Here we are, frantically typing away up to the final second of deadline as we send our 20th anniversary edition of the Grapevine off to the printers. It’s quite surreal to think about the two decades of the paper. And two decades worth of events we’ve been invited to, thrown, and been thrown out of. Not too many on that last one, surprisingly! If it wasn’t for the fact that Reykavík’s calendar is always jam-packed with fun events, we don’t know if we would have been able to kick around this long. We sure are grateful for all that happens in this awesome town we get to write about, and hopefully will keep doing for another twenty years. Cheers!
Saturday June 17 — All over the palace — All day — Prices vary
Growing up in Iceland as a child meant that Independence Day was the only day of the year when you were allowed cotton candy. Minimum wage employees were scattered around downtown Reykjavík, spinning the pillowy, cobweb-like threads of sugar onto a paper stick while you clasped a helium balloon. Later it would rain, and your stick of heaven melted into nothingness. Your balloon escaped your small child hands, only to join the dozens of others blackening an already grey sky.
On Saturday, celebrations are held country-wide, so you’re more than likely to run into some sort of festivities. In Reykjavík, the official schedule starts at 11:10 with the president laying a wreath at the statue of Jón Sigurðsson at Austurvöllur and the unveiling of the Fjallkona. Later on you can expect a parade down Skólavörðustígur, open-air concerts, bouncy castles, and a whole plethora of public performances. It’s the perfect way to celebrate not being Danish. JB
Until June 18 — Víðistaðatún, Hafnarfjörður — Free, with things for sale
You could say that the annual Viking Festival that takes place in Hafnarfjörður is Iceland’s answer to Renaissance Faires. Back it up 500 years or so, and it’s pretty much the same thing. What’s so special about the Viking Festival is the participants’ and vendors’ dedication to their craft, ensuring every piece of item you see is as historically accurate as can be. Hosted by the reenactment society Rimmugýgur, the festival will have sword play, viking battles, items and crafts for sale, music, and even a viking school for aspiring vikings. There’s festivities aplenty, but be aware that you are unlikely to find a viking helmet with horns. Víðistaðatún is roughly 20 minutes away from downtown Reykjavík by car, and 40 minutes by bus. JB
Friday June 16 — Kex Hostel — 20:00 — 3.900 ISK in advance, 4.500 at the door
The good people of Slacker Events are bringing together three London-based artists along with local stars for one banger of a night. Hip hop artist Onoe Caponoe delivers psychedlic inspired space-funk with raw punk energy, Goya Gumbani will prove why his heartfelt rapping style has garnered the attention of Boiler Room and iD magazine, and Kiina will showcase their sick beats that have them working with some of the hottest rappers on the rise. Local baddies Cyber will set fire to the stage with their extra spicy rap stylings, and Ruby Francis will DJ out the party. This seems like the perfect place to find someone to (consensually) grind up on. RX
Monday June 19, 19:00 — Tjörnin, starting at Iðno — Free
A few weeks ago, a woman was accosted by the police in a downtown park for gesturing wildly. It turns out she was living her best life and simply dancing. The wonderful multinational dance collective Improv for Dance Enthusiasts have hosting open workshops at the studio Dansverkstæðið for about a year, and since February 2023 started working on a collective piece with 25 participants from all walks of life and all levels of dance experience, but the same level of interest. Created through improvisation and instant composition, “This Is A Good Place” is an outdoor dance adventure through downtown that will (hopefully) not get anyone arrested. RX
Wednesday June 21 — Gaukurinn — 20:00 — 1.500 ISK
Next week marks the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere, and it marks both the longest period of daylight and the beginning of the return of darkness. What better night then for ethereal black metal one-man band Óreiða to celebrate the recent release of his album “The Eternal” as the eternal light of that day will soon fade back into night. Joining the celebration will be his bff-band Dauðyflin, who just released their latest EP “Þorparaljóð”, ambient-black metal witches Svartþoka, and harsh noise newcomer Old Hag Howls At The Moon about whom the name says it all. RX
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!