Tomorrow night Wotever Iceland will be hosting an evening at Gaukurinn, labelled Rainbow Friday, where queer performers will take to the stage, followed by some heavy DJ-ing to get the dance floor bouncing. The event is a part of the so called Wotever Nights that are becoming quite popular in Reykjavík.

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Alda Villiljós (pictured) and Andie Nordgren will be hosting a queer evening at bar Gaukurinn on Friday night labelled Rainbow Friday. The event is a part of the so called Wotever Nights that are becoming quite popular in Iceland. Photo/Villiljós Visual Art.

“The name comes from the fact that these nights are open to everyone and the invitation usually reads: Ladies, gentlemen and wotevers,” says Alda Villiljós. Alda and Andie Nordgren are a part of Wotever Iceland and every month in Iceland they organize so-called Wotever nights; nights that are specifically marketed to the alternative queer scene, but everyone is welcome.

This forthcoming Friday they will be hosting a Wotever Night at Gaukurinn, where there’s no entrance fee and an extended happy hour until 22PM for those with membership cards within the LGBT+ community, local or international. The theme of the night is Rainbow Friday and Alda will fill the dance floor with queer beats as DJ Villiljós. In addition to that there will be some live performances from queer artists.

Andie and Alda say that a big part of Wotever is to showcase queer talent on Wotever nights. “One of our aims is to promote our queer culture,” explains Alda. “It’s more than just Eurovision and drag. We want to promote queer artists, whether it be spoken word poetry, music, interpretative dance, cabaret or other forms of expression.”

Alda feels that this type of venue is needed here. “Homosexuality is at a socially acceptable level in Iceland and there is certain entertainment and venues aimed towards that group. But if you are somehow out of the norm you don’t have anywhere to go. At the Wotever nights we create a safe space where people can come and be themselves,” says Alda and we go on to talk about this idea of the safe space.

“One of our aims is to promote our queer culture … We want to promote queer artists, whether it be spoken word poetry, music, interpretative dance, cabaret or other forms of expression.”

“Safe space means different things for different people. For alternative queer people it just means that you can go to a place and expect not to get harassed and get asked weird questions. I would for example not expect to get questions about my mustache at a Wotever night but at a bar I would anticipate people getting weird about it,” says Alda.

Andie agrees and adds that if some sort of scene would escalate involving prejudice or queer slur the people attending the Wotever nights could step in. “If something happens you have total support. We can’t stop someone walking in off the street but at least you can guarantee that you have at least ten people to back you up and you can immediately talk about it to someone if something were to come up.”

Wotever has a manifesto which pretty much sums up the idea it’s based on: “Respect and welcome to one and all. No matter what identity, or multiple identities any person may have or choose, Wotever welcomes them. This includes, but certainly is not exclusive to: drag kings, queers, women, mtf, femmes, trans, butches, queerbois, gay, drag queens, dykes, bisexuals, ftm, men, straight…..Wotever etc. All will respect all.”

Wotever has a manifesto which pretty much sums up the idea it’s based on: “Respect and welcome to one and all. No matter what identity, or multiple identities any person may have or choose, Wotever welcomes them. This includes, but certainly is not exclusive to: drag kings, queers, women, mtf, femmes, trans, butches, queerbois, gay, drag queens, dykes, bisexuals, ftm, men, straight…..Wotever etc. All will respect all.”

Alda says that’s a huge part of what Wotever in London is about, but that’s where the Wotever brand was originally founded by producer and artistic director Ingo Cando in 2003. That’s also where both Alda and Andie were introduced to it. “I used to live in London a few years back but I wasn’t really involved with the queer scene. I can’t remember who told me about Wotever but it took some time for me to go and experience it,” says Alda, who had an amazing experience at their first Wotever night.

“I was at university and had just turned in my thesis about the gender variant visual artist Del LaGrace Volcano that I really admire. I heard that they were speaking at a Wotever night so I went there on my own. I was really nervous and I didn’t know anyone. I sat down and sparked up a conversation with the person sitting next to me. I told them that I was totally starstruck because I was such a fan of Del LaGrace. This person knew Del LaGrace and introduced us,” says Alda with a smile. “Everyone is so welcoming and super friendly at these nights – so long as you don’t judge other people.”

The story of Andie’s first time at Wotever is nothing short of unbelievable. A scene out of a movie some would say. “I sort of made a date to go with a girl that I had met at a tech conference. I was waiting for her outside Angel Station in London and she didn’t show up. I waited for 30, 40 minutes and then texted her but didn’t get a reply. I eventually went to Wotever on my own and had a great time. But once I heard from that girl some two weeks later it turned out that she had had a heart attack on her way to meet me and almost died on the subway,” Andie recalls.

“I went to visit her almost every week in the hospital but the freaky thing was that she didn’t remember me and just woke up to find these texts on her phone. We had a very interesting experience of getting to know one another for a second time.”

Common ground for queers

Alda and Andie are both genderqueer and feel that it’s good to have a venue where you can share your experience, even though they don’t feel they are met with a lot of prejudice in their day to day life.

“Like the topic of bathrooms. I go to women’s bathrooms in airports, clubs and so on. I don’t mind it that much but it’s still stressful and it does startle people when they think there’s a man in the ladies’ room. People respond differently when they encounter something new and sometimes I have the

Andie Nordgren is one of the people behind the Wotever Nights in Iceland. Andie says it would be amazing if they reached the point where such nights could be held every week, like in London.

Andie Nordgren is one of the people behind the Wotever Nights in Iceland. Andie says it would be amazing if they reached the point where such nights could be held every week, like in London.

energy to push it and sometimes I don’t want to deal with it. I just want to go to the fucking bathroom. When I can’t be bothered to explain myself I go to the handicap bathroom,” says Andie and Alda agrees.

“It’s nice to go some place where other people have similar experiences. You can see yourself in others and people get it,” Andie adds.

“The starting point for Wotever is the wish to see yourself mirrored and to meet other people that are like you – the middle, the in-between, the non binary. The driving force is that you see yourself in a culture that comes from this sort of queer space,” says Alda.

Given their wonderful experience with Wotever in London, Alda and Andie separately contacted Ingo from Wotever a while back because they both had interest in establishing a Wotever community in Iceland. “We are being trusted to bring Wotever to Iceland,” says Andie and adds that they don’t have to follow specific rules. “There are no formal guidelines. There’s a mood to Whatever, there’s a style and there’s an approach.”

“It’s nice to go some place where other people have similar experiences. You can see yourself in others and people get it.”

Wotever nights have been held in Iceland every month for a year now and have steadily growing, with the biggest one having over 200 guests at last Reykjavík Pride. Alda and Andie say it’s important for the Wotever brand to grow in Iceland. “It would be cool to have successful good events that promote queer artists,” says Andie. “And it would be amazing if we can get to the point where Ingo is in London with Wotever nights every week,” they add.

Both Alda and Andie are feeling pumped for the next Wotever night this Friday. “Everyone is welcome and we don’t ask for queer credentials at the door. There is a core of some 10-20 people that usually show up to Wotever nights but I’m hoping that number will grow even more. So see you all tomorrow,” Alda says with a laugh.

Andie and Alda say that a big part of Wotever is to showcase queer talent on Wotever nights. The theme of the night is Rainbow Friday and Alda will fill the dance floor with queer beats as DJ Villiljós. In addition to that there will be some live performances from queer artists.

Andie and Alda say that a big part of Wotever is to showcase queer talent on Wotever nights. The theme of the Friday night is Rainbow Friday and Alda will fill the dance floor with queer beats as DJ Villiljós. In addition to that there will be some live performances from queer artists.

Main photo: pixabay.com

The Hamburger Factory
- gourmet burgers

Ok. You’re in Iceland. Most likely for the first time.

You will probably bathe in the Blue Lagoon and take a road trip to Gullfoss and
Geysir. That’s all well and good. But neither Geysir’s nor waterfalls are
something you eat. That’s why we have 15 brilliant and creative hamburgers at
The Hamburger Factory. And they are all perfectly square. Don’t miss out on
Iceland’s most beloved hamburgers.

The Hamburger Factory is Iceland’s most innovative gourmet burger chain.
Packed with burger-craving customers since it’s opening in 2010, among the
regulars is Iceland’s best known fisherman, Eric Clapton. In our restaurants we
welcome tourists with our newspaper like menu and smiley service. They are
packed with fun items and memorable connections to Icelandic pop culture.

Locations:

Omnom Chocolate
- award-winning chocolate maker

    Omnom Chocolate is an Icelandic craft chocolate company based in Reykjavík. We produce handcrafted chocolate from organic cacao beans sourced ethically and sustainably. We’ve developed direct relationships to create premium chocolate with fine flavor cacao beans.

    Our creative flavors are carefully crafted by meticulous chocolate makers. The cacao beans are roasted, winnowed, ground, and refined into melty-smooth chocolate.

    Omnom’s process is one of constant exploration, invention, and experimentation. If it doesn’t please us, if something isn’t absolutely delicious, there’s no reason to be doing it. So, we always start with our taste buds and follow our instincts. Our team searches for the finest ingredients in the world and new ways to improve chocolate. This obsession with knowing where our ingredients come from has led us around the corner to dairy farms in the Icelandic countryside and all the way to rainforest cacao farms of Nicaragua.

    In only a few short years, we’ve grown from our 50 sq. m. petrol station space and become an award-winning chocolate maker. Now, with our headquarters in 101 Reykjavík, our chocolate is sent out around Iceland and all over the world.

    At the end of the day, our goal is to make chocolate.

     

    Alfred’s Apartments
    - gay owned an operated

      Alfred’s Apartments and Alfred’s Studios is a gay operated and owned accommodation in the heart of Reykjavik.

      Alfred’s Apartments offers spacious apartments at a good price located just around the corner from Laugavegur shopping street. You can choose the apartment starting from a Small Studio for 2 persons to a large One-bedroom Apartment with balcony for 5 persons.

      Their staff will ensure your comfort during the stay and provide the most updated information about the city, gay and night life in Reykjavik.

      Each apartment has a private bathroom with a shower, fully equipped kitchen and free Wi-Fi. Guests can buy groceries at the local grocery store 50 meters from the apartments. Because of their very central location, numerous shops, restaurants and cafés are available in the surrounding area. The Church of Hallgrimur is located 350 m from the apartments, a tourist agency is just 50 m away and the nearest gay bar is less than 5 minutes walking distance.

      Laekur hostel
      In the hostel we have dorms for 4-8 persons with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. The rooms are furnished with free internet, lockers, and a USB charger by each bed. The beds have linen provided and you can rent a towel in the cafe on the ground floor for 5 EUR.

      All the dorms are mixed with both genders. You can also book a whole room with 4-8 bunker beds.

      Blue Lagoon
      - a world of wonder

      Named by National Geographic as one of the 25 Wonders of the World, the Blue Lagoon is a shimmering expanse of warmth, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Its unique geothermal seawater comes from 2000 meters within the earth where sea and fresh water converge in a tectonic frontier of porous lava and searing heat. Propelled by extreme pressure, the water ascends to the earth’s surface, emerging enriched with silica, algae, and minerals: the elements that endow Blue Lagoon geothermal seawater with its radiant, healing properties.

      From its humble beginnings in the shadows of a geothermal power plant, Blue Lagoon has evolved into a world of wonder, now encompassing a hotel, a restaurant, a luxury lounge, a renowned line of skin care, a research center, in-water massage, and a wealth of spa and refreshment facilities.

      Achieving harmony with the volcanic landscape of Iceland’s Reykjanes lava plain, the lagoon and its surrounding architecture embody the unification of the man-made and the natural, and adhere to the highest principles of sustainability.

      Blue Lagoon. A wonder of the world. A world of wonder.

      Whales of Iceland
      - larger than life

      Whales of Iceland is the largest whale exhibition in Europe (and perhaps even the world), where guests can learn about the giants of the sea in a calm and modern environment. The permanent exhibition features whales like guests have never seen them before. It is truly a giant experience.

      Landsbankinn
      - leading financial institution

      Landsbankinn is a leading Icelandic financial institution. It offers a full range of financial services and is the market leader in the Icelandic financial service sector with the largest branch network.

      The present bank was established on 7 October 2008 but the history of its predecessor dates back to 1886. The bank is owned by the National Treasury of Iceland, which holds 98.2% of its share capital, and other shareholders who own 1.8%.

      Landsbankinn’s strategy is to provide comprehensive financial services that meet customer’s needs. It emphasizes providing exemplary service to customers, developing e-banking for their convenience, increasing the efficiency of support functions, modernizing its technology and ensuring effective utilization of its balance sheet.

      The bank’s vision is to be exemplary and its role is to be a trusted financial partner.

      Special emphasis is placed on promoting a performance-oriented culture in the bank. To follow up on the implementation of this strategy, the bank has defined key goals which are measured regularly to determine progress. These goals include, for example, customer satisfaction and loyalty, profitability, cost efficiency and the correlation between risk appetite and employee satisfaction.

      Landsbankinn wishes to lead the development of a sustainable society in Iceland by integrating economic, social and environmental concerns in its operations. The Bank aims to ensure that both its owners and society at large benefit from its activities.

      It intends to achieve this aim by building solid infrastructure and a strong team of 1.100 employees, by listening to its customers and by respecting and encouraging its employees to actively participate in their community. Landsbankinn was a founding member of Festa, a Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, and is a member of the UN Global Compact.

      Landsbankinn has been a proud sponsor of the Reykjavik Pride since it was first celebrated in Iceland.

      Dohop
      - get inspired

      Dohop allows people to find the cheapest flights available with just one click. Founded in Reykjavik in 2004, it is the only Icelandic company of its kind and quickly became the go-to tool for finding cheap flights among the locals. Dohop finds the best deals among hundreds of different airlines and online travel agencies, to make sure that the user is getting the cheapest price. Dohop also offers hotel and car rental search engines, so users can make all of their travel bookings from a single website.

      Dohop‘s specialty is finding so-called “self-connect” flight options, which can save travelers money by booking a ticket through two or more different airlines. The ability to look for these self-connect option is what sets Dohop apart from its competition, as it can save people hundreds of dollars on certain routes.

      More recently, Dohop has developed a unique product called Dohop Go!, which allows users to check for the cheapest available flights from their home airport. This tool is perfect for those who are looking for travel inspiration but are not willing to overpay for their flight ticket. Dohop Go! is now available in the Dohop Flights App, both for Android and iOS, along with its traditional flight, hotel, and car search engines. “

      Macland
      - for all your Apple needs

      From starting out as a proper startup with only a good idea and the need to change things, to becoming an established company with 6 employees. Starting from scratch and expanding organically has allowed us to love our expansion and take our customers on the ride with us.

      Macland is located at Laugavegur 23 (101, Downtown Reykjavik)
      For all your Apple needs. We are here.

      Aurora Reykjavik
      - northern lights center

        Aurora Reykjavik is a Northern Lights Center situated in downtown Reykjavík at the Old Harbor next to Icelandair Hotel Marina and Vikin Maritime Museum.

        Aurora Reykjavík is Iceland’s first educational and recreational Northern Lights Center where multimedia is used to explain when, why and how the Northern Lights work, with the highlights being large HD projection of the Aurora’s. We also share myths and legends about what our ancestor thought about those mystical lights.

        The Northern Lights Center is for all ages. Children are our favorite guests and we created the exhibition in a way that children can have a look freely and parents don’t have to worry about things being broken.

        Aurora Reykjavik offers a great selection of souvenirs that are designed and made by Icelanders along with nice little coffee corner, where you can enjoy free coffee and tea while browsing through the souvenirs or just planning your next step.

        Contact Aurora

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        Ísey skyr
        - once tasted never forgotten

        Our Story
        Once upon a time, 1,100 years ago in fact, Nordic settlers began arriving in Iceland. They brought with them the skills and knowledge for producing skyr. As time passed, the know-how and recipe for this nutritious food slowly faded out elsewhere in the Nordic region. Luckily, the Icelandic skyr-making tradition continued.

        For centuries, Icelandic skyr formed a cornerstone of the national diet, helping to keep people strong in living conditions that were often harsh. On family farms countrywide, it was the women who nurtured this dairy and passing on both the recipe and the original Icelandic skyr cultures from mother to daughter.

        Ísey skyr builds on this remarkable legacy. It was some of those very same women, the recipients of their mothers’ expertise, who, around 90 years ago, taught Icelandic dairy scientists the art of skyr-making. The production process is more high-tech these days, and the quality standards more rigorous. However, the basic recipe and the use of original cultures to ferment the skimmed milk remain the same. Protein rich, fat-free, creamy and delicious – Ísey skyr is as relevant to consumers now as it was all those centuries ago.
        This is our secret and you are in on it

        You can read more about Ísey skyr on our website.

        Núðluskálin
        - noodle bar

        Núðluskálin is a small gay owned and operated fusion noodle bar.

        All of our courses are individually made from fresh ingredients and therefore highly customisable.
        We offer fully Vegan versions of all courses.
        Though originally a take-away we now seat over 30 people.

        Núðluskálin is located right in the heart of Reykjavík on Skólavörðustígur 8 (street leading up to the big Church) near the junction with Laugavegur (main street).

        Seatours
        - adventure cruise

        Ferry Baldur – the gate to the West fjords
        and VikingSushi Adventure – Bird & Nature watching Tour for everyone all year around

        The “VikingSushi Adventure” is the right boat tour for travelers who are adventurous and want to experience something new – close up to the nature seafood simply doesn’t come fresher than this! The archipelago area of the Breidafjordur Bay always surprises her visitors during winter or summer with spectacular sights. Where else you get to try delicious fresh scallops and sea urchin roe straight from the ocean served with soy sauce, wasabi and ginger.

        600x400-seatours-tasting

        This old volcanic area, characterized by the typical basalt formations of the islands, is the home of countless birds. Here you will also find the strongest currents in Iceland. The VikingSushi Tour takes roughly two hours and our captain is also the tour guide.

        600x400-seatours

        The VikingSushi Tour is a true adventure through incredible nature which should not be missed by any traveler to West Iceland.

        Birds, possible to spot:
        -puffins (from the middle of April until the middle of August)
        -eider ducks
        -shags
        -kittiwakes
        -fulmars
        -white-tailed eagle

        The car ferry Baldur is the bridge to the West fjords via the island Flatey
        Ferry Baldur crosses Breidafjordur Bay daily from Stykkisholmur on the Snæfellsnes peninsula to Brjanslaekur in the north. A ferry ride considerably shortens the route between the south and mid-west of the country and the West Fjords region. It also gives you the opportunity to experience a floating restaurant.

        Take a stopover at the charming island Flatey when you are crossing the bay or go to a day tour to Flatey and back to Stykkishólmur. At Flatey are no cars allowed and between the houses of the 18th century you get the feeling of a journey back in time.

        Contact Us


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