It might seem a bit crazy, even ludicrous, that one weekend a year, the preceding weekend to The Labour Day public holiday (one Monday), Icelanders simply go berserk. Innumerable, both sweaty and innocuous, fetes around the country are thrown and on this cuckoo holiday people seem to be incredibly productive which entails in both more children being conceived and more women being raped on this weekend than over the whole year. But whether you’re longing for a cosy family weekend or a physical abuse we have it all!
The Nation’s Festival
in The Westman Islands
In 1874 Icelanders celebrated their 1000 year anniversary but infelicitously the weather conditions were so bad that the inhabitants of The Westman Islands were trapped in their secluded islands and couldn’t join the mainlanders. And so they decided to throw their own festival and for some baffling reason they still celebrate it once a year. This festival is the most gruesome of em’all, and is also the most peculiar. This year the line-up includes country bands such as Í Svörtum Fötum and Land og Synir, but also prolific experimental numbers such as Dr. Spock. About half of the Icelandic population loves getting wet and dirty in the festival’s sleazy campsite but the rest despise the festival on the whole. More info www.dalurinn.is Tickets at your nearest 10-11 supermarket.
Originally the festival was thrown for the gloomy 101-ers who couldn’t imagine sleeping in a tent and boasted of international big-shots such as Blonde Redhead, but nowadays nobody really pays it any attention. The original operators soon realised the idea would soon get weathered and backed out, and so it has. The line-up this year consists of many interesting numbers such as Hjálmar, Dr. Spock, Múgsefjun and Dísa, so if you want to spend the weekend chilling out at this very limitedly chill-friendly venue, go ahead. More info and tickets at www.midi.is
Flight of the Sparks
Just a couple of weeks since the grand finale of Nesskaupstaður’s Flight of the Testes is the launch of another flight, a more family-friendly one. The agenda is immensely energetic and massive which every member of the family should find appropriate to get busy with. The volley ball competition is always solid as is the hilarious annual performance by the long forgotten comedy duo Gunni and Felix. In the evening you can ease up with some performances by local bands and go crazy on the dance-floor until morning. Or at least till 3AM. And yeah, alcohol is not cool.
Organ’s One Year
It might come as a shock to some, but this most expedient music venue of downtown Reykjavík has only existed for one year. And on this outrageous weekend they plan to celebrate, and celebrate they will. The festival will be layered but on the Friday night the Rock Gods will dominate things and bands such as Mínus, Skátar and Dikta will perform. The Saturday will be more electron-ish with Jeff Who?, amongst others, sustaining the riot. On the final night things will be cooled down with the dreamy chords of My Summer As A Salvation Soldier and Elín. More info at www.myspace.com/organreykjavik
The One That Has It All
Akureyri, the Capital of the North, of course boasts of a festival of its own and over the years it has been quite a success. It used to be a sweaty and boozy raver combined with the family activities during the day, but the City Council decided that such a controversial festival didn’t contribute to good PR. Of all the solutions available, they decided to ban people between the age of 18 and 26 from the campsite without parental guidance. What a bunch of clever people! So if you’re 17 you can gather your friends and drink till you puke, but if you’re 26 you’ll have to get your parents involved if you wish to do the same. More info at www.akureyri.is
The annual European championship in Swamp-soccer will take place, as usual, in the Westfjord town Ísafjörður, organized by the Icelandic Swampsoccer Association. You don’t have to be a football professional to kick a ball in the mud as this infamous event is all about having fun. Team up with your friends and head straight over, or just show up and one. Expect it to be muddy, violent and messy in all ways possible and make sure to bring loads of booze, your aggressive mood and you might be able to finish the fight. For more info and to register for the tournament see: www.myrarbolti.com.
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