August is a wild and proud celebratory month in Reykjavik, buzzing with music and love. The city kickstarts the month with the music festival Innibúkinn. In lieu of hailing to the countryside for camp-style festivals over the Labor Day equivalent weekend, Icelandic tunes can be absorbed within the city center. The following week Reykjavik Pride takes over 101 RVK, painting the city in rainbow colors and feathers. The tail end of summer goes to Cultural Night, where everyone, both pint-sized and mature, can be surrounded by creativity and cultural fun all day and night until the capital ties the knot on the summer finale with dashing fireworks.
We’ve chosen the best events happening in Reykjavik this month so you can end summer right:
Thursday August 1st
Begin the month with a low key evening and let Jelena Ciric invite you on a journey to Serbia with enchanting melodies. Teaming up with Jelena are Margrét Arnardóttir on harmonica and Ásgeir Ásgeirsson on guitar. Serbia’s rich music history is filled with mysterious tunes and colorful stories.
Friday August 2nd – Sunday August 4th
Non camper? Non problem. Celebrate the bank holiday weekend at the 18th edition of Innipúkinnn. The organically fabulous indoor music festival is packed with Icelandic music celebrities simultaneously playing at Bryggjan Brugghús and Messinn. If investing in the entire weekend gives you commitment anxiety, go for a single day pass.
Tuesday August 6th
Music in Times of Conflict – Museum Sigurjóns Ólafssonar
Tuesday evening plans during summer in Reykjavik aren’t complicated, with the offering of the traditional summer concerts celebrated in the main hall of the museum. The warm acoustics, the ocean view museum café, and a bar sum up a dreamy collective adventure for a night of culture and beauty.
Wednesday 7th August
Stretch your mind and body while connecting the two. This class is ideal for anyone serving some self love. If not now, then when? Create your healthy life with a soft and engaging yoga class guided by the insightful holistic health coach Karina Gerszberg.
Thursday 8th – 17th August
The annual, epic Reykjavik Pride is a vivid milestone to remember. A thoughtful and ambitious program is filled with proven fun and educational events. This year the LGBTQ+ community celebrates 20 years of Pride in Reykjavik. View the program thoroughly to forgo an ounce of FOMO; the offerings are not to be missed.
Friday 9th August
Whether you are a surfer or not, consider becoming an Arctic surfer, it simply has a heavier cool factor. Create new memories and learn skills and styles to build upon in your future surf life. Arctic Surfers Reykjavík Surf School offers an itinerary for every student.
Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th August
The English singer-songwriter & guitarist James Bay is touring in Europe this summer bringing his charming tunes to Laugardalshollin, featuring his new single “Bad.” Allow yourself to be emotionally moved and open to feeling anything but bad.
Saturday 10th August
A combination to live for is undoubtedly: a drag show, gourmet food platter, and bubbles. We simply believe that an excellent drag performance enhances healthy digestion and general wellbeing, with a side of glamorous bubbles, of course. Make sure to secure your ticket in time. Vegan options are available.
Sunday 11th August
Get Nordic with it and celebrate with us over cake, coffee, and conversation all things Nordic literature.
The library is unique to Iceland because of its collection of over 30,000 books and its architecture and design by Alvar Aalto. Support the goal of the Nordic House Library and its activities of enhancing Nordic culture in Iceland via literature, podcasts, and film. Every guest will be offered a free anniversary library card.
Monday 12th August
Calling all parents and babies for a magical zuma-meets-yoga (Zumga?) experience, offering fun and energetic sweat sessions especially designed for postpartum mothers. This combination of yoga and zumba is rejuvenating and ideally crafted for your new life as a mother. Bring your little one, yoga mat, and wear comfy clothes.
Wednesday 14th August
As the Pride celebration continues in our beloved city, it is nothing short of a dream to listen to The Reykjavík Queer Choir perform at the acoustically and architecturally fantastical gem that is Harpa.
Thursday 15th August
What if we combined the things we should do with the things we like to do, then put a dress on it? Summer dresses and bubbly run is the outcome of just that. All you need to have is the will to jog 5km in a cute summer dress, then drop a bottle of bubbly on the table to sip after those 5km, obviously.
Saturday 17th August
The big day is here! Reykjavik Pride is no average parade, and nobody is going home early. We go big and then we go bigger. Some people climb Everest, others go to the Reykjavik Pride Parade for their lifetime memory collection. Be prepared to be wowed and have the time of your life. And BTW the music is always proven, not promised.
Sunday 18th August
Enjoy an evening of soothing jazz notes over a burger and beer to wrap up your epic week of Reykjavik Pride. Nothing feels more inviting on a Sunday eve than free jazz at the harbor district. Make sure to arrive timely to secure your seat and order your food & beverage.
Wednesday 21st August
The Golden Gang Comedy group hosts its weekly open mic night, inviting comedians and amateurs to try out. Or simply to listen and (hopefully) laugh. If you have been secretly dreaming about being discovered as the next Amy Schumer on Nordic grounds, this is the gig.
Friday 23rd August
Hail to Hafnarfjordur for an evening of a beautiful jazz experience. The Brazilian Icelandic jazz Singer Jussanam and company perform the concert mix Bossa Nova classics with original compositions at Hansen Bar in Hafnarfjordur. Secure your seat and enjoy 20% off dining.
Saturday 24th August
Lungs checked: ready, set, go! The satisfaction of partaking in the Reykjavik Marathon extends into the evening of Cultural Night. Make sure you sign up ahead of time for your applicable group, grab your running shoes and crush it. There will be fireworks in your near future.
Come on in! It’s Reykjavik’s Culture Night, an annual event created and enjoyed by locals and tourist alike. Taking place across town in all sorts of venues, big, small, and super tiny, on the streets and in homes and gardens. The event offers diverse and rich culture from 1 – 11 pm, ending with a fabulous fireworks show by the harbor. All functions are free and open to all.
Sunday 25th August
If you were inspired by Culture Night and want to contribute your art, make it music and make it here at Gaukurinn. This night is created to offer songwriters both new and experienced, the opportunity and venue to get their music heard and share it with other music lovers and musicians on a monthly basis. Interested? Get in touch to secure your spot.
Tuesday 27th August
Ash talk much? Let’s talk volcanic ash and dust in Iceland, or at least learn about it. Remember when Eyjarfjallajökull shut down air traffic in 2010? If you do, you might want to hear “The Suspension of Volcanic Ash and Dust in Iceland” by Ph.D. student Mary Kristen Butwin at University of Iceland. Potentially very enlightening.
Wednesday 28th August
Ever wondered about Icelandic music and why it’s so special? Listen to Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen discuss all things Icelandic music, including if Sigur Ros members are related to elves, and if Bjork was born in a lava field. If you have a question, it will be answered.
Thursday 29th August
Glide around the pond with fellow art lovers and learn about the sculptures housed around and inside of it. Sigurður Trausti Traustason, a museologist and head of collections at the Reykjavik Art Museum, will lead the tour. And since the tour is in Icelandic, we thought this could be a solid opportunity for you to practise your elvish.
Friday 30th August – 1st September
The international music festival that has been described as modest and humble. In its 11th year, the festival offers a lineup of Icelandic and international artists performing in an intimate setting. The Melodica supports young and emerging artists, and encourages healthy networking with more experienced artists in the festival.
Saturday 31st August
Nick Cave has always offered open and honest communication with his fans and now he’s taking it to another level. This event is created for the audience to ask questions about the artist’s life, inspiration, and work. Bring yourself, your burning questions, and be prepared for a full-on unfiltered answers.
Ongoing in August
If it’s Thursday evening and you’re in downtown Reykjavik, summer concerts at Vínyl Bistro with Ari Árelíus might be your best bet for those 101 RVK nights to remember. Check out their lineup or simply be spontaneous and show up. It will be free and fabulously Icelandic. Just have some krónas in your pocket for a drink or two. These concerts take place on the 1st, 15th, and 29th of August, from 8 – 11 pm.
We’re passionately proud of our Nobel Prize winner extraordinaire Halldór Laxness. Gljúfrasteinn was his home and workplace, where the family lived for more than half a century and we are soaking it all up. The authentically curated gem is now open to the public as a writer’s museum and offers living room concerts during the summer. The interior is unchanged from when Laxness lived there. Tours of Laxness’ home are available in Icelandic, Swedish and Danish, German and English. We highly recommend the intimate concerts.
If you’re a business or organisation that would like us to add your event to next month’s calendar, please contact us at hello [@] scandinaviastandard [dot] com. Thank you!
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