What are the best festivals in Iceland?


When are the best festivals and what are they? Where can I find information on this subject?


Here is a nice article about the top festivals in Iceland! :slight_smile:


Hi Melkorka,

I have been to Sonar Festival and Secret Solstice, they were both nice and not so crowded as the big festivals on the mainland of Europe. It depends on what kind of music you like I would say! Sonar is electronic mostly and at Secret Solstice you can find all kinds of music, indiepop - electro - hip hop - rock…

Generally I would say there is not much “mainstream” music played on festivals here, more alternative stuff! The list in the post before is really good as well :slight_smile:


Hi Rebecca and Jonathan,

Thank you for the suggestions :slight_smile:


Ok, I can totally recommend Sónar and Secret Solstice. It’s kick arse. I saw Fatboy Slim at Sónar last year and it was amazing. The Prodigy will be playing at Secret Solstice this summer and I just can’t wait!
There’s also a lot of different festivals, some that are not as much music as they are about gettign togeather in general. The largest is likely the Þjóðhátíð í Eyjum - the ‘National Festival in Vestmannaeyjar’. It usually celebrates don the first weekend in August, when Icelanders have the monday off as a part of a bank holiday. There’s a lot of festivals during that time, but the Þjó’ðhátíð is the largest. if you plan to go there, you better book in advance as you need to take the ferry and get a place to stay, and it’s not cheap.
Another one is the folk music festival at Silgufjörður in the north, that’s totally worth it if you’re into that sort of thing. Low key but grand times is a good description. Tonnes of really good musicians and great merriment follows with dancing and singing. Another ‘do not miss this’ is Eistnaflug (Literally ‘flying balls’). Named as a spoof of the Neistaflug festival (‘Sparks Flying’) which is more of a pop-mainstream party thing, Eistnaflut took it all the way and is Iceland’s most celebrated metal festival. It has likely the nicest crowd north of thje Alps, with the motto of the weekend being ‘Don’t be a Dickhead’, meaning there shall be no picking fights and no littering, but everyone togeather listening to music. And it has been one of the best-conducted festival in Iceland for years! It’s amazing! Half a ton of black-leather, face painted metalheads come togeather and it’s like the most hardcore version of Kumbaya in history. - and usually, it ends in a hilariously glammed up concert with a pop idol where everyone headbangs togeather. It’s just an experience not to be missed.
If you like something a little ‘out there’ there is a really cool festival at Rif in Snæfellsnes each year, then there is LUNGA, the art festival of the young people, and ‘I never went south’ in Ísafjörður each year. All of them are totally to be recommended :slight_smile:


Thank you Unnur! :slight_smile:

That is a really detailed explanation. Thanks for taking the time to answer :slight_smile: I am definitely going to check out some of these!


This one, LungA is coming up in just a couple of weeks in the beautiful town of Seyðisfjörður:

Should be good!


If you’re into arts, theatre, stand-up comedy, circus, drag and experimental stuff (also including music) then there’s lots of that going on. You can catch most of it at Reykjavík Fringe Festival (it has just finished) that takes place early July.

There’s also a yearly improv festival in March/April and a theatre/dance festival called Everybody’s Spectacular in September/October, as well as two film festivals, RIFF and Stockfish. And Scotch on Ice is Scottish comedy in Iceland, plus a bunch of dance festivals, like Tango on Ice. Those are all in Reykjavík, but there are dozens of smaller ones dotted around the countryside too :slight_smile: