Performers from both Iceland and abroad will gather in Reykjavik this July to offer the city something it’s never seen before: the first ever Reykjavik Fringe Festival. The event will be held in different locations around town from July 4th-8th. Visitors can expect a schedule fully packed with magic, virtual reality and more. The festival, which is part of the Nordic Fringe Network, will take place at venues including Reykjavik, including Tjarnarbíó, Gaukurinn and Hlemmur Square.
New to Iceland
Festival director Nanna Gunnars, who studied European Theatre Arts in London, has previously performed at the popular Edinburgh Fringe.
“I didn’t know the concept before I lived in the UK,” she admits. Now the assistant festival director, the concept was first initiated Jón Magnús Arnarsson last year when he wanted to bring together different art forms, such as poetry slam and comedy, in one place, and realised such a thing didn’t exist in the country. “There are other art festivals in Iceland, but they are all curated,” Nanna explains. “The Fringe, however, is semi-curated, which basically means that you’re in if we find you a space.”
Art for everyone
Nanna thinks that the festival has something for everyone. “The main interest group is probably ages 20 to 45,” she says, “but there are also shows for kids, such as the physical storytelling show “The Ordinary Princess.”
Thanks to the relatively cheap entry prices—five-day wristbands will set you back 9.900 ISK, and tickets for individual events are also available—the festival is accessible to everyone. For those unsure about which show they want to go to, there’s a preview night on July 3rd at Tjarnarbíó, where every artist has two minutes to perform snippets from their shows to convince the audience to come.
International and local
Festival-goers will find both prominent names such as folk musician Svavar Knútur alongside first-time performers such as the hip-hop-duo Regn on the programme. But the Fringe is not all about Icelandic artists.
“While we are hoping to bring out a lot of new Icelandic acts, we are also bringing in foreign artists,” Nanna explains. The acts from abroad include an Australian stand-up comedian, an Israeli filmmaker and a German Clown, among many others. “I like to think of the Fringe as a mixing together of art forms on all levels or a party full of art,” Nanna concludes. “It’s an adventure for the audience members.”
Reykjavík Fringe Festival will take place around the city from July 4th-8th