From Iceland — Festival Chairman Retires

Festival Chairman Retires

Published August 6, 2012

The controversial head organiser of the Merchant’s Holiday festival in the Westman Islands announced that he will not occupy the position again next year.
Páll Scheving Ingvarsson, who has organised the festival in the Westman Islands for about a decade, told RÚV that this would be his last year doing so. He said that he believed he had served his tenure long enough, and will be focusing primarily on other affairs.
As reported, Páll evoked a great deal of ire last year when Páll said at a town council meeting in the Westman Islands that rape crisis prevention centre Stígamót looks for trouble, creating more problems than they solve, and that if Stígamót wanted to come to the festival, they could pay their way in.
In response, Þórunn Þórarinsdóttir, a councillor at Stígamót, said, “This is like saying that when a doctor is on the scene, there are more accidents, and that the doctor somehow causes people to be hurt.” The remarks also launched the creation of a Facebook group, Stígamót á Þjóðhátíð (Stígamót at the national festival).
Páll stood by his remarks, but when asked last weekend if his decision to quit was based in part on this controversy, he admitted that it had certainly taken its toll on him.
Apart from organising the festival, Páll is also the managing director of a fish meal plant, and is also a member of the local town hall.

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