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Iceland’s Eurovision entry is Hatari, a ‘BDSM techno band’

Sofia Lotto Persio March 4, 2019
Picture of Hatari, the self-described industrial BDSM band representing Iceland at Eurovision

Iceland picked "industrial BDSM band" Hatari as its Eurovision entry. (Hatari/Facebook)

Iceland has picked the band Hatari as its entry for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest—but the trio isn’t your regular musical ensemble.

The band took Iceland by storm, entering the local competition to pick a Eurovision entry, Söngvakeppnin, and winning the public’s support in the final, aired on Saturday (March 2).

Hatari describe themselves as an “anti-capitalist techno BDSM band,” made up of three art school friends: Klemens Hannigan, Matthías Tryggvi Haraldson, and Einar Stéfansson.

“It brings us one step nearer to our plan, to destroy capitalism.”

— Hatari on becoming Iceland’s Eurovision entry

Hatari’s participation Söngvakeppnin took some fans by surprise. As Icelandic publication Grapevine reported at the time, the band had announced its last-ever concert in December, after admitting failure in their goal of taking down capitalism.

It appears that the band sees Eurovision as way to pursue their goal.

“Our feelings are of overwhelming respect towards this project for which our nation has selected us. It brings us one step nearer to our plan, to destroy capitalism,” the band said, quoted in Iceland Monitor, commenting on their victory,

Their song, titled “Hatrið Mun Sigra”—meaning “Hate Will Prevail”—will be performed by the Icelandic trio at the song contest in Tel Aviv, Israel, in May.

News of Hatari becoming Iceland’s Eurovision entry was largely met with enthusiasm on social media, where fans of the band had added the song title to their names to show their support.

Reactions to Hatari being named as Iceland's Eurovision entry.
Reactions to Hatari being named as Iceland’s Eurovision entry were largely positive. (Screenshot/Twitter)

“Good choice, Iceland! No matter if you qualify for grand final or not, you definitely won’t be easily forgotten this year!” said one Eurovision fan reacting to the announcement on Twitter.

Another one wrote: “Iceland, you saved this Eurovision!”

A supporter expressed confidence at Iceland’s prospect for victory: “ALREADY WON EUROVISION 2019 SEE YOU IN REYKJAVIK!”

Hatari challenged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a match of Icelandic wrestling

The theatrics of their performances aside, Hatari knew how to grab headlines even ahead of the Söngvakeppnin final, challenging Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a wrestling match—not any wrestling match, but specifically glíma.

Glíma is a traditional form of trouser-grip wrestling common to Iceland and Sweden in which wrestlers wear a belt around the waist and additional belts on the lower thighs of each leg and attempt to throw each other to the ground gripping the belt at the waist and that at the thigh height.

In their statement challenging Netanyahu, reported in local media on February 7, Hatari said the match would have to take place on May 19 in Tel Aviv, but gave the Israeli leader the chance to decide a time that would suit him best.

At stake in the match would be a portion of territory—a Hatari victory would give the band the right to establish “the first ever Hatari sponsored liberal BDSM colony” on the Mediterranean coast, within Israel’s borders. Should Netanyahu win, the Israeli government would gain “full political and economic control” of the South-Icelandic municipality and archipelago of Vestmannaeyjar.

More: eurovision, eurovision 2019, Hatari, Iceland, Israel, Tel Aviv

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