So, did you have a nice summer? Did you take an exciting holiday or have a chill staycation? This week was officially back-to-class time and that pretty much means that it’s back to the grindstone for everyone. All the more reason to get out there and cut loose and squeeze out those last few drops of lemonade! Luckily, this month and the season are wrapping up with a really wide array of fun things. There’s truly something for everyone on this week’s roster. So pick the (at least) one for you and have a great weekend!
August 23 – August 27 — Various locations — 7.990 – 21.990 ISK
Reykjavík may not be New Orleans, but it proudly hosts the Reykjavík Jazz Festival, the country’s second-longest-running festival. And who are we to judge? The backdrop of endless lava fields and volcanoes provides a fitting backdrop for contemporary jazz and improvisations. The programme features both local and international musicians. While most concerts will be held at Harpa, there will also be a handful of free events downtown. IZ
Until August 30 — Hamraborg, Kópavogur — Free
Of all the suburbs of Reykjavík, Kópavogur is the most sprawling. At its historical heart is Hamraborg, the official “downtown,” which is both the namesake and location of this explosion of public art. The third edition of the Hamraborg Festival will take over everything from the library to the supermarket, turning the entire neighbourhood into public art spaces. Over 70 artists from multiple countries will sprawl through the area like teenage rascals bringing visual arts, performances, sensory workshops, punk shows and all kinds of mischief. Totally free and open for all ages, hop on the bus to Hamraborg and have fun! RX
Friday August 25 — MENGI — 20:00 — 2.500 ISK (2.000 ISK for students, 67+ & disabled)
Concert at Mengi is literally never a bad idea. They’re celebrating their Intelligent Instrument’s Lab birthday with a program that guarantees “fun experimental music with fun experimental friends.” The lab’s artist-researchers in residence, including Celeste Betancur (CO/US) and Adam Pultz (DE), along with PhD students Nicola Privato (IT/IS) and Victor Shepardson (US/IS), will perform. Stay tuned for more acts to be announced. Your Friday night plans are sorted. IZ
Saturday August 26 — Hafnarhús — 14:00 — Free
You’ve probably seen sculptures. Fixed in place, static, boring. Why not check out Lounge Corp Grand Prix, an exciting competition between moving sculptures? Come Saturday, twelve artists, Icelandic and Norwegian, compete for the title of Lounge Corp Grand Prix Champion of 2023. Each artist will have a sculpture they control, where the winner will be determined in a popular vote by the audience. Lounge Corp is comprised of artists Ragnheiður Káradóttir and Kaja Andersen who I presume are big fans of racing sports. JB
Saturday August 26 — Multiple venues — Free
If you haven’t started your patronage of the city’s local record shops, now is the perfect time to do so. Love Record Shops (Elskum Plötubúðir) is the annual initiative of Reykjavík’s four record stores in collaboration with Reykjavík Music City. Start your visits to the stores in Lucky Records at 14:00, where artist Líkami performs, and end it at 12 Tónar at 17:00, featuring a performance by Countess Malaise. In between those destinations are Reykjavík Record Shop, hosting artist Kristján Martinsson at 15:00, and the legendary Smekkleysa, where post-punk band Virgin Orchestra performs at 16:00. While you’re at it, purchase some records. JB
Friday August 25 – Sunday August 27 — Núllið — Free
“Climate change, neo-liberalism, war, your uncle who still votes for the Independence Party,” starts the exhibition description of Þórir Georg’s newest display. A prolific musician, Þórir Georg’s many talents include his aptitude for visual design. The nightmare continues at Núllið Gallery, located in the former public bathrooms at Bankastræti. Utilising stamps hand-crafted by the artist himself, Þórir draws out the absurd, crude, and humorous in everyday life. As the full exhibition description hints, the inspiration derives from the political to the mundane. Check out the opening event, happening on Thursday, August 25, from 17:00 – 20:00. JB
August 26 – September 3 — Heiðmörk
We all crave adventure and seek escapism in our own little ways, but sometimes even the escape becomes mundane. If you’re in need of a completely magical and extraordinary adventure, the immersive participatory performance Twisted Forest is the perfect sidequest for you! Created by Wunderland — the makers of the unforgettable 2016 adventure-production Phoenix — along with MurMur Productions, Twisted Forest is an audio and GPS guided LARP-hike where participants can truly choose their own adventure. So leave the doldrums, head to the wilderness and get twisted in the forest. RX
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