Last weekend around 500 people gathered near Selfoss at Stokkseyrarsel farm to partake in brand new and life transformative festival Saga Fest.
I too had been excited for weeks to leave the city and connect more with my inner self. Unfortunately though, the weather had other plans and I missed out on the first day. However, even though I was only able to attend half of the two-day festival, I believe I left with an authentic experience.
Photo: Sandra Greta Daviddson/Saga Fest.
A truly precious moment for me was the Moving Voice workshop, a two-hour intensive with Tómas Oddur Eiríksson and Ragga Gröndal inside a self-built Geodesic dome. We were taught various yoga and vocal techniques to open up our inner and outer voice, through singing and movement I was able to embrace a body/soul connection while letting the vibrations of deep mantras enter my heart. I was immensely grateful for this grounding and confidence-building shared moment.
As mentioned, the weather didn’t really behave in Saga Fest’s favor. Visitors who were up for the full-on tribe experience and sleeping in their tents, had to struggle with a storm in the middle of the first night, with more rain and wind to come the following day. Yet, even with the cold and mud, the moment I stepped onto the festival’s premises everything seemed just the way it was supposed to. The atmosphere was relaxed, the grounds decorated with wooden art pieces of horses and ravens, creatively improvised art stages and random food tents here and there that were step up in the week before by the Art Residency group of Saga Fest.
Photo: Eve Cruz/Saga Fest.
Scott Shigeoka, the founder and creator of Saga Fest, describes the festival as having been a big success: “I am full of love, gratitude, inspiration, excitement, warmth and ambition. Saga Fest was such a massive undertaking by all involved, but in the end—even with the obstacles that are always present in producing visionary live events—it transformed into a beautiful and hugely impactful experience for everyone.”
The festival seems to have mostly attracted foreign visitors. More than 16 countries were represented, from India to the United States, Germany to Hong Kong and Pakistan. A truly international festival but with local communities and Icelandic artists still giving it an Icelandic feel.
I didn’t have the stamina to dance into the night with the cold wind but Sigrún Skaftadóttir (Kanilsnældur), who joyed everyone with her DJ skills in one of the cozy food/hang-out tents, shared with me her highlights: “The musical acts that stood out for me were the bands Kippi Kaninus, a collective of Icelandic legends in the music world and the band Ylja who managed despite the cold wind to fill me with warmth.”
Photo: Saga Fest.
To sum up, Saga Fest was a weekend of spontaneous dancing, musical creation, delicious food sharing, plenty of laughter and intimacy, and let me not forget to emphasize the vast beauty surrounding the farm, which I enjoyed during walks.. Saga Fest was a gathering of like-minded people, a community consciously growing and welcoming others to grow with them.
I truly believe that Saga Fest holds endless potential and I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years’ time it will make a huge name for itself in the scene of inner value based transformation, sustainability and community building, both in Iceland and abroad. The first building stones have successfully been set, lessons learned, feelings and stories shared, and everyone already seems to be excited for Saga Fest 2016.
Katharina Celeste - katharina_wiesinger(at)yahoo.de
Katharina Celeste, a German/American life enthusiast, has been living in Iceland for about two years; spending her days working as a waitress, modeling for artists, writing, dancing, laughing and learning from life.