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20th Annual Culture Night Well-Attended

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20th Annual Culture Night Well-Attended

Culture Night 2015.

The crowd at the concert on Culture Night. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

The 20th annual Reykjavík Culture Night went well by all accounts.

Close to 120,000 people were in attendance—an all time record, despite the pouring rain—and police reported no serious incidents.

Approximately 15,000 runners participated in the Reykjavík Marathon. Several sought medical services after completing the race, but no serious incidents were reported.

Culture Night 2015.Reggae group Amabadama performing at Culture Night.

Dozens of cultural events took place all around the city, and the festivities concluded with a concert at Arnarhóll. Rapper Gísli Pálmi opened the show, followed by metal band Dimma, and then reggae group Amabadama. Veterans Stuðmenn were last on stage, and after their performance, the audience shifted towards the harbor for the annual fireworks show.

At least seven drones were spotted flying over the crowds. One was operated by Vodafone representatives, who were acquiring footage for RÚV as contractors, but the operators of the other six are unknown.

Legislation which would severely restrict drone activity is currently underway in Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament.

“People are not fond of flying over such great crowds, since the safety of these machines has not been fully tested,” Brandur Bjarnason Karlsson, chairman of the Icelandic Drone Association, told RÚV.

Culture Night 2015.Stuðmenn performing at Culture Night.

Thousands took advantage of the free bus rides offered by Strætó; 60 buses ferried guests in and out of the downtown area. Meanwhile normal bus services were disrupted.

“There were at least tens of thousands. But whether it was ten, twenty, thirty, forty or fifty thousand, that’s hard to say,” Jóhannes Svavar Rúnarsson, executive director of Strætó told RÚV.

“People needed to wait a little bit for the ride. You can’t fit too many in each bus at once. But most were very patient.”

Among the evening’s less legal, but entirely peaceful, activities was a beer and hot-dog sharing party at Klambratún park, where home brewers shared their products with passersby.

According to Icelandic law home brew cannot be more than 2.5 percent alcoholic, a law that many—including the organizers of the party at Klambratún—believe is desperately in need of revision.

Culture Night 2015.The fireworks show.

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