrell (Lars) play the role of Icelanders living in Húsavík, a picturesque Icelandic town in North Iceland. Lars has been dreaming to participate in Eurovision all of his life. Finally, he gets closer to his dream, not without many challenges and funny moments. The ironic comedy pokes fun at a few cliches, such as the American tourists, Icelanders, and even European cities. Legend has it the angry man is still at the local bar asking for the Ja Ja Ding Dong. Daði Freyr, the last year’s Icelandic contender, even made a cover after it.
On a more serious note, the song My Hometown from the same movie, performed by Molly My Marianne Sandén, was nominated for the Oscars 2021. She is a Swedish artist and songwriter who performed at the 93rd Academy Award’s preshow, being the voice of Sigrit. Joined by the adorably lopapeysa dressed Húsavík children’s choir from the town’s port, they won the love of people all around the globe.
Húsavík Eurovision Museum
Did you know you could also visit the Icelandic Northern town and check “Where the mountains sing through the screams of seagulls/Where the whales can live ’cause they’re gentle people?” My Hometown didn’t win, but the movie’s success inspired the town of Húsavík to open a Eurovision Museum. Are you interested in checking it out? Make sure you book your camper and find your way to the North of Iceland. Húsavík is also an excellent place for whale watching.
Related Blog Articles
Will Iceland win Eurovision 2022? The annual Eurovision Song Contest is back next week. Everyone has their eyes on Turin, the host city, as the European competition is more famous than ever. You either hate it or love it, but one thing’s for sure: you can’t ignore it.