7 More Reasons to Visit Iceland: Top Icelandic Festival Choices
Iceland is a destination well known for its stunning natural wonders and ethereal beauty. But the little country on top of the world is slowly making its way onto many travelers’ bucket lists for its big cultural scene.
Despite the country’s small population of just over 350,000 people, they still have a great love for celebration. The Icelandic festival options presented below are often full of pomp and are accompanied by events and parades across the country.
Coinciding your Rent.IS Iceland camper rental with any of the Iceland music festivals is the perfect way to get a full cultural experience. We have put together a list of great Iceland events for 2020, and we start the adventure by driving our camper van to Keflavik town, just 40 minutes from the capital city of Reykjavik.
The Best Icelandic Festivals
Keflavík Music Festival
One of the biggest Icelandic festivals, the Keflavík Music Festival usually takes place in the first week of June. The event spans five days in the center of Reykjanesbær, at the town’s main entertainment venues. This is the event to attend if Iceland concerts are a part of your travel wish-list, as over 100 local and foreign musicians and bands perform. But this annual event is not just about music. Shops, restaurants, and the local community enthusiastically take part in the festivities. It’s definitely an Iceland music fest you want to experience.
Reykjavík Dance Festival
A celebration of dance, performance, and choreography, the Reykjavík Dance Festival is a four-day event that happens in November in Reykjavík, the capital city of Iceland. Attendees are immersed in performances, exhibitions, hangouts, and talks in different social spots across the city, as all the different expressions of art and dance are celebrated. Founded by artists in 2002, the Reykjavík Dance Festival has been a fête for independent dance and choreography ever since. It has earned fame as the Iceland dance festival of the year, with people from all over the world attending.
Secret Solstice 2020
The Iceland Secret Solstice festival is a three-day, high-energy event held to celebrate the summer solstice in June every year. During this period, Iceland experiences 24-hour sun, and people wait till midnight to see the night sun. One of the most popular festivals in Iceland, this summer celebration takes place in the Laugardalur area of Reykjavík, with concert performances by local and international artists among other festivities. If you’re looking to attend festivals in Iceland in June, the Secret Solstice is a great way to see Iceland’s party scene first-hand as it is one of the most popular events of the year.
Icelandic National Day
The Republic of Iceland was formally established on June 17th, 1944, after gaining independence from Danish rule. Since then the date is celebrated as Icelandic National Day. It is the most important holiday of the year in Iceland and thus one of the biggest Icelandic festivals.
Activities take place in Reykjavík city center all day in the typical Icelanders’ way of good food and fun. Street theatre, carnival parades, and marching bands—it’s high energy and high spirits all across. The day is not complete without the tradition of a poetry reading by a woman dressed as Fjallkonan—the “Lady of the Mountain”—a figure revered as the female incarnation of Iceland. If you want to see any Reykjavík concerts, this is another major event to attend.
Organized by the Iceland Design Centre, this festival was created to promote all aspects of design: everything from food to furniture, architecture, product, and fashion. All exhibitions and talks are centered around a yearly theme. The 2020 edition of the Design March event will be its twelfth year in running, and the event has gained great esteem in the design world. One main event called DesignTalks features a day of lectures by internationally-acclaimed designers and leading local design thinkers.
Color and pageantry take to the streets every year in August to celebrate Reykjavík Pride, with people traveling to Iceland from all over the world to attend the country’s biggest festival celebrating the LGBT community. The festival takes place over a week with seminars, lectures, pride parades, and fancy dress competitions. These events then culminate on Saturday when the city is painted in a sea of rainbow colors and crowds come out for an all-day parade.
The Runners’ Festival
Bring your running shoes with you if you’re looking to attend festivals in Iceland in July, as this is when the biggest Iceland running festival takes place. The Runners´Festival is every fitness enthusiast’s dream. It features a variety of activities such as marathon runs, open water swimming, mountain biking, and a three-day triathlon. It is a true test of the body, but the awe-inspiring nature on the trails and courses makes it all worth it. The next edition will take place from July 16th to 19th, 2020.
With a Rent.IS camper van you have the freedom to move around to festivals across the country. Talk to us for more information on dates and travel routes!