FESTIVALS IN ICELAND

The sparse Icelandic population has always enjoyed a gathering of good people. All-year round, you will find creative festivals dedicated to music, film and fashion. During summer, town festivals attract large groups of people around the country, dominating the event calendar. With abundant daylight hours during summer, and the long after hours of winter, nothing beats a good festival in Iceland.

January

Dark Music Days

Annual contemporary music festival held by the Iceland Composer Society. The festival offers an ambitious programme—several concerts take place each day and many premieres. The festival draws foreign guests who want to study Icelandic music today and report about their experiences back at home. The festival is an annual Music Festival organized by the Icelandic Composers Union.

WOW Reykjavik International Games

The City of Reykjavik welcomes sports participants to a multisport competition in Laugardalur, the Valley of Sport.

February

Reykjavik Winter Lights Festival

Reykjavik Winter Lights Festival is a culture festival that celebrates winter and light with multiple events, exhibitions, poetry reading in a swimming pool, outdoor performances and much more.

Reykjavik Blues Festival

Rainbow Reykjavík LGBT Winter Pride Festival

The Annual Icelandic Beer Festival

Art in Light

March

Food and Fun

The essential component of the festival involves world-renowned chefs collaborating with Reykjavik's finest restaurants, and as an extra serving of food and fun, chefs compete to create a three-course meal using Icelandic ingredients exclusively. The Festival takes place in February/March.

Design March

DesignMarch is Iceland’s most important annual design festival. Four days, dozens of events, hundreds of participating designers and all fields of design, from architecture to food to furniture and services.

Stockfish Film Festival

DesignTalk

Sónar Reykjavík

Iceland Winter Games

Aldrei fór ég suður

April

Eve-Online Fanfest

Every year, the Eve-online Fanfest brings together players in a massive celebration of the virtual world of EVE Online. Travelers from all around the world gather in one of the most beautiful and unique locations the planet has to offer. Allies and rivals alike set aside their in-game differences to share drinks with one another and forge new friendships. CCP developers mingle with the community, always up for "talking shop" and getting to know the players.

Ak-Extreme

Reykjavik children's cultural festival

Iceland Writers Retreat

Fossavatn Ski Marathon

May

Vaka Folk Arts Festival

June

Midnight Sun Run

The Midnight Sun Run has been held in late June every year since 1993. The Midnight Sun Run is a road race where runners can choose from three distances, half marathon, 10 km race and 5 km race. The runners will among other places run a circle in the valley Laugardalur wich is in full bloom by this time of year. The race starts late in the evening, nearby one of Reykjavik’s wonderful geothermal outdoor swimming pools, Laugardalslaug. All participants are invited to enter the swimming pool, hot tubs and steam baths after the race. Registration and further information about The Suzuki Midnight Sun Run can be found at www.marathon.is/midnight-run.

Festival of the Sea

The Festival of the Sea is an annual event featuring lots of fun for the whole family, and serves as a reminder of how important the sea and its sailors are to Iceland‘s history, economy and people. Various program is offered from 10am on Saturday morning until Sunday afternoon. The celebration takes place at Reykjavík’s West Harbour, Grandagardur. Takes place on the first weekend in June.

Viking Festival

The Viking Festival in Hafnarfjörður is the oldest and largest event of its kind in Iceland. Since 1995 Hafnarfjörður has been a playground for Vikings demonstrating through the years most aspects of the Viking culture; like ships, cuisine, handcraft, storytelling, archery, games, music and battle demonstrations.

Secret Solstice Music Festival

Secret Solstice is an Icelandic music festival that‘s being held for the first time in June 2014. Bristol band Massive Attack have been announced as the headline act at the festival where over a hundred artists both local and international from a various array of genres will be featured. The festival showcases both established artists as well as exciting up-and-coming talent over the course of three days the 24 hour midnight sun during the summer solstice. It‘s themed after the Norse religion and mythology of old. It‘s set to deliver a unique party atmosphere filled with great entertainment.

Iceland National Holiday

Iceland’s national day, 17 June, commemorates the creation of Iceland as a republic in 1944. The day is the birthday of the country’s independence hero, Jón Sigurdsson.

MT Esja Ultra

Blue Lagoon Challenge

Arctic Open

WOW Cyclothon

The Color Run

Reykjavik Arts Festival

July

LungA

An ever-growing music and art festival in the eastern town of Seyðisfjörður, where young people gather to celebrate art. First held in 2000, the festival not only showcases the art but also produces it by hosting workshops and lectures for visitors.

Eistnaflug

Eistnaflug is no longer the best kept secret in the world of awesome music festivals. Its praises have been sung all over the international press, after the event set in the small isolated town of Neskaupstaður has attracted press, artists and audience from all over the world in the last few years.

Bræðslan

A music festival held in an old herring factory in the village of Borgarfjörður eystri in the eastern fjords. It has been a boost to the culture of the east since 2005. Bræðslan is held on the last weekend in July and has one main concert and other off-venue events around the village the days before.

Folk Music Festival in Siglufjörður

The Folk Music Festival in Siglufjörður, North Iceland, takes place from 2nd to the 6th of July 2014. In 18 performances Icelandic and foreign artists play music from all over the world. A broad picture of the Icelandic folk music will be given during the festival. At the festival in 2014, music from France will be of special interest. During the day, many different courses will be given both on Icelandic and on foreign folk music. Folk dances will be taught as well as Icelandic handicraft.

Music Festival Reykholt

Reykholt Festival is an international music festival held in historic Reykholt, the birth place of Snorri Sturluson in Borgarfjörður, the last week of July every year. It´s repertoire mainly consists of classical music featuring both Icelandic musicians and well known foreign artists. Reykholt festival has earned a reputation as beeing one of the most interesting cultural events in Iceland.

Medievaldays at Gásir

Laugavegur Ultra Marathon

KEXPort

Thorvaldsdalur Terrain Run

The National Icelandic Horse competition

Gung-Ho Run

August

Þjóðhátíð í Eyjum

A huge outdoor festival in Herjólfsdalur Valley in the Westman Islands. It takes place annually during the Bank Holiday Weekend (the first weekend of august). The festival traces its history back to 1874 and the basis of its program has remained much the same through the decades. The program includes music performances by some of the most popular musicians in Iceland each time, group singing, a huge camp fire and fireworks. Other traditions are attached to the festival, such as the white tent city in the valley and eating puffin.

Reykjavik Pride

The gay pride parade in Reykjavik has taken place on the 2ndweekend of august since 1999. A lively, colorful event where thousands of people join in the parade in downtown Reykjavik to support the LGTB community.

Reykjavik Culture Night

Reykjavik Culture Night celebrates culture in all forms. The event, which is both created and enjoyed by city residents, takes place all across Reykjavík with celebrations in city streets and squares, in museums, businesses and even in residential gardens! The event's slogan "come on in!" is a reference to those good old fashioned customs of hospitality. Culture Night is now a permanent fixture in the annual calendar of events in Reykjavík and marks the start of the city's cultural year, when museums and theatres and other cultural institutions launch their annual program of events. The main objective of Culture Night is to encourage participants to deliver a diverse and rich offering of cultural events with a taste of something for everyone and a few surprises too! Menningarnótt

Bank Holiday Weekend

The Bank Holiday Weekend is the Icelandic travel weekend and takes place on the first weekend in August. Towns and organizations host various festivals all over the country and whether one prefers hard partying, family-oriented gatherings, music or sport, everyone is sure to find something to their taste.

Innipúkinn Music Festival

Reykjavik Marathon

Fireworks at Jökulsárlón

Swampsoccer 3-6 August

September

Reykjavik International Film Festival

RIFF, Reykjavik International Film Festival, takes place every year in late September. The festival shows a wide range of dramas and non-fiction films from over 40 countries. RIFF highlights independent film-making from all over the world with an emphasis on up-and-coming filmmakers. The festival encourages the interaction of film with other art forms by organizing concerts, photo exhibitions and more. The festival also manages the RIFF industry office, complete with a video library, information and guest services, and co-organizes networking meetings and dinners for the attending professionals. RIFF was founded in September 2004, by a small group of film professionals and film enthusiasts led by festival director Hrönn Marinósdóttir. The goal was to present new and progressive quality films, support innovation in filmmaking, network between professionals from various parts of the world and foster social and cultural dialogue. Reykjavík Internation Film Festival

Reykjavik Literary Festival

Reykjavik Jazz festival

October

Imagine Peace Tower

The Moorland

Cycle Music and Art Festival

November

Iceland Noir

Iceland Airwaves

Everybody‘s Spectacular

December

Christmas

Icelanders go in for Christmas in a big way, with 13 Santa Clauses who each have a name and caracters play pranks and sing in the beautifully illuminated streets. Lots of activities all through the holidays.

New Years Eve

With everyone taking part in the biggest firework display you’ll ever see, public bonfires are lit all around the country, followed by very lively nightlife.

Centenary of Icelandic Independence:

Ice Hot Festival