The Northern Marginal Festival came about almost by accident. Originally planned as an innovation seminar at the Nordic House by eleven students studying Culture Management and Production at Finland’s HUMAK University of Applied Sciences. The project quickly expanded when those involved realised they could do something more with their brief. The Northern Marginal Festival was born.
The Chair of the newly-made Northern Marginal Association is Tove Forssell. “We started with the idea of bringing the Finnish forest to Iceland, where there famously is very little forest,” she says. “From there the idea grew and matured into the Northern Marginal Festival, which uses the word ‘marginal’ as the connecting denominator.”
The resulting exhibition, entitled ‘In The Icelandic Wood’, figuratively plants the Finnish forest, with all of its diversity, onto the Icelandic tundra. Tove says forests have long played an important part in the lives of Finnish people and their culture, and that the goal of the exhibit is to bring the mythology of the forest to Iceland.
The festival has two other components. ‘Mømø’ is focused on the different musical styles for which Finland is renowned. It includes shows with celebrated Finnish metal bands Finntroll and Black Crucifixion, and a gig with punk outfit Räjäyttäjät, all three at Gaukurinn on separate dates, and a performance at Hallgrímskirkja by the promising young organist Pétur Sakari. ‘Syndrome’ is the film element of the festival, taking its name from the 2012 flick ‘The Punk Syndrome’, and will take place mostly at Tjarnarbíó.
Perhaps in keeping with the informality of Icelandic society, Tove says that getting big acts like Finntroll to perform at the new and unknown festival was as simple as just asking them.
Northern Marginal takes place September 21-27. Here’s an overview of the scheduled events:
Reykjavik City Library
Art: Into The Icelandic Wood
Music: Pétur Sakari (organist)—Sibelius, Sallinen, Masson, etc.
Music: Finntroll / In the Company of Men / Kuraka
Music: Black Crucifixion / Mannveira / Auðn
Music: PUNK NIGHT!, with Räjäyttäjät, Saktmóðigur, and more!
Art: ‘Syndrome’—Non-stop Finnish Punk, Indie, and Sci-Fi/Dystopian films!
Álftanes Swimming Pool
Music: Jimi Tenor & Jori Huklkkonen—Music For The Pools