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Best 5 Music Festivals in Iceland


The countless parties, celebrations, and festivals occurring throughout the year are proof that Icelanders love to party. There is always fun to be had if you know where to seek; from tiny little country fairs to massive music festivals in Iceland with international superstars.

What do you search for then? Be at ease. You can count on us to assist you in scheduling events in Iceland. Most of these events take place in Reykjavik, the nation’s capital, and are the ideal opportunity to explore the area while staying in one of the city’s many hotels. Others take place in front of breathtaking scenery and are scattered across the nation.

Festivals in Iceland are a fantastic way to experience local culture, whether it be through music, cinema, cuisine, or another aspect. Let’s now explore the diverse cultural, artistic, and musical festivals that Icelanders hold each year.

An Overview of Music Festivals in Iceland

Many people are shocked to learn that Iceland hosts so many events and festivals each year. The nation, home to about 390,000 people, has a lively art scene and a strong commitment to cultural heritage preservation.

In addition to Reykjavik, practically every village in the nation hosts a festival or event each year, no matter how big or little. Both art and music festivals in Iceland have a long tradition. The inhabitants of rural Iceland take tremendous pride in their communities and what makes them special, and they also have a great love of camping and the outdoors.

Since these are the events that draw the most tourists from abroad, we’ll start with the top music festivals in Iceland.

Reykjavik Jazz Festival

One of the second-oldest music festivals in Iceland, the Reykjavik Jazz Festival was established in 1990. As the name implies, the festival features a wide variety of jazz performances by well-known and up-and-coming musicians, including a sizable contingent of Icelandic musicians, ranging from bebop to large bands.

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Large and small venues are used for the Reykjavik Jazz Festival, where jazz lovers and more casual listeners can enjoy some top-notch music. A terrific way to spend an evening in the city is to listen to some relaxing music after taking a Reykjavik Food Walk Tour.

Braedslan Music Festival

Borgarfjordur eystri, a small fishing community in East Iceland, is situated around two hours from Neskaupsstadur. In this tiny community, world-famous musicians have been known to perform inside an ancient herring shed if the timing is right. Here you are in Braedslan.

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Every year, in the last week of July, this music festival in Iceland takes place. Get yours early because there are just a few tickets available and the facility is small. This modest yet endearing music festival has featured performances by bands and artists such as Of Monsters and Men, Damien Rice, Emiliana Torrini, Belle and Sebastian, and Belle and Sebastian since 2005. A wool sweater is a must-have if you wish to blend in with the magnificent surroundings.

Eistnaflug Metal Festival

Every year, around July, the normally quiet village of Neskaupstadur starts to rumble before erupting with the Eistnaflug metal festival, one of the biggest music festivals in Iceland. It is the ideal place to bang your head, offering a vast variety of metal subgenres along with some “softer” music like punk and rock.

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Eistnaflug is renowned for its welcoming and inclusive atmosphere despite the heavy metal vibe. The contrast of the severity of the metal with the quaint and endearing homes in Neskaupstadur and the peaceful surroundings provides for a singular experience.

Iceland Airwaves

The name of the yearly music event, Iceland Airwaves, which takes place in Reykjavik in November, comes from the inaugural performance, which took place in an airline hangar at the nearby airport in 1999. Since its debut, the festival has solidified itself as a mainstay in Iceland’s cultural landscape, exhibiting both well-known artists and up-and-coming acts with a fair balance of Icelandic and foreign talent.

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Music festivals in Iceland use a range of locations throughout Reykjavik, including formal concert halls, modest bars, and churches, which contribute to the festival’s distinctive feel. The Iceland Airwaves, which include ranging from rock, pop, electronic, folk, jazz, and experimental music, are not linked with any one particular genre. Bjork, Kaiser Chiefs, Vampire Weekend, and Sigur Ros are a few of the previous musical acts.

Aldrei For Eg Sudur

One of the annual music festivals in Iceland is Aldrei For Eg Sudur held in Isafjordur, the unofficial capital of Iceland’s Westfjords. The festival, which celebrates a variety of music and embodies community spirit, was established in 2004 by local musician Mugison and his father. It takes place over the Easter weekend.

The strange name of the festival, “I Never Went South,” captures the sense of community pride that Isafjordur is renowned for. Admission is free because the bands donate their time, and the concept is that the audience members should steal the show rather than the actual musicians.

Wrapping Up Music Festivals in Iceland

Finally, music festivals in Iceland provide an enthralling window into the dynamic and varied music culture of this North Atlantic Island. These festivals highlight the country’s ingrained love of music, art, and the outdoors. Iceland Airwaves, for example, features a varied mix of musical genres, while local pride and distinctive cultural experiences can be found in communities throughout the nation.

Music festivals in Iceland offer an incredible trip through sound and culture amid one of the most breathtaking settings in the world, whether you’re dancing in Reykjavik’s concert halls or discovering private gatherings in far-off villages.


What is the best time to attend music festivals in Iceland?

Music festivals in Iceland occur at various times, but the most well-known one, Iceland Airwaves, usually happens in November. It depends on your musical interests and what else you’d like to do in Iceland since there are other festivals held throughout the year. While winter festivals offer distinctive interior experiences, summer festivals frequently have more outdoor events.

When and how long does the Aldrei For Eg Sudur festival typically last?

Easter weekend, which always falls in March or April, is when the festival is traditionally held. It typically lasts for several days, with performances and concerts taking place on several stages all across Safjörur.

What genres of music are showcased at Iceland Airwaves?

Iceland Airwaves is renowned for featuring a wide range of musical styles. Rock, pop, electronic, folk, jazz, and experimental music are all likely to be played. The festival takes pleasure in providing a diverse selection of musical genres.

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