Just got back from the couch where I watched tonight’s big Kaupthing concert on the tee-vee because I’m a lazy ass and couldn’t be bothered to take the ten minute car ride over to Laugardalur to watch it live.
I won’t be able to find no parkin’, is what I told myself.
Actually, that’s not the truth. The truth is that I thought it would be crap, and that’s because I have preconceived notions about a big multinational corporation that moreover is A BANK sponsoring some of Niceland’s biggest bands and/or performers to play at their birthday concert. And also because I thought it was kind of lame that, because Iceland’s other two major commercial banks are each sponsoring an event tomorrow [Glitnir the Reykjavík Marathon; Landsbanki another big outdoor concert tomorrow night on Klambratún], just as they did last year, Kaupthing was just jonesing to get in on the action so they slapped together a concert at the last minute on the night before the Big Day [because of course tomorrow is Reykjavík Culture Night a.k.a. The Biggest Party of theYear*] and, well, with all things considered, it was bound to be awful.
Yes, ladies and gents, I am a cynic, and jaded to boot. And therefore it serves me right that I was proven totally wrong – the concert, despite its dodgy premise, kicked ass. Bubbi ruled, Mugison showed yet again what a supreme talent he is, and even old Todmobile took the place by storm. Sure, there were some acts that left something to be desired – I’ll mention no names, except to say that the last act fell totally fell flat and there was that certain girl group with a synthetic name [clue] that set a new standard in karaoke clichés.
But enough about all that. Tomorrow is TBPOTY and already the programme is so overwhelming that I get panic attacks just looking at it. Culture night started as a minor affair about ten years ago and was limited to – as the name suggests – Saturday night. I can’t remember what went on back then, but it was probably a concert or two and maybe a busker playing on Lækjartorg square. Well, as we all know there is nothing Nicelanders love more than a party, so since that time Culture Night has morphed into this day-long affair [that this year actually started tonight with the above-mentioned concert – a sign of things to come?] with things happening all over the city, from crazy ideas realized in the most humble gallery or storefront, to the huge fireworks display on board a ship anchored offshore at 11 pm. Everyone gets in on the action and the key to surviving Culture Night is picking an event or two that looks intriguing, and just going there. Never mind if you get sidetracked along the way [which is inevitable].
This year I’m quite partial to the waffle-baking event [the residents in the Þingholt area downtown are baking waffles for anyone who wants to come by] and also the whisper game that I’m sure has an actual name … you know, when you start on one end and whisper a word and it travels the whole line to the other end, and you see what word comes out. This year these two people [a brother and sister] have decided they want to set a Guinness record for the number of participants, so they’re recruiting over 1,000 people to turn up and join the chain of whispers. Sounds fun, no?
Anyway, there’s every danger that I’ll be reporting on the day’s escapades in this space at a later time, so be forewarned. The weather is supposed to be OK – cloudy but calm and no rain, thank goodness – which is lucky because we’re set for a downpour on Sunday. Today was great – a bit of a chill in the air but fresh and relatively calm. EPI and I went downtown and I was surprised by the numbers of tourists that have suddenly infiltrated the city – possibly because of tomorrow’s event, possibly because of school hols in Europe. Right now 7°C [45F] and sunrise was at 5:24 am, sunset at 9:38 pm.
* Next to wildan’crazy New Year’s Eve, of course