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Best of Reykjavík: Festivals!

It feels like ages since we’ve had a Best of Reykjavík day here on the blog.

This time I thought we’d feature festivals, since we’re on the subject of them, an’ all.

Personally I have a really hard time choosing my favourite festivals because each has its own unique flavour and obviously attracts different people for different reasons. And there are MANY [did I mention that the Nicelanders like to party?] all throughout the year. The Visit Reykjavík website has a pretty good list here [click on the months in the sidebar to see what’s on when].

That said, I’m a big fan of the Culture Night celebrations in August, when I like to just head into town during the day and wander in and out of the different attractions. However, I also LOVE the Reykjavík Film Festival, which is coming up in a couple of days [woot!]. The only damper on it — if one can call it that — is that it’s so popular that screenings are usually sold out and people get there real early to get good seats [not so great for people who tend to show up at the last minute all the time, ahem].

Also coming up — and also wildly popular — is Iceland Airwaves, a music festival held every October. Confession: I have never been. Have often thought about going, but have never got past that [shocking, I know]. Probably because of my aversion to crowded bars and line-ups [see above]. But I’m told it’s a blast … in fact, at the Þjóðfundur last year I sat next to an American music journo who has covered music events all over the world and said Airwaves is her absolute favourite.

OK — over to you. What are your favourite Reykjavík festivals? [Assuming you’ve been to some, of course.]

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  • Stephen Cowdery September 20, 2010, 3:18 pm

    I’ve been to the Airwaves festival twice (2006, 2009) and had a blast both times. There have been a few crowded venues, but usually it’s not too bad. Even if you don’t have a pass, you can see lots of bands in the afternoons at the off-venues. I found that the Icelandic bands are usually the most interesting- less commercial, more original, more “fun”. You can read about my experiences in 2009 here:

    http://flippistarchives.blogspot.com/2004/05/iceland-airwaves-2009-day-by-day.html

  • PhilippeP September 20, 2010, 6:45 pm

    Well , I’ve only been to the Culture Night (2008) and it was really enjoyable , some jazz @ Clarcks Shoe Store, some pop/variety @ a Hairdresser and a really fun group somewhere downtown …
    I later discovered that the default sound setting on my newly bought camera was ‘OFF’
    So I filmed a few of the musical performances without any sound :/

    Oh and the fireworks where great !

  • Annie September 20, 2010, 11:22 pm

    Hey Alda, my elsku Conor’s feature film is showing at the RIFF this year – might you be able to catch it? You can see the trailer here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRDiqinG8Ow

    It’s a “fine, spiky drama” about two couples trying to survive apocalyptic Ireland. Would really love you to see it if you get a chance!

  • alda September 21, 2010, 1:08 am

    Thanks for the tip Annie! I’ll keep an eye out for it.

  • kevin oconnor,waterford,ireland September 21, 2010, 10:20 am

    Apocalyptic Ireland ie Anglo-Irish Bank 25 35 45? Billion euros and counting drives Brian Cowen (Our Prime Minister) to drink or least a hangover on radio talk shows ha ha.

  • hildigunnur September 22, 2010, 10:23 pm

    Menningarnótt (culture night) definitely for me – Gay Pride’s not bad too because everybody’s so happy but menningarnótt is the one I enjoy the most. (yes, I didn’t write a guest blog about it as I’d talked about, maybe next year?)