Competition for light art installations for the Winter Lights Festival 2024

Daily Life Arts & Culture

Vetrarhátíð í Reykjavík - skúlptúr á Austurvelli. Ljósmynd: Ragnar Th. Sigurðsson
Vetrarhátíð í Reykjavík - skúlptúr á Austurvelli

Reykjavík City and Veitur Utilities are hosting a competition for light artworks in public spaces for the Winter Lights Festival 2024. The festival will take place from February 1 to February 3.

The first Winter Lights Festival in Reykjavík took place in 2002. Its goal from the start has been to brighten the dark winter days and offer residents and visitors a chance to experience a unique atmosphere in the city.

Goals and priorities

The competition aims to harvest Icelandic ingenuity and innovation to support a creative and vibrant city.

Open competition

The competition is open to all - visual artists, musicians, lighting technicians, computer scientists, lighting designers, and anyone else working with electricity, light, and art in any form. Participants may propose locations or seek advice from the organizers.  Interactive works or installations in public spaces are encouraged. Various materials can be used and originality is a key consideration. Remember that the festival takes place outdoors during winter. We are not seeking a piece for Hallgrímskirkja.


Two projects will receive support of 1,000,000 Icelandic króna each. This amount is intended for both the development of the work and the remuneration of the artists

Selection Committee criteria

The Selection Committee will evaluate proposals based on:

·      Strength of the overall concept   

·      Artistic merit of the proposal

·      Impact on public space

·      Practical application of the proposal

The Committee will also consider the feasibility and cost of implementing the idea as well as the team composition.


November 27, 2023 // Competition announced and applications open

December 20, 2023 // Application deadline.

December 21, 2023 - January 4, 2024 // Selection Committee deliberation 

January 5, 2024 // Results Announced

February 1-3, 2024 // Winter Lights Festival in Reykjavík

Submission and delivery

Submissions must include: 

• Visuals and a detailed description that illustrate and explain the overall concept and the artistic value of the proposal.

• A cost estimate for the development and remuneration of winners.

Submissions must be delivered in PDF format or any electronic format via WeTransfer to by midnight on Wednesday, December 20, 2023.

Proposals must be marked with a six-digit identification number chosen by the participant. Additionally, a document/name tag with the same identification number should include participant information along with the name, email, and phone number of the group's contact. The Competition Secretary is the only one who will see this information. A proposal is accepted if it is received within the stated deadline and anonymity is maintained.

When you open WeTransfer, you can select 'Take me to Free' or 'Get WeTransfer Pro'. Usually, it's enough to select 'Take me to Free' unless the submitter has a Pro account.

1.       '+ Add your files'.

2.       Enter the recipient's email: Email to

3.       Enter the submitter's email: Your email xxx@xxx.xx

4.       Click 'Transfer'.

Questions can be addressed to

Results and rewards

The Selection Committee is expected to complete its work by January 8, 2024. Once the Committee has formally finished, the confidentiality will be lifted and participants will be notified of the results. The Selection Committee will provide written reasons for its decision.

Selection Committee and Competition Secretary

• Markús Þór Andrésson, Head of Exhibitions & Communication at Reykjavík City

• Rebekka Guðmundsdóttir, City Planner and Project Manager at Reykjavík City's Department of Environment & Planning

• Sesselja Jónasardóttir, founder of the Seyðisfjörður art festival 'List í ljósi'

Competition Secretary and Confidential Adviser:

Guðmundur Birgir Halldórsson, Event Project Manager at Reykjavík City

Reykjavík City reserves the right to contact competitors who do not win for possible collaboration. If the Selection Committee deems no submitted proposal suitable for further development, it reserves the right to reject all proposals. The decision of the Selection Committee is final.