The Imagine Peace Tower, a memorial to John Lennon conceived by Yoko Ono, is lit every year on October 9. The tower is in the form of a wishing well, shooting a ray of light high into to the sky from October 9, Lennon’s birth date, to December 8, the day when John was shot by Mark David Chapman in New York City. The work is an ode to the song Imagine and the words “Imagine Peace” are written on the tower in 24 languages, as its aim is to spread the message of world peace. It is situated on Viðey, an island just off the Reykjavík coast, allowing people in Reykjavík to enjoy the view.
The perfect spot
Iceland was chosen as the location for the beam for a number of reasons. For one, the whole country is covered in darkness for months on end, so it really is a visual spectacle that everyone can enjoy. Iceland is also a fitting setting in another way, as the country has been named the most peaceful nation on Earth many times. There is also an abundance of cheap and renewable energy to power the installation. Iceland really is the perfect spot for the Imagine Peace Tower.
Stream of light
The beam is cast toward the sky by a system of searchlights, Xenon gas, and mirrors that are powered by 70kW of energy. It is believed that you can see the light column reach around a 100km up into the air. Be sure to take a moment to look up at the night sky and enjoy the spectacle of the Imagine Peace Tower. You might even catch a glimpse of the northern lights while you’re at it!
The Imagine Peace Tower will be illuminated for the 15th time during a ceremony on Saturday, October 9 at 20:00. The event is free of charge, but restrictions on gathering due to COVID-19 allow only 500 people. It is therefore necessary to book tickets in advance.
19:45 Performance by musician Ásgeir.
19:58 Speech by Mayor of Reykjavík Dagur B. Eggertsson.
20:00 Imagine Peace Tower illuminated.
The first ferry will leave Skarfabakki harbour at 18:00 and it will sail back and forth until 19:30. After the ceremony, the first ferry sails at 20:30 from Viðey island to Skarfabakki harbour and it will sail until the island has been evacuated.