From Iceland — When Plan-B Turns Out To Be The Better Option: Grassroots Festival Commences

When Plan-B Turns Out To Be The Better Option: Grassroots Festival Commences

Published August 8, 2018

When Plan-B Turns Out To Be The Better Option: Grassroots Festival Commences
Christine Engel Snitkjær
Photo by
Art Bicnick
Inga Björk Margrétar Bjarnadóttir

We‘ve all been there. A failed project. A goal unrealised. We ask ourselves, what went wrong? How can I improve so that I can achieve my dreams? We work steadfastly to make our plans come to fruition, but we seem to get nowhere. Enter the philosophy behind the Plan-B Art Festival—that all our unsuccessful attempts simply guide us in a new and better direction. We need only refocus our attention to realise that the plan B was better suited for us after all.

A grassroots festival, Plan-B offers a venue for experimental artistic endeavors to flourish. Up-and-coming and established artists will showcase their works in unconventional exhibition spaces around the town of Borgarnes, including an old cowshed, a warehouse and a former slaughterhouse in a lively celebration of forward-looking art.


The idea behind the festival began with the wish to push culture and art to the forefront, ahead of the more traditional agricultural and industrial roots of Borgarnes. It was founded by four inhabitants of the town who wanted to enrich the local area with an annual cultural experience, all the while offering a space for contemplating the history of Borgarnes as an industrial town.

“Decades ago, agriculture and industry were flourishing, but times have changed and now it’s time for Plan-B—art and culture.”

“Decades ago, agriculture and industry were flourishing,” says Inga Björk Margrétar Bjarnadóttir, one of the founders and a curator of this year’s festival. “But times have changed, and now it’s time for Plan-B—art and culture.”


To open the festival, the late composer Jóhann Jóhannsson’s experimental film, “End of Summer,” will be screened at Hotel B59. The film takes the viewer on a journey to the Antarctic Peninsula, where the changing seasons influence the landscape in ways barely influenced or even noticed by humanity.

The festival continues the following day with a series of art openings. Among these installations is Salvör Gullbrá’s piece “THIS ROOM IS NOT FOR YOU.” A room dedicated to the artist’s teenage self, this exhibit reflects Salvör’s wish to question who mainstream culture is really catered to.

“As a teenager, I was mostly exposed to male-oriented movies, literature and music that I see now wasn’t really my cup of tea,” Salvör explains. “With this piece, I wanted to create a room that was specifically for me and only me, without the influence of others.”

Based on the ideas behind this piece, Salvör will host a workshop on the final day of the festival for teenagers aged 12-18.

Better than the original plan

If you enjoy interactive art pieces, Saturday consists of live performances starting at 14:00. Sigrún Gyða’s piece, for instance, takes visitors through Borgarnes, following a map and stopping at places marked with red points. The last stop is a teenager’s bedroom, where you can experience a performance that glorifies adolescence.

If you have other plans this weekend, maybe it’s time to make Plan-B your plan A. After all, as Inga says, “sometimes, at the end of the day, Plan-B proves to be even better than the original.”

Plan-B Art Festival is happening in Borgarnes from August 9th-12th. Find the full program at, with further event details on Facebook.

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