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Culture Night in Reykjavík

Every year downtown Reykjavík fills with 80,000 to 100,000 people who come to enjoy Menningarnótt (“Culture Night”), a celebration of Icelandic culture. Festivities officially begin Saturday August 18 at noon in the city center and end in the evening with a fireworks show.

By Anna Andersen

Sif Gunnarsdóttir, project leader of events at Visit Reykjavík, is encouraging residents of downtown Reykjavík to participate more actively in the festival than in previous years.

Gunnarsdóttir is hoping that residents of Reykjavík city center will open their doors to the public between 2 pm and 4 pm. Upon registering (Tel. 590-1500) to participate in this new scheme volunteers will receive a package including flour, eggs, and coffee bags so that they can offer coffee and waffles to their guests.

“I am very excited about this idea. It is a great way to meet new people, and I think it has great potential to attract more residents in the coming years,” Gunnarsdóttir told

Reykjavík Culture Night is celebrated at over 300 venues, with large concerts, Icelandic and Scottish dance performances, and puppet shows for the kids. This year, guest performers – musicians, artists and authors – from the Faroe Islands will participate in the festival.

Among the many notable performers, Icelandic group GusGus will perform at nightclub NASA after DJ Jack Schidt warms up the crowd. Schidt has been considered one of the best DJs in Iceland for the last 15 years, and he is known for his entertaining stage presence.

The festival also gives up-and-coming artists a chance to participate. Grassroots bands and budding artists will show off their talent on street corners around the city.

All events are free except for the GusGus concert (tickets available on

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