Top 8 Reykjavik festivals

When thinking of Iceland, what comes to mind is most likely stunning landscapes and geysers. In the last few years, Iceland has proven to be an innovative host to many artists and cultural concepts, supporting popular festivals and bringing even more visitors to their beautiful island. Everyone should add Iceland as a bullet point on their bucket list, first and foremost because of the unrivaled scenery, but also because of the trendy and wonderful festivals that keep surprising us. Nothing beats listening to your favorite music, enjoying art or eating fantastic food with the wonderful backdrop that Iceland provides. Check out our ultimate festival guide to the top eight events in Reykjavik.

Visit Reykjavik Radisson Blu Blog Banner1. Secret solstice - Music

If you are planning to visit Iceland in June, you should definitely add this festival to your itinerary. It kicks off during the solstice weekend, when the sun does not set for three entire days making this festival one of a kind. Secret Solstice is incredibly popular after being held for the first time in 2014, and has managed to impress with a solid line-up each year. When visiting you will be able to see both national and international performers. Some of the contributors over the years have been the likes of The Wailers, MØ, Route 94 and many more.

2. Eistnaflug - Music

If you are a lover of the rougher musical styles such as metal, punk, metal or indie, Eistnaflug is the place to go. Known as a highly successful music event, each year is sure to be unforgettable. The line-up consists of both national and international bands, which will perform in the beginning of July every year.

3. Reykjavik Pride – Culture

The second week of August, Reykjavik will be filled with color, laughter and balloons celebrating the Reykjavik Pride. What once was a small gathering has blossomed into becoming an annual event with up to hundred thousand visitors. The festival holds an array of exciting events, such as the Pride Parade and Pride Party. Enjoy the show and attend one of the many “talks” focusing on important subjects in the LGBTQ community. You can join the parade at any point easily when staying at Radisson Blu 1919 Hotel, Reykjavik. 

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4. Reykjavik Arts Festival – Culture

This two-week festival is held biennially in May-June and suits every visitor. The reason the Reykjavik Arts Festival is so successful is because it is a multidisciplinary intersection of arts, showcased in both major venues and unconventional spaces in the city through dance, art installations, concerts, and much more. This celebration of arts is going strong with new artists and showcases, which means this is really a can’t-miss event.

5. Iceland Airwaves – Music

This is one of the old timers when it comes to Icelandic music festivals. The Iceland Airwaves premiered in an airplane hangar in 1999, and since then it has grown into being a large event welcoming several international superstars annually. The festival takes place the first weekend of November, and previous years have welcomed artists like Björk, Agent Fresco, Ariel Pink and many more.

crowd at a music festival

6. Reykjavik International Film Festival (RIFF) – Film

Visit the eleven-day long film festival, highlighting independent film making with submissions from over 40 countries. Experience the products of the up-and-coming talents for a chance to see innovative works of art. If you are visiting Iceland in September, you should definitely stop by the exciting RIFF. Stay conveniently located in the center of the city at the Radisson Blu 1919 Hotel, Reykjavik with easy access to the film festival and other attractions around the city.

7. The Great Fish Day - Food

The event takes place in the second weekend of August every year, and is a must for all foodies. Sample the well-known Nordic quality fish and explore the countless ways to prepare and serve it. The festival is a unique all-you-can-eat event accompanied by musical performances, theatre and art shows in the Dalvik area by the idyllic harbor.

Fish market

8. Reykjavik Jazz Festival – Music

Jazz enthusiasts need not look for another excuse to book a trip to Iceland. Enjoy the soothing and cool tones with a stunning backdrop during the Reykjavik Jazz Festival. The festival has starred famous artists in the past and will surely do so this year.

If you have not yet decided where to travel this year, it is easy to see that a trip to Iceland will give you a wonderful and diverse experience. Whether you prefer music, art shows or just want to eat some incredible food, you will not be disappointed by what Reykjavik has to offer.

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