The 72-hour Pagan-themed midnight sun music festival, Secret Solstice, began today at 11.00 in Laugardalur park in Reykjavík. This is the first time the festival has taken place.
The leader of the local residents’ group says people living nearby are worried, although they are not necessarily against the festival taking place.
Friðrik Jónsson, one of the festival organizers, told RÚV that the lion’s share of the event’s marketing has been targeted at foreign visitors. The festival line-up includes over 150 acts on five stages. Friðrik added that a festival like this is by no means cheap to put on.
Heiðar Ingi Svansson is the head of the Laugardalur area residents’ committee. He says local residents are stressed about this weekend. Some of them feel the festival is not in harmony with Laugardalur park’s family and health image. He adds, however, that residents have no grounds for prejudice against the festival, as the preparations look good.
Festival organizers held a meeting with locals in which they made clear they would do all they can to prevent conflict with the neighbors. Outdoor concerts finish at 01.00, although DJs will carry on the party in the skating hall until about 04.00.
The name of the festival bar translates as something along the lines of “drinker’s oblivion”. Friðrik denies this is meant to encourage over-drinking; pointing out that the festival has a Pagan theme, and the area is decorated with Norse and Runic symbolism.