From Iceland — The Great Guide To Pride: Books, Parades and Brunch

The Great Guide To Pride: Books, Parades and Brunch

Published August 11, 2017

The Great Guide To Pride: Books, Parades and Brunch
Hannah Jane Cohen Elías Þórsson
Photo by
Art Bicnick

Reykjavík’s annual Pride festival is a colourful explosion of parties, parades, seminars and events all based around celebrating, examining, discussing and expressing all shades of gay and queer identity in Iceland. You can pick up a Pride Pass that will get you into most events (these are noted on the festival website), or, if you have limited time or something specific in mind, you can buy individual tickets for many events. So, from discussions on non-binary gender, to variety shows, to a queer-tronic party, to an outdoor music stage and the Iðnó drag extravaganza, these are some events you shouldn’t miss.

Queer Icelandic Women In Music
Wednesday, August 9 / 18:30 / The Student Cellar, University of Iceland / Free

There’s been a lot of discussion recently about how friendly the Icelandic music is or isn’t towards women, and this event narrows that down even further to how queer Icelandic women exist in the scene. In a roundtable discussion, a number of queer female Icelandic musicians will explore their own intersectional experiences. How is it being a woman in the industry? What does being queer add to that? Bring an open mind to find out. And don’t worry—it will be conducted fully in English. HJC

Life Outside the Binary
Thursday, August 10 / 12:00 / The Student Cellar, University of Iceland / Free

The non-binary identity is commonly misunderstood. Look at the recent hubbub surrounding Vogue’s ignorant classification of Gigi Hadid and Zayn as genderqueer just for sharing clothes. Here, Alda Villiljós, the chair of Trans Iceland and Non-Binary Iceland, will enlighten you on just what the term “non-binary” means, as well as discussing the unique situation and problems of non-binary individuals in Iceland. So ask yourself: What’s the best way to fight for the rights of non-binary individuals? What are they even fighting for? HJC

“Glitter, fun and fabulousness are all guaranteed.”

Pride Opening Ceremony
Thursday August 10 / 21:00 / Gamla Bíó / 2.900-3.900 ISK
The Pride opening ceremony will be a large-scale variety show held in the cavernous Gamla Bíó cinema. The performers announced thus far are Bergþór Pálsson, Kristjana Stefánsdóttir, Daníel Arnarsson, Drag-Súgur, Fókus, Guðmundur Helgason and Lay Low, with some surprise acts promised. There’ll be a speech from Felix Bergsson, and the whole thing will be hosted by Berglind Festival and Viðar Eggertsson, and there are tables or standing tickets available, so you’ll feel like you’re at the Oscars if you wanna get fancy. JR

Friday, August 11 / 17:00 / The Student Cellar, University of Iceland / Free

Oscar Wilde once wrote about the “love who dare not speak its name,” and indeed there is a long standing tradition of queer poetry. The event has become an annual mainstay of Reykjavík Pride and its popularity speaks about the strength of the works on show. This time around Kristín Ómarsdóttir will be the main author reading, but there will also be dramatic readings from the unpublished book “Búrið” (The Cage) by Lilja Sigurðardóttir. There will also be a nice selection of queer poets reading their works. EÞ

Queer Literature Walking Tour
Friday, August 11 / 19:00 / City Library, Trygvagata / Free

“You wanna talk about reading? Let’s talk about reading.” As you might know, Iceland is famous for having the most authors per capita worldwide, and there are thus many amazing queer Icelandic works to dive into. Learn about them on this tour hosted by the Reykjavík City Library, where you’ll mosey around the city centre soundtracked by excerpts of queer literature and poetry by Kristín Ómarsdóttir, Sjón, Elías Knörr and Eva Rún Snorradóttir. It’s free, so no need to bring your wallet, just some comfortable walking shoes, ‘cause as we all know, reading is fundamental. HJC

Queer Cruise
Friday, August 11 / 20:30 / From the Old Harbour, Ægisgarður / 2500 ISK

No, we’re not talking about that kind of cruising, but hey, you do you. Anyway, this trip will take you around the Reykjavík harbour, so you can cruise the view in a different hue. Guided by local DJ and radio host Siggi Gunnars, this ride is guaranteed to leave you cockeyed as there will be many, ahem, special offers at the bar. If you’re lucky you might spot a whale or two, as the event is sponsored by the LGBT-friendly Whale Watching megalith Elding. So slay in the bay with bae. It’ll be a ball. We can’t promise that Tom will be there though. HJC

Shore Leave Dance
Friday, August 22 / 22:00-04:30 / Kiki Queer Bar / 1,000 or Pride 
After a queer cruise on the high seas, all the pretty sailors deserve a well-earned shore leave. The fight against the waves is always demanding, but after drenching yourself in champagne it is even more important to take the rockiness onto the dance floor. For those who arrive early there will be a special treat at the bar, the treat is a surprise, but there is no doubt that you’d want to head from the boat straight to Kiki to find out what it is. EÞ

“The Pride Parade is a fun and colourful explosion of queer culture out onto the streets of Reykjavík.”

Dragsúgur Extravaganza
Friday, August 11 / 22:00 / Iðnó / 2.500 ISK
As you might have noticed from our cover feature, Iceland’s drag scene has been going from strength to strength in recent times. The Pride Dragsúgur Extravaganza is the place where you’ll see all of Reykjavík’s top drag artists bring their A-game to the stage, from comedy to dance, lip-sync, cabaret, and everything in between. Dress up for the occasion, and dive right in—with a rumoured eighteen different queens performing, glitter, fun and fabulousness are all guaranteed. JR

Photo by Art Bicnick

Bubbly Brunch
Saturday, August 12 / 12:00 / Iðnó / 3,890, 500 off with a Pride Pass.

Nothing says glamorous hangover like mimosas with brunch. At the bubbly brunch in Iðnó you can regain the bubbliness you had unsurprisingly lost after a long Friday night/Saturday morning. It starts two hours before the Pride Parade, which means that you can get into that sloshed gay old mood right before you walk off to celebrate diversity and love. EÞ

Pride Parade
Saturday August 12 / 14:00 / Central Reykjavík / Free
The pride parade is a fun and colourful explosion of queer culture out onto the streets of Reykjavík. With rainbow-painted roads and dramatic floats, it’s a must-see spectacle. This year the route will begin on Hverfisgata near Café Rosenberg, and go down onto Lækjargata, ending at the Hljómskálagarður park. But tbh, you probably won’t find it hard to locate. JR

The Official Pride Party
Saturday, August 12 / 23:00 / 101 Harbor, Ægisgarður 2/ 2500-3500 ISK

As the patron saint Adore Delano once famously stated, “Party!” Take her advice and come to the Official Pride Party ready to get down with your bad self. This extravaganza eleganza is bound to be full of escandalo, music, dancing, and love, so say “Absolutely,” or “OKURRRR,” and show up in your best duds. Margrét Maack, Eiríkur Hafdal, Daníel Arnarsson, Gabriel Fontana, and a number of surprise guests will be performing, so it’s bound to be up to Adore’s standards. HJC

Photo by Art Bicnick

Family Rainbow Festival
Sunday, August 13 / 14:00 / Klambratún / Free

Pride is for all ages, so come celebrate with Reykjavík Pride, The Association of Queer Parents, and the U.S. Embassy in Iceland (we know, right?) for an afternoon of fun. With shows, games, and food, this’ll no doubt be the occasion that’ll make your child ask for months to come, “Is it Pride yet?” HJC

Sunday, August 13 / 16:00 / Vesturbæjarlaugin / 1,500, free with a Pride pass.

The locals know that the best way to recover after a long and straining weekend is a soak in one of Reykjavík’s swimming pools—and that is how you should use your Sunday. A DJ will get you into the groove, the hot tubs will melt your hangover away and the setting will be unicorns and rainbows. You will enjoy it so much that you’ll scream like when you saw that double rainbow. Attendees are encouraged to show up in their “nicest, queerest swimsuits”—that’s very much open to interpretation. EÞ

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