World Festivals
    EuroEducation's Guide to Festivals, Holidays and Events worldwide  



Menningarnˇtt or "cultural night" is a yearly event held in ReykjavÝk, usually on the first Saturday after the 18th of August. It has become one of the largest festivals in Iceland and an essential part of the city’s cultural scene. Culture Night offers the chance to enjoy a variety of activities ranging from traditional shows and exhibitions to more unusual happenings. There are outdoor concerts, performances, fireworks and fairs, while bars, restaurants, shops and galleries stay open late to cater for the large crowds that flock to the city for these special celebrations. The festival often consists of a main stage in the city centre and many smaller events mostly in the city's centre but also spread over the city. The highlight of the festival is often an outside concert on the main stage by 3-4 of the most popular musicians in Iceland followed by a rather glamorous fireworks show. Last year boasted an installation of 22 burning rafts, floating in the sea! It is estimated that as many as 100,000 people attend the annual concerts and festivities conducted in central ReykjavÝk.


Menningarnˇtt firework celebrations in ReykjavÝk

National Festival

National Festival is an annual outdoor festival held in Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland, on the weekend before the first Monday in August. There are various events, most prominently big stage concerts, bonfires, fireworks shows and the festival's signature Sunday night crowd singing. The crowd singing is the single event of the weekend which draws the most attendees. In 2010, an attendance record was set at between sixteen and seventeen thousand on the Sunday night. The festival was first held in 1874 when islanders were hindered by bad weather from attending one-thousand-year anniversary celebration of Icelandic settlement on the Icelandic mainland. The festival has grown to become the largest multiday festival in Iceland, and one of the largest annual cultural events in the country. Today Ůjˇ­hßtÝ­ is the biggest festival in Iceland with around 16.000 people participating and around 11.000 -13.000 people travel from the mainland to enjoy this magnificent event.


National Festival bonfire

Sequences Art Festival

Sequences Art Festival is held in the capital of Iceland, Reykjavik. The aim of the festival is to celebrate and exhibit cutting-edge visual art with a special emphasis on time based art. Such as performance, video and sound art- and creates a cross-platform for these art forms as well as music and design. Every year the festival is unique from the previous years because new directors are hired annually to shape Sequences festival according to their individual vision. Sequences is the first art festival in Iceland to focus on visual art alone and is an offspring of the dynamic art scene that thrives in Reykjavik. The festival is a venue for artists from all age to exhibit their work and connect with foreign artists who work in similar or in the same media. More than three hundred artists from around the world have participated in the festival.

Mail / Postal address: Sequences Nřlistsafni­/The Living Art Museum Sk˙lagata 28 101 Reykjavik Iceland

Iceland Airwaves

Iceland Airwaves is an annual music festival held in ReykjavÝk, Iceland on the third weekend of October. ReykjavÝk is surrounded by some of the most unique and astonishing natural beauty you’re ever likely to see. The first show was held in 1999 as a one-off event in an airplane hangar at ReykjavÝk Airport. Today festival spans five days (Wednesday - Sunday) and its main focus is showcasing new music, both Icelandic and international. Some of the world’s most exciting artists have performed there, too. The Shins, The Rapture, TV On The Radio, Florence and the Machine, Klaxons, Hot Chip, Flaming Lips, Wolf Parade, Bloc Party and Fatboy Slim. Airwaves has become known for its intimacy and party spirit with an unbelievable zest for music and celebration. This year, over 200 bands from around the world are set to perform.

Mail / Postal address: PO. BOX 655 121 Reykjavik Iceland

Iceland Airwaves Music Festival, the Blue Lagoon


Eistnaflug is a hard rock festival in Iceland. It is an indoor festival held in Neskaupsta­ur, which stands in beautiful fjord on the east coast of Iceland. It started out as a small one day metal festival on the 27th of August 2005 but has grown into a three day festival with metal, hardcore, punk, rock and indie bands sharing a stage. Eistnaflug is held annually on the second weekend of July each year. he line up usually consists of 30-40 bands and are most of them Icelandic. There are two camping sites at Eistnaflug, the Party Camp and the Family Camp. There are also hotels at Neskaupstadur, Hˇtel Edda, Hˇtel Capitano and Hˇtel Egilsb˙­.


Nordic Music Days

Nordic Music Days is the oldest ongoing collaboration among the Nordic countries: a festival for new Nordic music that was founded in 1888 and had its origins in existing musical collaboration. It is one of the oldest and best respected festivals for contemporary classical music in the world. The first true Nordic Music Days was held in Copenhagen in 1888 and its main emphasis was on instrumental and orchestral music. Nordic Music Days aims at creating a vivid festival environment with strong musical and artistic experiences as well interesting debates and close meetings between artists and audience.

Mail / Postal address: NMD2011, Society of Icelandic Composers, Laufßsvegi 40, 101 ReykjavÝk
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