While most people in the world of EDM are eagerly anticipating and getting ready for EDC Las Vegas this weekend, a group of hardcore adventurers are preparing for one of the most incredible music events in the world: Secret Solstice festival in Iceland. The festival will be hosted in a variety of locations, including inside a volcano and glacier, and is best described as something truly unique that will leave an impression for a lifetime on whoever decides to attend.

The lineup is similarly eclectic, ranging from dance music acts like Skream, Art Department and Goldie to the strange & prolific duo that is Die Antwoord.

Your EDM is honored to be able to participate in this experience for our first time, and we’ve gotten in touch with Secret Solstice founder, Fred Olafsson, to ask him a few questions about the festival.

In addition to this interview, we have assembled an essential 20-track playlist on Spotify in preparation for Secret Solstice festival featuring music from many different artists on the lineup; the selection ranges from house to alternative to grime and everywhere in between. Turn it on and turn it up while you read!

Check out the interview below:

How did Secret Solstice first get started and how has it evolved over the years?

FO: It started after years of doing parties and market research at pretty much every festival in the world. Iceland is a such a unique place and the longest days of the year should be celebrated, especially since the sun doesn’t set!

What goes into selecting such an eclectic and diverse lineup?

FO: Growing up in a music store has given me the chance to hear some incredible music, that is far from the mainstream so I try to bring some of that to the masses while still catering to the masses.

Who are you most looking forward to seeing perform this year… top 5?

FO: There are so many interesting acts this year but if I’d have to make a top 5 these are the acts I wouldn’t want to miss.

Die Antwoord
St. Germain
Kerri Chandler
Jamie Jones

Do you have any plans to increase the prevalence of dance music in Secret Solstice’s lineup as it continues to gain in popularity?

FO: Yes, no doubt. Every year we have booked more artists in all genres, whether it’s dance music, hip-hop, rock pop etc. My musical passion still lies with house music and that can definitely be seen in the lineup this year and in previous years.

How do you select the locations for Secret Solstice, from the new Volcano event to the main festival grounds?

FO: When we thought about locations for the festival Laugardalur was the first site that came up. If you’ve been there, you’d know why. The main festival site is situated in an easily accessible place minutes away from the center of town in a beautiful valley, with camping and a thermal pool.

All the side events are taking place in spots, which I love and I think our foreign visitors would like to see being here on a holiday.

Describe this first of its kind Volcano party. What are the logistics of making it happen, from bringing people up and inside to providing electricity? What are some of the difficulties and how do you overcome them to make this experience come to fruition?

FO: Throwing a real Volcano party, inside a volcano takes a huge effort from all of us to make it happen. Fortunately we have an amazing staff so we are able to make this real.

Logistics wise, the people get picked up on buses that take them from the festival site to Reykjavik airport. There we have helicopters flying them to the top of the volcano where they take a steel elevator 400ft underground where the acoustic performance takes place.

As only 20 ticket holders have access this is going to be extremely exclusive and memorable event for the lucky ones that already got their tickets!

What makes Secret Solstice so unique and a premiere destination for fans of music from around the world?

FO: Where to start? The festival is held during summer solstice which here in Iceland means that the sun doesn’t set. That along with the beautiful surroundings, great music and good vibes shakes together an amazing cocktail.

Tell me about your green initiative, how can other festivals apply your energy efficiency techniques?

FO: It is very hard for most festivals to do what we have done. Considering that all electricity in Iceland is green, powered by geothermal and hydro electricity, meaning we don’t have to offset our main energy source.

What’s your single favorite thing about Secret Solstice?

FO: This one has to be answered with more than a single thing. The good vibe, the incredible talent and music, the sun not setting, I can’t really pick one. When it all comes together it’s just something you have to see for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.

If you could book one act for this event, dead or alive, who would it be?

FO: Hands down I have to say Prince.