Iceland may be more known for its astounding nature than for its culture. So some people might not know that Iceland is home to a large variety of festivals. From music to literature to art, there are plenty of events all the year round – enough to suit everyone’s taste. Find it hard to believe? Here’s a taster:
Reykjavik Winter Lights Festival: In February, when the nights are long and spring is still far away, the Winter Lights Festival brings some needed brightness to the town. Walk around Reykjavik and enjoy beautiful art installations made of light.
Design March: March in Reykjavik is all about design. Come and see the best of the local design scene, from fashion to architecture, product and graphic design – and more!
Aldrei fór ég suður: or, I never went South is a rock festival held in March in Isafjordur, the capital of the Westfjords. Icelandic bands rock the scene, and despite the remote location the festival is popular enough to attract crowds of all ages from the whole country.
Viking Festival: Held in Hafnafjordur, in the capital area, every June, the Viking festival is a great family event. From Viking storytelling in a cave, to axe throwing courses, to a market rich of old-time memorabilia, this is a fun event for Viking enthusiasts of all ages.
LungA: Every July the small town of Seydisfjordur, in East Iceland, becomes a meeting point for artists and musicians. All artists and free spirits should take the time to attend, and experience a week of amazing exhibitions, impromptu concerts, workshops and general creativity.
Reykjavik Jazz Festival: For a week in August, Reykjavik gets into the groove. If you love the sound of saxophone you can’t miss this yearly festival which features both local and foreign performers.
Reykjavik International Film Festival (RIFF): Held every year in the capital in September. Watch independent films from all over the world in unconventional settings. Have you ever been to a screening that took place in a cave? Have you ever watched a film on the big screen while bathing in a swimming pool? At Riff you can!
Reykjavik Literary Festival: every other September, Reykjavik hosts a literary festival where local and international writers get together for literary readings and lively discussions. Past guests include names like Kurt Vonnegut, Isabel Allende and Nick Hornby.
Iceland Airwaves: The biggest (and best known) music festival in Iceland. Held every year in November, Airwaves transforms the whole of Reykjavik into a concert hall. The last edition of the festival (which has just closed) had bands perform live in fashion shop windows, in cafés, bookstores, hostels, and more. Walk around the city and breathe in music.
Have you been to any of these festivals? Have any others to suggest? We are eager to hear your voice!