Iceland loves its high days and holidays and boasts a packed calendar of annual events to prove it, but if it’s big festivals you’re after, then August is the month to visit – it celebrates three massive cultural celebrations including Merchants’ Bank Holiday Weekend, Reykjavík Pride and Culture Night. It might just be the only time of the year where you can still witness those epic summer sunsets and see the Northern Lights, all in the space of a few hours. So with the prospect of good times ahead, here’s our round-up of great events to look forward to this month.
Verslunnarmannahelgi – the Merchants’ bank holiday weekend
The annual Merchants’ Weekend (‘Verslunarmannahelgi’) takes place every year on the first weekend of August with events organised in towns all over the country. People usually leave the capital area en masse for this occasion and head for the countryside or popular party destinations such as the Westman Islands, or Akureyri, but if you fancy a weekend in the city then you might as well stay in Reykjavík for the Innipukinn festival where you can enjoy some great live music from Icelandic artists.
WHEN: 4-7 August
WHERE: In towns and villages all over the country
Reykjavík Pride is the largest little pride in the world and attracts around 100,000 people of all genders — friends, relatives, and a fast growing number of tourists — to celebrate and support universal human rights. The event culminates with the great Pride Parade (on Saturday 12th August at 2 pm) and a massive outdoor concert.
WHEN: 8-13 August
WHERE: Downtown Reykjavík
Reykjavík Jazz Festival
The annual Reykjavik Jazz Festival is one of the most prestigious events on the international jazz scene. The festival hosts performances in a variety of styles including contemporary, traditional, and the avant-garde, and features a number of acclaimed international artists as well as the best from Iceland’s pool of jazz talent.
WHEN: 9-13 August
WHERE: Harpa Concert Hall
Reykjavík Culture Night
Reykjavík Culture Night is the city’s biggest summer event, which, despite the title, is celebrated all day long and ends with a colossal fireworks display late in the evening. On this date, the entire city comes together to host an epic-sized party, packed to the rafters with an exciting variety of performances, exhibitions, street art, street food, concerts and other activities.
WHEN: 19 August
WHERE: Downtown Reykjavík
Getting To Iceland
Icelandair operates services to Iceland from over 40 destinations and also offers a #mystopover deal, where you can stop in Iceland (at no additional airfare) on flights to and from their other destinations in Europe and North America.