Iceland Mag

10 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag


Harpa concert hall fed up with visitors napping or making sandwiches in the public spaces

By Staff

  • Harpa Concert Hall One of Reykjavík's most visible landmarks. Gunnar V. Andrésson

Harpa Concert Hall will soon be enforcing new and stricter rules in an effort to restore what the director of the Reykjavík landmark describes as the dignity of the building. Access to the public lavatories at Harpa will no longer be free of charge, and reasonably priced guided tours of the building will be offered. 

A concert hall or a hostel? 
The director of the Concert Hall told the local newspaper Viðskiptablaðið that some guests seemed to treat Harpa as a public bus terminal, rather than a respectable conference- and concert hall. The hallways and public areas of Harpa have filled up with travellers who have been napping at the comfortable sofas and benches, taking out their packed lunch to eat on the floor or sitting around to make sandwiches. 

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While Harpa welcomes guests this traffic threatened to negatively impact the quality of experience of other guests, she explained. She added that every day the concert hall has five concerts and theater performances attended by hundreds of visitors. Travellers who have effectively camped out with picnics in the public areas of the concert hall add very little to the quality of the experience of these visitors.

In an effort to restore the respectability and cultural significance of the building the Concert Hall will be clamping down on picnickers, as well as charging for the use of its public lavatories. The new stricter rules will remain in effect until August 26.

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