How should you spend this festival weekend?
The term Verslunarmannahelgi directly translates to merchant’s weekend and describes the weekend preceding the first Monday in August, a national holiday dedicated to Icelandic merchants.
Every year, people flock to festivals around the country from Thursday to Monday, celebrating the long weekend and frankly, so should you. So, let’s see what’s out there.
This festival, held in the Westman Islands (Ice. Vestmannaeyjar), is the biggest of them all. It dates back to 1874 when 400 people took part but this year around 15.000 are expected to attend. The bonfire, fireworks, hillside singing and a line-up that boasts many of Iceland’s most popular popstars are the biggest attraction but the white tents where locals meet up for drinking, eating and general merriment are also a staple.
The European Mudball Championships
This is the 14th Mudball tournament of its kind. It is typically held in Ísafjörður but this year the muddy soccer-resembling game will be played in the neighboring town of Bolungarvík. You can sign up as a team or as an individual and play with other singles. Costumes are highly recommended. While the tournament takes place during the day there is a variety of entertainment available during the night with performances from rapper Emm-sjé Gauti, pop-icon Páll Óskar and the golden oldies of SSSÓL.
Ein með öllu (One with everyting)
This family festival is held in Akureyri alongside the Icelandic Summer Games. It includes concerts, sporting events and a small funfair.
Úlfur Úlfur, Aron Can and Gréta Salóme are among performers.
For those that detest the outdoors, music festival Innipúkinn offers something different. Most of the concerts take place indoors but during the day city dwellers can enjoy the festival mood outside in Naustið. Tickets for individual nights or the whole event are available. Among performers are Amabadama, Daði Freyr, Jón Jónsson, XXX Rottweiler and Sigga Beinteins.
Neistaflug in Neskaupsstaður is a family event that includes a Frisbee-golf tournament, beer-courses, soap-ball and a fishing competition in the harbor. Musical entertainment will be provided by Áttan, Todmobile, Stuðlabandið and Dimma among others.
Flúðir um versló
2017 marks the third year of the festival Flúðir um versló, appropriately held in Flúðir. 12.000 people attended last year and organizers expect a similar number this weekend. Todmobile, Pétur Jóhann, Eyþór Ingi, Á móti sól and Made in sveitin are among those entertaining guests with music and stand-up but the festival also includes special events for children.