You’ve probably heard of Björk, Sigur Rós, and Of Monsters and Men—Icelandic artists whose distinctive, ethereal sounds have traveled the airwaves and caught the world by storm. The top 9 Icelandic music festivals.

But top-notch bands comprise only half of this small island’s music scene. The other half is music festivals, which are every bit as entrancing as the winter’s northern lights and the summer’s midnight sun—they hook you in, thrill you, and keep you coming back for more.
The country’s music scene has taken off in the last few years, and so too have its music festivals. No matter the genre or venue, these festivals will take you off the beaten track and into the wilds of your mind. 
Here are top 9 Best Icelandic Music Festivals
Iceland Airwaves Music Festival
November each year
Iceland Airwaves is the country’s best-known music festival and takes place in venues across Reykjavík, the capital city, every November. Because it spans a variety of genres, you’re sure to find something to enjoy no matter your tastes—punk, hip-hop, rap, folk, rock, and jazz are all on display. The four-day event showcases both up-and-coming and established artists from around the world and boasts Björk and Mumford & Sons among its headliners. What’s more, it’s beloved among locals and tourists alike for its free off-venue shows, but keep in mind that the main performances are ticketed.
Airwaves is the perfect place to hear Nordic sounds mix with the newest beats. Each night, the city’s bars and restaurants buzz with live music, and the whole town transforms into a giant Airwaves party. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself scurrying from venue to venue in order to not miss the next hot act.
-> Do you need a place to stay during the festival? Check out the Reykjavik HI Hostels.
Secret Solstice Music Festival
June each year - summersolstice
Foreign bands are the heavy hitters at Secret Solstice, which is the newest jewel in Iceland’s music crown. As the name implies, Secret Solstice occurs around the summer solstice. Not only are these the longest days of the year but also the height of Iceland’s famous midnight sun. Since the sun won’t set at all for the duration of the festival, day, night, and rollicking fun all meld together.
Also held in Reykjavík, this festival occurs at a single venue in one of the city’s largest parks, Laugardalur. If homegrown music is more your style, don’t worry: there are plenty of Icelandic bands on the roster—including Árstíðir and the dynamic duo JóiPé and Króli.
-> Do you need a place to stay during the festival? Check out the Reykjavik HI Hostels.
Siglufjörður Folk Festival
July each year
Time for a change of genre and locale. If you’re curious to hear how Icelandic music sounded in bygone centuries, long before the advent of rap and the electric guitar, then get yourself to Siglufjörður. Extra perks if you’re interested in seeing some scenic parts of Iceland, because this festival occurs among the majestic fjords and pinnacled mountains of the island’s isolated north. 
Not only will you get to hear rímur—the nation’s ancient, rhyming chants—but you’ll also experience native instruments like the langspil and fiðla. These stringed instruments, often somber and melancholic, offer a window into the hardships and human longing that defined Icelandic life for hundreds of years. Additionally, you’ll witness circle dances, which combine elements of folk dancing with ballad singing.
Because the Icelandic folk revival is only now coming into bloom, the Siglufjörður Folk Festival presents a rare opportunity to understand this living tradition that’s been passed down from generation to generation.
-> Do you need a place to stay during the festival? Check out the HI Hostels in North Iceland.
Sónar Reykjavík
Get yourself back to Iceland’s quirky, hip capital for this techno-tinged, hip-hop-infused, electronica-induced mash-up. Sónar is a Nordic party for the 21st century: set in Reykjavík’s iconic Harpa concert hall, it emphasizes avant-garde performers more than willing to experiment with digital culture to create wholly immersive concert experiences. Prepare to dance your heart out and sink into a sonic realm commandeered by DJs and experimenters alike. Sónar is a feast for your eardrums.
-> Do you need a place to stay during the festival? Check out the Reykjavik HI Hostels.
Aldrei fór ég suður - Rock Music Festival
Easter Weekend each year
The name of this festival means “I never went south,” which is an oft-repeated catchphrase among residents of Iceland’s remotest inhabited region, who take it as a point of pride that they’ve never been drawn down to the big-city life of Reykjavík. The Westfjords, after all, are self-sufficient, visionary, and more than capable of putting on a festival to rival any other in Iceland. The wind may be howling and the snow falling thick, but the music here will create a fire warm enough to stave off any storm.
Aldrei fór ég suður occurs over Easter Weekend each year in Ísafjörður, the largest town in the Westfjords. If you can brave the weather conditions to get there, it’s well worth the trip: local fishermen sell scrumptious fish soup just off the concert hall, and the mountains gleam white over the bay.
-> Do you need a place to stay during the festival? Check out the HI Hostels at the West Fjords in Iceland.  
Bræðslan Music Festival
Bræðslan is a music festival in a small village, in Borgarfjörður Eystri, in the Eastfjords of Iceland. Held in an old fishing factory. This festival is very popular and is always sold out and there are only aroun 1000 tickets available. People seems to enjoy listeing to live music in a remote small town like Bakkagerði. Besides the main act on Saturday there are also off-venue concerts happening throughout the town. If you are into indie, rock or pop music than this is a festival that you should have in mind!
Are you wondering were you can sleep? Check out those HI Hostels in the East of Iceland; Húsey, Seyðisfjörður, Eskifjörður and Reyðarfjörður.
LungA Art Festival
LungA Art Festival has the purpose of summoning people in creation and to strengthen awareness and knowledge about art, culture and culture. In this weeklong festival in Seyðisfjörður in East Iceland it features workshops, openings, performances, exhibits, readings, concerts, and all kinds of spontaneous events. It plays a strong part of creating a creative and artistic environment in this small fishing town of 700 people. 
If you are interested in this event we recommend securing your accommodation in advance. Check out the HI Hostels in Seyðisfjörður, Hafaldan Harbour and Hafaldan Old Hospital.
Reykjavik Pride Festival
Reykjavik Pride has been one of the most popular city festivals in Reykjavík from the very beginning and has been celebrated annually since 1999 in Reykjavik and plays as an important event for the LGBTQ community  (Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, Queer & Intersex) in Iceland. The Pride Festival expandes over a in August, with various events planned throughout the city.  The Pride Festival is filled with exciting events, the Pride parade, a family festival, concerts, gallery openings, parties, big queer dance on Saturday. 
Skálholt Summer Concerts
July - August
Skálholt Summer Concerts are Iceland’s oldest summer music festival with series of classical concerts held July and early August each summer in the beautiful Skálholskirkja church, in South Iceland. The concerts turn around two concepts, new music and composers of our time, and then on the other hand, baroque music performed on period instruments. 
Skalholt is one of the most historically important locations in Iceland and the Skálholt Church was built in the nineteen-sixties, at the oldest bishopric in Iceland dating from 1056.
It’s one of the biggest of the country and many of the concerts are free, although donations are welcome.