5 Reasons Why You Should Visit Reykjavík Arts Festival

Human hanger
Human hanger | © Matito / Flickr
Photo of Camille Buckley
11 June 2018

From June 1st–17th, 2018, Reykjavik Arts Festival will be taking over the capital of Iceland. This multidisciplinary biennial festival is a great way to get to know the city a closer look at its burgeoning arts scene as well as its international network.

This year will feature Bill Murray at Harpa, a traveling gallery appearing in various windows throughout Reykjavik, as well as performances in local galleries by local artists. The theme for this year is ‘Home’.


The festival has always been an event that is inclusive of all age groups. This year features performances from Close-Act Theatre in the Netherlands, an outdoor theatre piece featuring giant, Gothic-style dinosaurs operated by humans that walk the streets, interacting with those on the street and making quite a scene.

Explore Reykjavik

The festival features works by artists who are heavily involved in the city of Reykjavik itself and offers guests the opportunity to experience the city in a completely different way. For example, Reykjavik GPS is a project by two Icelandic musicians that is a downloadable phone application that tracks your movements around Reykjavik while creating a personalized playlist for your walk. For example, street corners will cue a certain crescendo while seaside scenes will cue another.

Diverse styles of art

The Reykjavik Arts Festival presents exhibitions and performances of both contemporary and classical styles of works with spoken word concerts by actor/comedian Bill Murray as well as young Icelandic women marching topless through the hallways of the parliament building’s portraits of former politicians in a performance called Demoncrazy.

Diverse venues

The festival takes place in established venues, such as the Reykjavik Art Museum and Harpa Concert Hall as well as unconventional spaces around the city, such as public squares, bicycling paths circumnavigating the city and suburban apartment blocks with the highest non-Icelandic population in the country.