For a town of around 18,000, Akureyri punches far above its weight when it comes to cultural output. Each year, on the last weekend of August, this peaceful northern Iceland town celebrates its official birthday with a festival. The many galleries of Akureyri’s “Listagilið” (or “Art Alley,” in English), throw open their doors for a programme packed with music, dance, exhibitions and special events. From the town’s many bars and shops, to its impressive Hof concert hall, to a specially constructed outdoor music stage in the town centre, Akureyri comes alive with fun things to do.
As luck would have it, myself and photographer Anna Domnick found ourselves landing in Akureyri on the Saturday of the festival, on our way to a tour in the highlands. We took the opportunity to run around the town to get a flavour of what was going on, and quickly found ourselves pulled into the festival via a seaside folk-song sing-along and a sail around the harbour on the famous old oak-hulled ship Húni II.
After warming up with some hot soup, we headed into town and caught a Romanian folk-dance routine at the Ketilhúsið gallery, some video art in the Kaktus project space, and a joyous evening performance from Samúel J. Samúelsson alongside the Akureyri Big Band, in front of some flickering aurora.
See Anna’s photos of the day below.