The list of big summer events in Reykjavik has come to a head with last Saturday’s Culture Night – but summer events are only a small part of the Icelandic capital’s year-round roster.
Reykjavik’s yearly Culture Night happened on Saturday with events taking place all over the city all day and all night. Iceland has a packed schedule of interesting cultural and sporting events throughout the year, and Culture Night is the biggest of them all.
The day begins early with the Reykjavik Marathon – Iceland’s biggest running event which was won this year for the second year in a row by David Kirkland from the UK and the women’s race by Veronika Sigridur Bjarnadottir from Iceland.
Next, with the weather unable to decide between sunshine and light rain, Reykjavik’s streets filled with people taking advantage of the hundreds of activities on offer. The day was characterised by countless new art exhibitions, demonstrations including aikido and fencing, as well as graffiti shows, clowns and metaphorical ‘carrot chasers’ getting progressively more frustrated and hungry (guess you had to be there…)
The official programme ended with a very well-attended fireworks display which saw cars and people thronging the shoreline in a disorderly, enthralled mass. As spectacular as Reykjavik fireworks displays always are, but ever so slightly shorter, the fireworks display was the only telltale sign of economic crisis in the entire day.
Reykjavik’s legendary nightlife staged a brave last stand and the city centre streets were packed like no other Saturday right into the early hours. Despite the rowdy street party atmosphere and unusually high attendance, police reported fewer crimes than expected.
Iceland events of particular interest to tourists include the Iceland Airwaves music festival, Gay Pride, Reykjavik International Film Festival, the Food & Fun gourmet festival and the Winter Lights festival, to name just a few.