The Kennedy Center

Iceland Airwaves: FM Belfast, Retro Stefson, and


Since its first edition was held in an airplane hangar in 1999, Iceland Airwaves has become one of the premier annual showcases for new music—Icelandic and otherwise—in the world. Rolling Stone calls the experience “the hippest long weekend on the annual music-festival calendar.”

FM Belfast is not just a band. It is a community, a force, a friend. For the past four years, Icelandic electropop group FM Belfast has been perfecting the art of reading an audience and connecting with it, using its skills to hone music that catches easily, yet runs deep; an art of performing that can—and usually does—induce unique and euphoric states in large crowds of people, or just in your headphones. It is harsh and technical, warm and embracing and organic, thoughtful and giddy and inclusive.

A member of the Icelandic indie acts Seabear and Sin Fang, Sóley Stefánsdóttir broke out on her own to perform delicate electronic pop. Inspired by Scandinavian acts such as Sigur Rós and Múm, she began making music in her teens, and studied piano and composition at the Icelandic Art Academy in 2007. She issued her debut EP, Theater Island, on Morr Music in 2010 and her first full album, We Sink, was released in 2011.

Through countless live performances and the crafting of superior pop songs, ultra-talented Icelandic septet Retro Stefson has mastered the art of moving a crowd to the brink of sheer ecstasy—and keeping it there for as long as they wish. Armed with a charismatic stage presence and a highly impressive arsenal of songs, Retro Stefson always borders on the right side of pop; the side that’s creative, cool and constantly pushing the envelope.

Presented by Iceland Airwaves and supported by Icelandair, Iceland Naturally, and the Embassy of Iceland in Washington, D.C.
Nordic Cool 2013 is presented in cooperation with the Nordic Council of Ministers and Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.
Presenting Underwriter
HRH Foundation
Festival Co-Chairs
The Honorable Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, Marilyn Carlson Nelson, and Barbro Osher
Major support is provided by the Honorable Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, Mrs. Marilyn Carlson Nelson and Dr. Glen Nelson, the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, David M. Rubenstein, the State Plaza Hotel, and the Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts.
FM Belfast