So you are traveling to Iceland this summer, and you’re not sure what the best events and activities are? We’re here to help. We’ve created a guide to Iceland’s summer festivals for 2018. Hopefully, you’ll find it useful in planning your trip to Iceland, enjoy!
Summer Festivals in Iceland During the Month of June
June is the official beginning of summer in Iceland, so let’s kick it off by heading outdoors!
June 1st – 17th: The Reykjavik Art Festival
This festival goes beyond art. It’s celebration of visual art, music, theater, and dance from both Iceland and abroad. You won’t want to miss the country’s leading festival of art and culture.
June 17th: Iceland’s National Day
Up until 1944, Iceland was a part of the Kingdom of Denmark. The country gained its independence on June 17th of that year and has celebrated this milestone every year since. Come to celebrate with outdoor activities, processions filled with cultural dress, games, and lots of concerts. Party into the night beneath the Midnight Sun.
June 21st – 24th: Secret Solstice Music Festival
Reykjavik’s annual music festival has been growing steadily in popularity over the years. Some of the headliners on this year’s lineup include Slayer, Stormzy, Gucci Mane, Clean Bandit, Bonnie Tyler, Death from Above, Steve Aoki, and George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic. Get your passes now!
June 21st: Suzuki Midnight Run
The sun comes out and the running shoes go on! Another summertime sporting event in Iceland is the Suzuki Midnight Run. Runners can choose between a half marathon, 10k and 5k course races. This is a great way to see the country and stay fit while visiting Iceland.
June 26th – 30th: WOW Cyclothon
This relay bike race is sponsored by Icelandic air carrier WOW Airlines and has been held annually since 2012. Teams of riders have 72 hours to make their way around Iceland’s 1,358 km (844 mi) Ring Road. Are you up to the challenge?
Summer Festivals in Iceland During the Month of July
July is jam-packed with music festivals that cater to an eclectic range of tastes. When coming to Iceland, you just need to ask yourself which outing you’d like to attend.
July 4th – 8th: Siglufjordur Folk Music Festival
This is a celebration of both Icelandic and Scandinavian music. In addition to that, you can also hear and see folk dances and music from around the world. There are about 15 or 20 concerts held around town.
July 11th – 14th: Eistnaflug Music Festival
Rock and heavy metal fans will get their fill at this three-day, non-stop jam session. Neskaupsstaður residents beware, headbangers are coming to your town!
July 15th – 22nd: LungA Art Festival
This summer art festival is a celebration of creativity, art and culture. You’ll find all kinds of interesting workshops, featured lectures and other art-related activities. The events in Seydisfjordur culminate in a weekend filled with parties, concerts and exhibitions.
July 28th: Bræðslan Music Festival
A former industrial plant has been converted into a venue used for this yearly event. The music festival in Bakkagerði in Borgarfjörður eystri has become quite well-known and is a popular destination for fans of camping out and hearing some great Icelandic bands.
Summer Festivals in Iceland During the Month of August
August is a big month for festivals in Iceland. With summer coming to a close, it’s time to get in those hours of sunshine in before the country is slowly plunged back into the depths of winter. Get it while you can!
August 4th – 6th: Merchant’s Day aka Iceland’s Biggest Party Weekend
This bank holiday, also known as Verslunarmannahelgi, is filled with gatherings in cities and towns all over the country. Take your pick of parties, concerts, activities with the family, music, and sporting events.
August 3rd – 5th: Innipúkinn Music Festival
Innipúkinn is an indoor music festival for those who are not really feeling the outdoors during the party weekend of Iceland’s Verslunarmannahelgi bank holiday.
***Please note: When this article was published, the Innipúkinn website had not yet been updated for 2018***
August 3rd – 5th: Swamp Soccer
In the town of Bolungarvík in Iceland’s Westfjords, you can sign up to play with other soccer enthusiasts from Iceland and other far-flung places around the world. Maybe you can even have a cold beer afterward with some of the participants in order to check out their, um….”interesting” outfits and to celebrate Iceland’s victories in the 2018 FIFA World Cup! You never know…Áfram Ísland!
August 7th – 12th: Reykjavik Pride
All over the world, people are showing their pride and Iceland is no exception. Parades and parties take place during the second weekend in August. Gays, lesbians and more take part in the celebrations. Everyone is welcome in Reykjavik!
August 11th: Fireworks show at Jökulsárlón
Every year the fireworks light up the night sky and create a mix of color on the icebergs at the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. This is one of Iceland’s most spectacular natural wonders. It’s even more beautiful when bathed in the light of an awesome fireworks display.
August 9th – 11th: The Act Alone Theatre Festival
This one-of-a-kind festival is dedicated to the art of acting alone, also known as monodrama. Would-be thespians interested in participating should make their way to Sudureyri in the Westfjords of Iceland. Entrance is free, so grab your favorite monologue, brush up on your acting chops and head on over.
August 18th: Reykjavik Culture Night
Culture is a huge part of Icelandic life. Learn more by joining the wandering crowds in the streets of Reykjavik on this special night. You never know what you’ll discover.
The Complete Guide to Iceland’s 2018 Summer Festivals
Whichever month you decide to come to Iceland, you can see that there are tons of festivals and activities to choose from. The only question is, which one to pick?
To make things easier, we’ve created this handy infographic to help you see everything that’s on in Iceland this summer. Feel free to share it along with this article with anyone you think might appreciate it!