It’s been a weird couple of years but I’ve recently returned to the road and I’d like to invite you all to join me on a once-in-a-lifetime trip I’m calling Rufus Wainwright: The Iceland Cometh. We’ll be visiting Reykjavík next Memorial Day weekend, May 26-30, where we’ll stay at the Hilton Reykjavik Nordica for four incredible nights of music, art, culture, nature, food, and more. I will be performing two concerts, one at the stunning Harpa Concert Hall and another smaller show just for those joining us on the trip. There will be cultural and art tours of the city and we’ll all get a chance to spend some time together.
The Iceland Cometh will be my second trip of this kind. In 2017, I took a small group to Cuba, which was simply amazing. It was a very mythic kind of moment in my life. Havana is so seductive and beautiful. There was a wonderful portal between me and the fans, I would see them at shows and at our group events. It was a nice feeling, being in my own space but also able to go out and hang out with people. It was a great vibe and such a good experience that I wanted to do it again.
What’s especially nice about The Iceland Cometh is that it’s going to be so different – it’s literally the polar opposite. I’ve only been to Iceland once before, many years ago, but it left a very deep impression on me, both the culture and of course, the nature. I know a number of people who have actually moved to Iceland, to spend their lives around their magnificent islands, and I’m very happy to finally get a chance to be a part of it.
One person who made that move is John Grant, who will be supporting me at the Harpa Concert Hall. I’ve been a huge fan of his music for years, and I must say, it’s going to be quite a moment, the two of us finally getting together. We’ve both been working for a while now in this business, and we’ve both kept our signature sounds alive. I’m going to try to incorporate some local flavor into the Harpa show. With the help of John and some other musicians, we’ll take a moment to celebrate the community. To play with John at a beautiful concert hall like Harpa makes it even better, so I’m very excited for that.
I’m also going to perform a private, much more intimate, set for the tour group. I’ll be joined for both shows by Brian Green on guitar and Jacob Mann on piano and keyboard. They’re in my touring band, I’ve been working with them for a few years now so we’re very well accustomed to me. They worked with me on the Robe Recitals concerts I did from in my living room during lockdown, so I can really expand my repertoire with them. I can do Judy songs, I can do songs that I haven’t performed in years that I don’t necessarily remember off the top of my head. Having them with me is a good lubricant, shall we say, for my repertoire.
During the day, the group will get a chance to explore Reykjavík on a number of unique local tours. For me, I think what I’m most looking forward to is seeing the nature up there. It’s been almost 20 years since I’ve been in Iceland, things have changed a lot and I’m very excited to see how it looks now.
I know the past couple of years have been such a strange time for everyone. I feel very fortunate to be able to get back on the road. My fans are really excited as well, so there’s been a real sense of joy. I am blessed with this resource really, of people who are willing to join me on these crazy artistic exploits that I deliver every few years. People who love my old stuff but are also equally intrigued with what I have coming down the pike. It allows me to be as varied as I wish, which is pretty often pretty different. Whether it’s opera or musicals, Judy Garland shows or my own material, even trips to Iceland. I just feel really supported in this endeavor and I’m very grateful for it.
I’m very much looking forward to Rufus Wainwright: The Iceland Cometh and I hope you’ll join us.