Reykjavík has long been a city surrounded by music. With internationally esteemed artists and bands such as Björk, Sigur Rós, Gus Gus, Emiliana Torrini, Ólafur Arnalds, Kaleo, Of Monsters and Men and classical composers like Hildur Guðnadóttir, Víkingur Heiðar and the late classical composer Jóhann Jóhannson, have all had their part in providing unlimited opportunities to enjoy live music in Reykjavík.
All tastes can be catered to during the city’s annual pop, indie, electronica and rock festivals, like Iceland Airwaves, Sónar Reykjavík and Secret Solstice Festival; or at folk, classical, jazz or blues festivals, like Dark Music Days, Reykjavík Jazz Festival, Opera Days, Reykjavík Folk Music Festival, or Reykjavík Blues Festival.
In addition to music festivals Reykjavík offers thousands of concerts every year at traditional and alternative concert venues in the city; such as Harpa, Salurinn, Hafnarbíó, Hannesarholt, Nordic House, Mengi, Bryggjan Brugghús, Kex, Húrra and Dillon. For those wishing to discover Icelandic music in a more relaxed environment, having a coffee and listening to music at 12 Tónar records is a great option. This little record shop in downtown Reykjavík was recently voted the world’s number one music store in a new book by the eminent journalist Marcus Barnes.
The City of Reykjavík has established a project called Reykjavík Music City which has the goal to further strengthen Reykjavík as a music city by providing a strong support system for both rooted and up and coming musicians, therefore creating favorable conditions for a vigorous musical life.
If people are planning a visit over the Christmas period they can attend one of many Christmas concerts held annually in the capital area. The Holiday season is one of the busiest period for all Icelandic musicians, and with over 60 concerts being held, big and small, there is surely a guarantee that the Christmas spirit can be found at one of them!