You might call yourself a festival veteran. You've partied in fields, pools, aboard boats and on beaches across Europe. Whenever a festival announces an exclusive party, you're always the first down on the list. But we doubt even you, the most hardcore festival junkie, have ever partied inside a glacier, a geothermal lagoon, or on a boat under the midnight sun... unless, that is, you went to Secret Solstice 2016.
Taking advantage of Iceland's stunning natural wonders, Secret Solstice is all about providing an experience people can't find anywere else. According to the festival's Leon Hill, that's where the inspiration for the three unique events comes from: "Of course we have the midnight sun, and the beauty of Iceland to back us up already, but we wanted to add a ton of extra stuff that would really blow people's minds."
Into the Glacier – the world's first and only glacier party
As someone who has explored Langjökull glacier, albeit not during the festival, I can safely say that the journey up in the former NATO "monster truck" through a vast, expansive landscape, and down into the ice cave itself, is truly an experience of a lifetime. But I can only imagine what it is like for a party. For the past two years, 125 lucky festival-goers got to find out, venturing up for exclusive sets by Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Artwork and Skream. After receiving rave reviews in each of the previous years, the party is back on in 2017.
Leon: "The idea to host Secret Solstice presents Into The Glacier came from us wanting to make sure there was no doubt in anyone's mind we were doing something truly special, and hosting the only party on Earth inside a glacier seemed to be a good way to do that!"
Secret Solstice presents Into The Glacier: Electronic Shows – 16 June and 17 June; Acoustic Show – 18 June. Tickets include transportation from Reykjavík (departure times to be confirmed), a short tour of the glacier cave system and two complimentary drinks.
Midnight Sun Boat Party – watch the sun kiss the horizon
As you may have known, Iceland is one of the few places in the world to truly experience the Summer Solstice, where, due to the tilt of the earth, the sun only sets for around two hours a day, meaning you get midnight sun. Taking advantage of this spectacular phenomenon is the festival's super-limited Midnight Sun Boat Party, which will sail out into the Atlantic Ocean to watch the sun kiss the horizon before rising up again. Joining the voyage will of course be a host of DJs to soundtrack this unforgettable experience.
Secret Solstice Boat Party: 16 June; departing from Reykjavík at 11:00pm. Three drinks are included in the ticket price (beer, cider, or red/white wine), along with unlimited free bottled water.
Secret Lagoon – a volcanically-heated pool of music
While you'll be piling on the layers for Into the Glacier, you'll be stripping them off for the Secret Lagoon: a pool party with an all-important twist. Inviting 100 guests to the volcanically-heated (39ºC) waters in Flúðir, which at 120+ years old, is the oldest pool in Iceland, we'll bob along to DJ sets from some of the world's best DJs, all-the-while marvelling at the incredible surroundings.
The Secret Lagoon Party has not been confirmed for 2017 yet. Check here for updates.
Whatever event you choose, as Leon says, above all else you can "expect something you won't get anywhere else on the planet. Whether it's dancing the night away inside the world's only glacier party, watching the sun touch the horizon in the Atlantic Ocean during the summer solstice, or relaxing in a 120 year-old plus volcanically-heated geothermal lagoon while a couple of the world's best DJs play, attending any one of our side events is a recipe for memories that will last a lifetime. That, and making your friends incredibly jealous of your holiday Instagram feed."