Disaster Days Await You in Hólmavík This Weekend

Vala Hafstað

The festival Disaster Days opens today in the town Hólmavík, in the Strandir region of the West Fjords, and continues through Sunday. This is the fifth time the festival is held “to celebrate everything pathetic, impossible, negative and depressing in the world, at the worst time of year, during the dark and cold month of February,” as the organizers describe it.

Disaster Days is organized by the board of Arnkatla — an association of culture and the arts.

“All of this is well thought out,” states board member Jón Jónsson. “In the summer, were organize Happiness Days, which is a town festival in Hólmavík, and this is meant to counterbalance that.

“Throughout the years, we’ve offered a variety of fun events, such as a class in self-pity, and talks on depression and burnout,” he adds.

This time, a special pub quiz will be held with a disaster theme. “Then, we’ll have an event where people get a chance to read embarrassing chapters from their diaries since when they were teenagers. Besides, there will be a pub walk, where you can drown your worries.”

Although the population of Hólmavík is only 435, the town has four pubs. “The pub walk is the highlight of the program,” Jón emphasizes.

“Then, we’ll have a photography game, where everyone tries to be an influencer for a weekend, which is sort of disastrous,” he adds.

Participation in the festival in recent years has been good, but a number of new COVID-19 cases in town could affect attendance.

Jón is not worried about anything going wrong, due to people’s inability to attend the festival, or for other reasons. “This is the only festival where mistakes don’t matter, and where nobody cares if events are canceled, and such. That’s precisely the spirit of the festival. 


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