Summer is here, and with it comes festival season. So pack your tent, suncream and your poison of choice: here’s everything you need to know.
Reykjavík Midsummer Music 2016
Dates: June 16 until June 19
Headliners: Víkingur Heiðar Ólafsson, Kristinn Sigmundsson
Admission: 12,000 ISK.
Location: Harpa and Mengi
The fifth annual iteration of the chamber music festival is defined by the theme “Wanderer.” 18 international artists will uncover musical wonders during this 3-day celebration. The event is founded by Víkingur Heiðar Ólafsson, who wants to bring the cremé de la cremé of classical musicians together in Reykjavík.
Dates: June 16 until June 19
Headliners: Storytelling with Jarker Fahalström, Viking Jester Bjørke performs
Location: Viking Village, Hafnarfjörður
This celebration started in 1995, making it Iceland’s oldest and largest Viking event. Artists from all over the world have travelled here for previous Viking Festivals, and this year will be no different. Celebrate all aspects of Viking culture with ships, cuisine, handcraft, storytelling, archery, games, music and battle demonstrations.
Dates: June 17 until June 19
Headliners: Radiohead, Of Monsters and Men, Deftones, Die Antwoord
Admission: 24,900 ISK
Location: Laugadalur, Reykjavík
Iceland’s Midnight Sun Music Festival returns. Come listen to Radiohead (UK), Of Monsters and Men (IS), Deftones (US), Die Antwoord (ZA) and many more. Enjoy four days of never-ending sunlight, volcano-powered pool parties and so much more!
Eistnaflug Music Festival
Dates: July 6 until July 7
Headliners: Meshuggah, Opeth, Amorphis
Admission: 20,000 ISK
Location: Neskaupsstaður, Eastfjords
A rock and heavy metal festival, and the number one place for getting completely shitfaced in July. It may be tricky getting to Neskaupsstaður, in the Eastfjords, but once you’re there you won’t ever want to leave. Meshuggah, Opeth and Amorphis will be there, along with many more.
Dates: July 10 until July 17
Headliners: Mankan and Kriðpleir (during the week), Fufanu, GKR and Hatari (weekend)
Admission: 5,900 ISK online and 6,900 ISK at the gates
Celebrating all things creative, LungA is an art enthusiast’s wet dream. The festival is packed full with activities, workshops, shows and exhibitions. Numerous bands have confirmed, including Fufanu, GKR and Hatari. You can get better acquainted with the inner workings of the art scene in Iceland.
Dates: July 28 until July 30
Headliners: Rjóminn, Grasrót
Admission: Weekend pass and day pass
Don’t feel like going to Þjóðhátíð on the Westman Islands, but still want to have a good time? Check out Reykjavík’s Innipúkinn, where you can hang out with all the other cool cats that didn’t feel like waking up with vomit in their tent.
Dates: July 29 until July 31
Headliners: Martröð, Misþyrming
Admission: 4,000 ISK
This DIY NFP punk festival sees people from the extreme fringe of the punk and metal scenes come together, cook together, and celebrate all the weird forms of counterculture you don’t normally find at music festivals. At Norðanpaunk, experimentation is appreciated, strangeness is celebrated, and being a freak is just expected.
Dates: July 29 until August 1
This swamp football event is an excuse to have a beer with your buddies and play football together. (You probably didn’t know that the European championships were happening in Ísafjörður, in the Westfjords!) There’s concerts, dances and other activities happening alongside the tournament. So get your team together and sign up.
Icelandic Chamber Music Festival
Dates: August 4 until August 14
Location: Sallin in Kópavogur
Music courses for people of all ages as well as an exciting concert series are on offer. The aim of this festival is for young musicians to get to know each other, participate in chamber music and to get a chance to perform, irrespective of where they live or study.
Dates: August 2 until August 7
Headliners: will be published here: http://hinsegindagar.is/en/programme-2016/
Organized by the gay community of Reykjavík, the festival is a family-friendly affair celebrating diversity. Expect to see a lot of big names from the community, as well as famous supporters during these days filled with a photo exhibitions, seminars, concerts and much more. There will be several events during the week of August 6-11, leading up to the massive Gay Pride march on Saturday.
Dates: August 20
On “Culture Night,” people are encouraged to walk through downtown Reykjavík, taking in a variety of activities and events. A few years ago we even had Russell Crowe play a set.
LÓKAL: Everybody’s Spectacular
Dates: August 24 until August 28
Headliners: Markus Öhrn (SE), Theatre Replacement (CA), Yana Ross (PL), Margrét Sara Guðjónsdóttir (D), and local artists like Dance For Me, Icelandic Love Corporation, The Homeless Theatre and Hljómsveitin Eva (Eva, the band).
Admission: 2,900 ISK (single ticket)
The Lókal International Theatre and Reykjavík Dance Festivals join forces to mount contemporary theatre and dance performances at Tjarnarbíó, Hafnarhús, Borgarleikhús, Hallgrímskirkja, Austurbæjarskóli and various locations downtown. Everybody’s Spectacular will present brand new Icelandic and international work.
Réttir (Sheep and Horse Roundup)
Dates: September 14 until September 17
Admission: 180,000 ISK
Location: All around Iceland
A chance to watch some Icelandic sheep herding as the holiday season comes to an end, during a four-day tour where you’ll be completely surrounded by typical Icelandic countryside habits.
Reykjavík International Film Festival (RIFF)
Dates: September 29 until October 9
Admission: 14,900 ISK (festival pass)
The annual international film festival will screen over 200 films—shorts, docs and features—from all over the world, with an emphasis on independent European cinema and up-and-coming filmmakers. This year there will be special events like the “swim-in cinema,” film concerts and a special program for kids.
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