October 10

Melodica Festival – the greatest music festival on earth!


I want to tell you about the Melodica festival, my favorite music festival, and in my opinion the best place for any music lover. I play there every year. Here’s me playing it for the 10th time:

If you’re reading this, I assume you love music. If you don’t, what’s wrong with you?

Anyway. Music is of course a huge part of my life, obviously, and one of my greatest joys in life is playing it, listening to it and meeting new artists and music lovers. I’m very privileged to get to share my music with fans all over the world, both via the internet and traveling to other parts of the world to play.

So today I want to tell you about my absolute favorite music festival, the Melodica festival. I mentioned it briefly in my recent post about my tattoos, but I didn’t really go into detail. And I think everybody should know about this, because it’s truly different, so here goes.

The Melodica festival was founded in the year 2007 through Myspace. Remember Myspace? Yeah, me neither.

The idea was to provide a platform for singer-songwriters around the globe to network and play music together. The first Melodica took place in Melbourne and later the same year the first Melodica Reykjavik happened. Since then it has expanded to include many other cities, including Berlin, New York, Nottingham, Paris, Aarhus and more. Not all of these take place every year, but many do.

So what makes Melodica different? Well, first of all the entrance is donation based. So music fans pay whatever they can afford. This means that it’s all inclusive, of course. It’s a chance for people who maybe can’t normally afford to attend shows to have access to music. Children are also welcome, and during the early hours of the festival you can usually see quite a few kids. So this is great for single parents who may sometimes have a hard time attending music events.

And it’s all volunteer based. So nobody makes money off it, except the musicians who sell music and merchandise at the gigs. This means that all the money that comes in through donations goes towards traveling expenses for the international artists. So the only money I’ve ever made from playing Melodica Reykjavik has come from selling CDs and T-shirts. However, when I played Melodica Nottingham, I got some money that just about covered my plane tickets. International artists are normally put up at local artists’ or festival volunteer workers’ houses. So basically, when you go play Melodica in a different country, you get to travel for free, and you might sell a few albums. You won’t make a lot of money.

But you get something even better. The community!

The Melodica community, which I have now been a part of for over 11 years, is truly unique and amazing. You meet all these wonderful singer-songwriters from around the world and form bonds that last for years in many cases. I’ve made some wonderful friends through Melodica, and I now have a network of artists and music lovers all over the world. This is absolutely invaluable.

So, wherever you are in the world, if there’s a Melodica that takes place near you, you need to check it out. If not, but you have a chance to travel to one, you definitely should. (Iceland is particularly nice in late August, when Melodica Reykjavik takes place, just saying…)

And if you like the sound of this, and especially if you’ve been to Melodica and you love the vibe, maybe you should contact the Melodica people and see if you can arrange one in your community. I think it’s the best way to connect with like minded people and form lasting bonds through music. You know, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be a musician today if it wasn’t for the amazing experience of playing the Melodica festival year after year. I will never stop playing it, if I can possibly help it.

And I want to play it everywhere, so if you have a Melodica festival near you (or if you start your own), let me know. I want to come to yours. 😉

And if you come to Reykjavik, give me a shout. I’d love to buy you a beer. Or if you’re coming to any other Melodica for that matter – I’m planning on doing as many of them as I can over the next few years. (In fact, I kind of want to do one in my home town of Hafnarfjörður as well – making it the second Melodica in Iceland… You read it here first!)

Well, that’s about it. If you like the sound of this, let me know in the comments. And as always, thank you for being here. You’re awesome.

Folk on!


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