Reykjavik Arts Festival: 2022 – A stunning (15 day) exhibition

Reykjavik, Iceland Start Date: 01/06/2022 End Date: 19/06/2022

Reykjavik Art Festival: The Artistic Side of the North

The Reykjavik Arts Festival is a large scale event for all art enthusiasts, and one of the oldest art festivals in Europe!

Whether you are a seasoned art aficionado or

Reykjavik Arts Festival: The Artistic Side of the North

Just curious about the latest cultural treats Reykjavik has to offer, the Reykjavik Arts Festival has it covered. You can visit the exhibitions held at major cultural venues.

  • Reykjavik Arts Festival dates are: 1-19 June, 2022

Wander through the city at any hour, sure that you will find the next event wherever you are. Do we need to add that most of the festival’s events are free? There is no better time for you to organise a trip to Reykjavik to see an inspiring festival in Iceland.

Three weeks dedicated to the arts

The Reykjavik Arts Festival runs in the late spring and carries on for almost 20 days. Every year it usually starts around mid May or the beginning of June.

As the weather gets better in the season, it is the perfect time of the year to visit Reykjavik, (it’s not polar cold around that time of the year!). Catch some of the world’s leading exhibits and art events of all kinds.

If you’re looking for an art festival August then see The Edinburgh Fringe in Scotland

Through its importance and impact on the artistic community, the festival has helped create vast networks of connection between artists from all over the world, inviting well established ones, as well as introducing new artists with each edition.


A multidisciplinary, innovative and itinerary festival

Every year, the Reykjavik festival organisers present a concept. Be it a word, or a sentence, that may have multiple meanings and representations, which closely connects the events and the exhibitions. As well as giving a ‘conceptual map’ for the visitor.

The artists and exhibitors have to work within this theoretical boundary. For this reason, each edition presents also new works, and the visitors are guaranteed to see something unique.

Furthermore, the Iceland Arts Festival is a multidisciplinary event: it doesn’t focus exclusively on visual arts. It has always placed special attention onto creative intersections of arts and other media.

You won’t find just the more traditional exhibitions of static pieces throughout Reykjavik museums, but also, (and mostly!) street installations, public shows, performances, music, literature and much more!

The entire city takes part in this great event, every location in Reykjavik is touched by it. Almost every public space in town has at least one event scheduled, and you can breathe festival air everywhere you go.


The Hub

The main hub of the festival is the Reykjavik Art Museum, where you will find art displays as well as several music shows. Many open talks with artists and organisers take place here; a great way for you to discover how the magic of the Reykjavik Arts Festival starts!

In the museum you can also hang out at the ‘Festival Hub’, an ‘ad hoc’ pop up bar designed by a local artist. It is open every day of the festival until midnight, and with its snacks, drinks and regular live music shows; it is bound to offer respite from the festival and a chance to meet the artists or the organisers in person!

 an micro art piece at the Listasafn Jonssonar Museum in Reykjavik

The Listasafn Jonssonar Museum in Reykjavik. Image by Nick


The Streets

The streets and the squares of the Reykjavik city centre live and breathe with the festival. Spectacular installations and unique shows are presented only outdoors, where there is ample space needed for some of the most unusual ones to be admired.

In 2018, for example, the festival has been visited by ‘Saurus’, a show from the Netherlands that brings dinosaurs back to life! Playful and spontaneous, these gigantic pieces of art (dinosaur sized!) roar through the crowds and engage with the spectators.

The Austurvöllur main square, just outside the Art Museum, serves as a focal point for the street events. It’s centrality and, indeed, size, make it the perfect location for the festival’s outdoor needs.


Theatres and Concert Halls

At Reykjavik City Theatre and the Harpa Concert Hall, conveniently located at a stone throw from the Arts Museum and Austurvollur, you will find most of the largest dance, theatre, and music ensembles.

Previous editions have seen the likes of Yann Tiersen, John Cage, Dave Brubek, Nina Simone, the late David Bowie, as well as local musicians Björk and Sigur Rós. The upcoming editions may just give you the chance to see some of the best musicians the world has to offer!

Smaller venues, also in the city centre, like Tjarnarbio (cultural centre) and Gamla Bio (event centre) – also host festival events, usually smaller and more intimate ones.

inside the harpa concert hall of reykjavik iceland home of the reykjavik arts festival

Well designed deco of the Harpa Concert Hall. Image by Scot1346.


The Outskirts around the Centre

Not even the outskirts are ignored by this great festival! The footpaths and bike lanes that go around the city have had their own installations in previous editions, that can be explored either at your own pace or through guided tours.

Other art festivals in June include: The original Art Basel

Yurts have been built in the highlands surrounding the city for theatre plays, and the Oldusel Swimming Pool was used for underwater music shows. Metro stations, public parks, run-down neighborhoods, house windows, all serve an artistic purpose during the festival!


Reykjavik Arts Festival Tickets information

Remember that most of the festival can be enjoyed for free, although some of its events can be accessed only through the purchase of single tickets. This is usually the case with some of the headline events which take place indoors and in the main festival hubs (Harpa, Art Museum and City Theatre).

Prices may vary greatly, depending on the type of event and the artists that take part in it. The best thing to do is to keep an eye on the festival’s schedule to know which events are for free and which require a ticket. Book in advance to avoid disappointment!


A Trip to Iceland is Near

With the passing of each year, the Reykjavik Arts Festival also introduces a new theme. It is a way for the Iceland festival to stay ‘fresh’ each year and to provide a good excuse to audiences to visit the festival again! It is up to you now to discover the new themes that they will be introducing!

If you are planning a trip to Iceland, make sure you catch the days of the Reykjavik Arts Festival 2020. You will get the most value out of your holiday!

When is Reykjavik Arts Festival? The next Reykjavik Arts Festival is from June 6 to June 21 in 2020.

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