From Iceland — Grapevine Events: A Run-Down Of Merchant's Day Weekend & RVK Pride

Grapevine Events: A Run-Down Of Merchant’s Day Weekend & RVK Pride

Published August 3, 2023

Photo by
Art Bicnick

After months of being starved for a good long holiday since the Extended Easter Remix holidays ended, we’re finally heading into Merchant’s Day long weekend! Yay! Merchant’s Day, or Verslunarmannahelgi as it is called in Icelandic, is the biggest inner-country travel of the year and it is simply jam-packed with festivals and parties all over, from the booming Reykjavík metropolis to the tiniest 8-person hamlet. Right after the long weekend, we head right into RVK Pride week, because the party simply does not end until Páll Óskar sings. We got you covered for both the weekend and the Pride warmup, so get into it!

Verslunamannahelgi Omnibus!

August 4 – 6 — Laugarbakki —11.900 ISK (no tickets at the door)

Is there really any other place you want to be during Verslunarmannahelgi than Norðanpaunk? The self-proclaimed largest DIY festival in Iceland, Norðanpaunk is a celebration of all things eclectic and dark with their focus on metal-derived music. Come, join the fun! You won’t regret staying up until 4 am screaming Silencer in front of a bonfire. JB

August 4 – 6 — Röntgen & Gamla Bíó — 4.990 – 9.900 ISK

The cool kid’s festival. People who attend Innipúkinn are always so busy with their meaningful lives, that they somehow forget to make plans for Verslunarmannahelgin. Unlike us other schmucks who spend the rest of our year planning an elaborate escape out of town, Innipúkinn is a place for people who’d rather stay in town. The lineup is stellar, and the venues are fantastic. The festival is so good it almost convinces me to never leave Reykjavík again. JB

Lemmy Rokkhátíð 
August 3 – 6 — Lemmy — 6.666 ISK

In its second year, Lemmy Rokkhátíð is a force to be reckoned with. Sponsored by Jack Daniels, Lemmy puts the ‘black’ in ‘black-out drunk’, as in “you’ll be black-out drunk having the time of your life at Lemmy Rokkhátíð.” With artists ranging from rock to slightly louder rock, there won’t be a guitar onstage not plugged into a distortion pedal. You’ll watch so many performances by rock bands that you’ll boulder. JB

Flúðir um Versló
August 4 – 7 — Flúðir — Price varies

South Iceland is the heart of Iceland with its rolling hills, booming tourist attractions, and prosperous agriculture. Why not visit that boon of a region this weekend? Entertainment ensues. Flúðir um Versló is a type of quintessential small-town festival in Iceland, where you got troubadours singing Wonderwall for families, a real ‘ball’ in one of the community halls, and even a tractor rally – the closest thing to a monster truck rally in Iceland. So quit your moanin’, grab your ‘lopapeysa’ and cowboy hat, and get your ass to Flúðir. JB

countess malaise

RVK Pride Warmup Omnibus!

Heart Attack Drag Show 
Saturday August 5 — Kiki — 21:00 — 2.500 ISK

Are you dying for some great drag before Pride starts? Head to Kiki on Saturday to get defibrillated by the amazing House of Heart! Featuring Lola Von Heart, Chardonnay Bubblé, Milo de Mix, and Úlla la Delish, the Heart family’s show will be gayer than a picnic basket full of glitter. There will be all the classics: lipsyncs, dancing and laughs, and fabulous looks. Bring cash to tip your performers! RX

Queer Clothes Swap at IÐNÓ
Monday August 7 — IÐNÓ — 13:00 — Free

Have we established Marie Kondo as a queer icon yet? Trixie and Katya always reference her, so we say yes. It’s time to KonMari your wardrobe, get those unused ‘fits still in good condition out of the closet, and bring them down to the official Pride Centre, IÐNÓ, for a clothing swap! There will be tons of cute stuff to grab for totally free (as long as you bring stuff) and who knows, maybe you’ll find some treasure. RX

Ya-Ha-Hass Queen! Pride Show 
Monday August 7 — Gaukurinn — 21:00 —  2.000 ISK

You know that kind of laughter that’s better than sex? When you can’t breathe, and no sound is coming out anymore, and your neck hurts from how hard you’re laughing? It sounds brutal, but it’s the best. On Monday night, the amazing comedy performers at the queerest comedy show in town will do their darndest to give you a better-than-sex laugh and we trust in them completely to accomplish this. Go laugh, girl. RX

Trans Iceland Pride BBQ Grill Party 
Wednesday August 9 — Klambratún — 16:30 — Free

Whether you are trans or an ally, the wonderful people of the Trans Iceland association invite you to an afternoon of good ol’ fashioned grillin’ and gamin’! Taking place out in the beautiful Klambratún park near Hlemmur, it’s just gonna be a wholesome afternoon for the whole family to mingle, play some games, and eat some good food. Just show up in your best Pride BBQ look and have fun! RX

Stelpur Rokka Queer Concert with ronja, Bob Hermit, Regn and Día 
Wednesday August 9 — Völvufell 17 (Stelpur Rokka / Læti) — 19:00 — Donations accepted

While there will always be some who gripe about “the kids these days”, there are just as many who know that “the kids are alright.” The folks over at the Stelpur Rokka headquarters are in the latter, and this Pride they’re bringing some fantastic emerging young queer artists to their stage. With an eclectic mix of styles, instruments, sounds, and vibes, these bright up-and-coming musicians are carving out a space that deserves to be claimed. Go off the road more travelled and discover these artists marching to the beat of their very own programmed drum samples. RX

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