Why Útilív Adventure Festival is becoming Átjan Wild Islands

Theo Larn Jones
Apr 29, 2019 · 4 min read

Today we’re launching a new name & logo for Útilív Adventure Festival, as we refresh our look in general and start an exciting new chapter in our story. We loved our old name and look, and know many in our community felt the same. And yet, here we are to explain why we decided to evolve it.

To be clear, Útilív Adventure Festival hasn’t changed hands, it’s still us. Same team. Same event. Just with a new name & brand.

Átjan Wild Islands is replacing Útiliv Adventure Festival today

Útilív Adventure Festival was a cool name, but it had some major draw backs, including…

  1. It’s almost impossible to spell, and even harder to pronouce! We found that people pronounced the word Útilív in a variety of difffenent ways. This makes ‘word of mouth’ marketing of the event harder, as people struggle to type the name into Google correctly after hearing the name spoken.
  2. Our friends Michael and Óluvur run an outdoor clothing and equipment shop in the Faroe Islands that is also called Útilív. The shop Útilív (rough translation in Faroese: “Open air life”) was the inspiration behind calling the festival Útilív Adventure Festival in the first place. We asked Michael and Óluvur for permission to use the name, and at the time it seemed like a great idea! But it has caused a little bit of confusion for customers and suppliers, getting confused about who is organising the festival. The shop Útilív, or us, Útilív Adventure Festival! Since we’ve got a load of international press after our first year, and listings on event websites around the world, we’ve also bumped Útilív the shop off the first page of Google .
Festival links on the left, shop details on the right. Confusing right?

3. Our first name & logo was created before the festival launched. It sounded cool, and at the time, we thought it would be helpful for the event to be described as an ‘Adventure Festival’. But this comes with a certain amount of preconceptions & expectations. There are dozens of ‘Adventure Festivals’ around the world and they follow, roughly speaking, a certain format with similar content. We wanted to be able to create a new type of event, re-imaging the festival format and blending trail races, adventure & music in ways that have never been done before, and we felt that a different name would help us build that brand.

Why Átjan Wild Islands?

The word ‘Átjan’ means eighteen (18) in Faroese. There are 18 major islands in the Faroe Islands archipelago.

We think the new name is more ‘us’, better refects our community, and really says ‘Faroe Islands’ in a way that the old name didn’t. It’s also really easy to pronounce and spell!

Átjan Wild Islands Arch Logo

Our main intention for this post was to let you know about the change, so you won’t be surprised when our website, social media pages etc. look different. But we’d love to give you an insight into the design thinking and the meaning of the new logo.

Here is a brief insight into where the new brand identity comes from…

We use this famous Faroese island Drangarnir as inspiration, imagining the view through the arch.
We think of the arch, as being a portal to a different world…
Imagining the view through the arch, Tindhólmur comes into view. The island with 5 jagged peaks.
Átjan Wild Islands’ new arch icon.

Same Team, Same Event; New Name.

Átjan Wild Islands will continue to be owned and programmed by the team behind Útilív Adventure Festival. That’s Theo Larn-Jones (Founder & Festival Director) Sarah Pritchard (Race Director) and Hans Mikkelsen (Race Coordinator). Rest assured that the content of the races and wider event are not changing, and neither is the team delivering it.

“As Útilív Adventure Festival has grown, so has our vision and ambitions for the event. Instead of just an ‘adventure festival’, we wanted to build a whole new travel & festival experience, blending trail running, adventure and music in completely original ways. The new name feels more ‘us’. We hope you like it!” — Theo Larn-Jones, Festival Director

Over the next few days, you’ll see all the other visuals around the festival aligning around this new direction: on the website, in advertising, and on social media pages. Its a big change, but don’t worry. It’s still us. It’s still the same event. We’re still the same team. :)

Race Director Sarah Pritchard (left) and Founder/Festival Director Theo Larn-Jones (right)

We can’t wait for September and to welcome you to the Faroe Islands!

Love — Theo, Sarah & Hans and the rest of the Átjan Wild Islands team.

Find our more about Átjan Wild Islands here: www.atjanwildislands.com

PS. If you have any questions or would like to find out more, don’t hesitate to email me directly on theo@utilivfestival.com for now (soon to change to theo@atjanwildislands.com)

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