Reykjavík is an energetic, animated city that yearly draws a great number of art lovers and renowned performers to its many events and shows. Icelanders are fortunate in the sense that international artists of great renown are so interested in the location that they want to include this stop on their tours of Europe. In 2011 Reykjavík was awarded the World Festival and Event City by the International Festivals & Events Association´s. The city is home to roughly 30 festivals, covering a wide spectrum that includes tango, a celebration of the Icelandic horse, design festivals and cutting edge theatre events.
The cultural scene in Iceland is vibrant and dynamic as well and many Icelandic artists have gained international reputation like Erro, Vesturport, Björk, Sigurros, Garðar Cortes and Of Monsters and Men.
REYKJAVÍK ART FESTIVAL
Reykjavík Art Festival marks the merging of spring into summer with a ten-day feast of outstanding artists coming together for your enjoyment. Some of the most distinguished artists in the world have performed in Iceland during the Festival and Vladimir Ashkenazy is one of its founders and honorary president. Among those that have performed in Reykjavík during the Festival are Kiri Te Kanawa, Buika, Brian Ferry, Ulrich Eisenlohr, the San Fransisco Ballet, Jonas Kaufman and countless more.
REYKJAVÍK JAZZ FESTIVAL
Reykjavík Jazz Festival in August has gained prestige on the international jazz scene featuring Icelandic Jazz musicians as well as acclaimed international Jazz players. The Jazz genre has enjoyed both esteem and interest in the Nordic Countries. Reykjavík Jazz Festival has re-connected Icelandic Musicians with their colleagues in the Jazz genre in Scandinavia, France, Germany, Austria and the USA.
Iceland Airwaves annual music festival showcases new music, Icelandic and otherwise. This hip festival lures professionals, music journalist and fans to Reykjavík every year. It is held the third weekend in October and it is safe to say that there is music everywhere. Yoko Ono, Robyn, Everything Everything, Bombay Bicycle Club, FM Belfast, Sóley, Björk and Ólöf Arnalds are among the distinctive artists that have taken the stage in Reykjavík during those reverberating October days.
REYKJAVÍK FASHION FESTIVAL
Iceland fashion industry is gaining a foothold in London, Paris, Rome and New York from where haute couture icons have noticed this small island and its designs. In March animated young designers put forward their spring and summer lines alongside more established houses such as: STEiNUNN, ELLA, ELM, Birna, KronKron, Hildur Yeoman and more. If you are interested in going about in style Reykjavík is definitely the place to be.
REYKJAVÍK FILM FESTIVAL
Reykjavík International Film Festival (RIFF) is an annual international film festival. An eleven-day feast of the most creative and interesting films is there to be enjoyed. At each festival a number of awards are given out. The main award is the Discovery of the Year award are given by an international jury. The international federation of film critics FIPRESCI have sent a jury to RIFF from 2006 for the purpose of selecting the deserving artist. Yearly the Festival is also honoured to welcome guests such as Milos Foreman, Peter Greenaway, Jim Jarmusch, Costa-Gavras and Aki Kaurismäki.
FOOD AND FUN
Food and Fun, Reykjavík food festival considerable brightens the winter months for visitors and locals alike. Gourmet chefs from all over the world gather in Reykjavik in February and March for a competition in using the Icelandic ingredients in the most innovative and appetizing way possible. Dinner guests flock out to sample the delights and the winner each year is revered for his accomplishments.
REYKJAVÍK CULTURE NIGHT
Reykjavik Cultural Night was first held in 1996 and so delighted the locals that it has been an annual event ever since then. Thousands of people take to the street and stroll through the downtown area where events and shows await in abundance. All shops stay open offering live music, theatrical performances or art displays. Museums, galleries and other cultural institutions throw open their doors and allow guests to enjoy both the fixed exhibitions and unusual happenings. Cultural Night comes to an end in a spectacular fire-works show, a fitting closing for an explosive event.